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Book Group / Supermoon / Hans Klammer – Electric Circus, Edinburgh – Thursday 19th November 2015

So which Book Group show to go to in the run of dates to promote new single ‘The Late Show’? In the end Edinburgh won out for the chance to finally see a Supermoon performance but I’m not going to deny that it was attractive to keep the option of also going to the Perth show next week.

First up though were Hans Klammer whose performance was a mix of triumph and disaster.

A triumph because of the music – in particular the second tune, an electro anthem of some class. The third song was also a triumph in the face of a complete equipment meltdown (the aforementioned disaster). Yet out of adversity the singer provided a terrific vocal performance which resembled Rick Redbeard.

An inspired anecdote about a squash tournament and a completely a capella vocal whilst the band packed away their gear behind him provided an unorthodox but satisfying conclusion to the set.

Probably not the way they intended to do so but unquestionably they made new friends.

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By contrast Neil Pennycook’s solo Supermoon set was crisis free with the drama instead reserved for the music.

On this occasion Neil’s set was somewhat downbeat straying as close to folk as he’s done in a while. Of course whether or not this represented an accurate picture of what a full band Supermoon would sound like is highly debatable. But it was still a compelling performance.

What’s unquestionable is that with his singing and guitar playing few can match Neil’s intensity as a solo performer. I’m looking forward to following the next steps on his journey.

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It was great to see Book Group playing another (nearly) hour long set in support of imminent digital single ‘The Late Show’ and they blasted through a dozen songs in that time with a real energy.

After tour dates down south the previous weekend, the set was clearly designed to be attention grabbing and aided by the Circus’s rather wild sound they certainly did that. So it was a loud show but none the worse for it (better that than too quiet).

Aside from the new single, perhaps the stand-out was ‘The Art of Underachieving’ the penultimate song in the set. It’s first half was as poppy as the set got before descending into a blizzard of guitars for the finale.

In amongst the up tempo numbers it was great to see ‘A Rough Wooing ‘ making a welcome return but by and large this was a dynamic fast paced performance.

Thursday demonstrated without doubt that they can now match the sort of quality over a dozen songs that they used to provide in half that time. Literally with songs to spare (and they even squeezed in a completely new tune).

Can’t wait for the album.

Book Group played:

1 Lowdown of a Loud Sound 2 Kickstart 3 Victory Lap 4 The Late Show 5 A Rough Wooing 6 Mayonnaise 7 Afterwards 8 Blister In The Sun 9 Year of the Cat 10 Actress/Model 11 The Art of Underachieving 12 Here Is Too Near

‘The Late Show’ is available on download from 4th December.

Book Group play

Perth, The Green Room – Thursday 3rd December

Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree – Friday 4th December

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