The Beths / Hans Pucket – The Mash House, Edinburgh – Monday 13th May 2019
So which idiot thought it was a good idea to buy tickets for a Monday night the day after a weekend in Dublin? That’ll be me, I guess. Fortunately it was a pretty early show with headliners the Beths due on at 8:30 pm.
Originally scheduled for Sneaky Pete’s demand for this show was such that, despite a capacity more than double that of Pete’s, the Mash House still wasn’t big enough to meet it. As a result the room was rammed, even if it wasn’t quite as uncomfortable as the Wire show 18 months ago.
Support Hans Pucket are a rum lot to be sure. Their opening instrumental was almost funk/metal and an early indication of the types of disparate elements that would go into making up their songs.
Second number ‘Comfort’ was an outlier in that respect, almost a traditional indie pop song, but thereafter the Puckets pushed boundaries to every extreme. Their 10 song set took in classic rock, 70’s ballads, disco, psychedlia and one that even sounded like Dire Straits, well part of it did! There were loads of harmonies and even the odd bass solo yet the one constant was that almost every song had more than enough ideas for two songs.
Their final tune, ‘Straight To My Heart’ was simultaneously probably their most cohesive and best song of the night.
It was all more than a little disorientating yet their hooks still somehow stuck as a subsequent investigation on Spotify illustrated. Intriguing but certainly never dull.
By contrasts the Beths are a straight-forward proposition. Yet their big strength, the actual tunes, coupled with their mastery of the dynamics of the four minutes pop song, results in an extremely satisfying package.
I was briefly worried by the fact that they started with what I’d regard as one of their big hitters ‘Future Me Hates Me’. Yet every subsequent song was enough to prove that *all* their songs are big hitters.
The thirteen songs set comprised the album in full, a couple from the debut EP and even a new one. It’s no exaggeration to say that the quality never dipped. Add in their between song banter and it wasn’t hard to conclude that the next time the Beths play Edinburgh, they’ll be playing somewhere much bigger than the Mash House.
A cracking night.
1 Future Me Hates Me
2 Not Running
3 You Wouldn’t Like Me
4 Idea / Intent
5 River Run: Lvl 1
6 Warm Blood
7 Less Than Thou
8 Great No One
9 Don’t Go Away
10 Happy Unhappy
12 Uptown Girl