The Filthy Tongues / Boots For Dancing / Birdhead – The Liquid Room, Edinburgh – Saturday 3rd December, 2016

This was the biggest show I’d seen the Filthy Tongues play (so far) and it was nice to see the Liquid Room busy for the show, even if it wasn’t uncomfortably so.

The band was bolstered from the 5 piece line-up which played Dundee with an additional, sixth, member on keyboards and extra guitars. With recent recruit Susannah Clark on violin, the band created a massive sound which was at times laden with foreboding and at others uplifting.

Broadly split in two the early songs tended towards newer stuff (although not exclusively so). The opening ‘Nae Tongues’ highlighted the playing of the core trio of Martin Metcalfe, Fin Wilson and Derek Kelly whilst a fierce ‘Crewcut’ then led into a section of the show with some key selections from this year’s fine ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ LP. Particularly impressive were the mighty title track and a charged ‘Long Time Dead.’

What was great was that the new tunes were almost as well received as the older songs. But it was those older songs, almost as likely to be B-sides as the hits and drawn from every phase of their long career, that dominated the second half of the set.

The main set was brought to a close with a rapturously received version of ‘The Rattler’ before the band encored with their version of ‘Amsterdam’ and a triumphant ‘Goodwill City’.

It seemed a remarkably quick show. The 70 plus minutes that the band were on stage seemed to flash past which is always a good sign.

My only slight regret is that there wasn’t more material from the current record (I’d still love to hear ‘Kingdom of Ice’ live) but, all in all, it was one of the best ( Isa &) Filthy Tongues shows that I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.


Edinburgh post punk legends Boots For Dancing were the main support and had undoubtedly brought their own crowd. It was quickly apparent they deal very much in that angular new wave funk which was so prevalent in the late 70s, which, unfortunately,  is something I’ve never really got to grips with.

Nevertheless, on the plus side, their energetic set not only roused the crowd but sustained my interest throughout. However they didn’t do quite enough to win me round to this type of thing.


Birdhead (who I first saw supporting Isa & the Filthy Tongues YEARS ago) had opened the show with an all too short set with plenty of new material. The new stuff sounded great with perhaps single ‘Custo

m Muscle’, the least impressive but only because those big electro riffs from the record were rather buried in the mix.

But, otherwise, as a signpost for the new record, the set did an excellent job and hopefully next time they’ll be on stage for a fair bit longer.


The Filthy Tongues played:

1. Nae Tongues 2. Crewcut 3. Jacob’s Ladder 4. Suffocate Me 5. Bow-headed Saint 6. High 7. Sick of You 8. Holy Brother 9. Long Time Dead 10. Green Turn Red 11. The Rattler


12. Amsterdam 13. Goodwill City

I’ve not sorted the photos from the show yet but a link will appear here in due course.