De Rosa / Kid Canaveral – Summerhall, Edinburgh – Saturday 30th January 2016
Saturday turned out to be the night of clashes – De Rosa, We Were Promised Jetpacks and the Normans all on in and around Edinburgh at the same time with Book Group closer to home in St Andrews.
But after last weekend there was little chance of us going anywhere other than Summerhall to see De Rosa again particularly as there was the added bonus of an unusual Kid Canaveral set as support.
Unusual because there was a significant Kate sized hole in the line-up. The lack of a guitar was more noticeable on some songs than others – although not necessarily the ones you might have expected. I did wonder if they’d even attempt ‘A Compromise’, yet they not only did so (as the finale) but still managed to make an impressive racket.
Otherwise the set was essentially split into two. The opening section mainly featured new tunes and confirmed initial impressions from last month’s Baubles that the new songs mark a noticeable change in direction.
The opening tune was a cool, jaunty instrumental but the other new songs, including the cutely named ‘First We Take Dumbarton’, were somewhat more downbeat.
A run of old favourites including ‘And Another Thing!!’ and ‘Good Morning’ took us to the aforementioned set closer. It was all over far too quickly but hopefully 2016 will see loads more Kid C shows.
By the time De Rosa took to the stage the crowd had swollen to healthy proportions and certainly to a level beyond anything I’d seen them attract in the capital before in their own right.
And in common with last week’s show in Dundee this audience was into the performance from the start. It does genuinely seem that the band’s hiatus has been a good career move because there’s clearly a renewed appetite for all things De Rosa.
The audience were rewarded with the longest performance of the reformation so far with an augmented version of recent setlists.
They made a ridiculously strong start – ‘Spectres’ and ‘The Sea Cup’ were up first and yet they managed to live up to that high standard for the rest of the set.
What’s apparent is that the band throw a different light on the album in a live setting, presenting the material in a more direct manner. So set closer ‘Devils’, a fantastic example of their grasp on melody on record, makes for a great finale and whips up much more of a storm than you might have expected from the recorded version.
And for me it’s the inclusion of the new songs that has lifted the recent shows above the excellent shows last year. A heavy version of ‘Chip on My Shoulder’ and an extended ‘Prelude to Entropic Doom’ (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) were amongst the highlights.
Yet for the encore the spotlight fell emphatically on the past with a double whammy from ‘Mend’, first off a fantastic ‘Evelyn’ before a rousing, climactic ‘Cathkin Braes’.
In the blog’s early years De Rosa were my favourite band bar none and, being honest, I’d sort of forgotten *just* how good they were. All the activity over the last few weeks, with the album and the gigs, has therefore been a timely reminder of that and has reignited my love for this band and their songs all over again.
A wonderful band.
De Rosa played:
1. Spectres 2.The Sea Cup 3. In Code 4. Prelude to Entropic Doom 5. Pest 6. Chip on My Shoulder 7. Nocturne for an Absentee 8. The Engineer 9. The Mute 10. Devils
11. Evelyn 12. Cathkin Braes
Photos from the show here.