20160506_214404Book Group / Adam Stafford / Jargo – Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh – Friday 6th May 2016

Friday’s show for the launch of Book Group’s debut LP ‘The Great Indoors’ certainly sent the record out into the wild in some style.

It was my first time in the Banshee Labyrinth and, if anything, it’s tinier than its reputation suggested. Importantly though it sounded good

Book Group kicked things off with a ferocious ‘Mayonnaise’ (the natural successor to ‘Here Is Too Near’ and an obvious single in waiting) and the quality never dipped thereafter in a set drawn from both the album and their impressive early catalogue.

From the new record, a spectacular ‘Actress/Model’ was probably the highlight whilst both ‘Victory Lap’ and a climactic ‘Here Is Too Near’ illustrated that, great though the LP is, it isn’t the full story.

There were also a couple of surprises including a welcome return for ‘Wake Up and Go Go Go’ whilst the band also seem to be establishing a tradition of introducing a cover into the longer sets. On this occasion we were treated to a frantic if somewhat shambolic version of ‘Crash’ by the Primitives.

All in all it was pretty much the perfect show.

20160506_asAdam Stafford was also impressive mixing up old and new tunes with a set that leant more on the experimental than on his ‘pop hits’. Sound-wise the loops perhaps had a level of dominance over the vocal and guitar which undercut the impact slightly.

But the likes of ‘Atheist Money’ and ‘Railway Trespassers’ from the new record still impressed as did older tunes like ‘Shot-down You Summer Wannabe’ and ‘His Acres’, the latter complete with an extended electro finale with Adam crouched over his pedal board.

I enjoyed openers Jargo even if much of their set tended towards the pleasant. Third tune from the end though (‘the new one’) suggested deeper waters whilst the front man had a nice line in self deprecating humour (“you came here for some indie rock but instead got two cunts playing country”).

Book Group played:

1 Mayonnaise 2 Year of the Cat 3 Wake Up and Go Go Go 4 A Rough Wooing 5 The Art of Underachieving  6 Kickstart 7 Late Show 8 Actress/Model  9 Crash 10 Victory Lap 11 Here Is Too Near

Encore

12 Lowdown of a Loud Sound

Book Group and Adam Stafford play a co-headline show at Beat Generator Live in Dundee on Saturday 21st May. More info here – tickets link here.

There’s also a Glasgow launch show at the Hug and Pint on Thursday (13th) again with Adam in support.

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