Matt Norris and the Moon, Hannah O-Reilly, The Sunshine Social, Neoviolet and the Cosmic Dead at Fest For A Fiver
I was the half-time sub. A lot of people looked disappointed but with Guinness to be drunk and music to be heard, I wasn’t going to be posted missing.
Matt Norris and the Moon were the first act to lay it down. Doesn’t it seem strange that Edinburgh acts seem noticeably more tuneful than their Glaswegian Counterparts? Benefitting greatly from continued trumpet use, this act sampled a darker side of folk music – complete with well-worked harmonies - and made a lasting impression. If their name was catchier, you might consider a tattoo.
What can you say about Hannah O’Reilly? Very little without fear of retribution, if tonight was to be taken seriously. In between dealing with “hecklers” (or obnoxious contemporaries), Ms O’Reilly unleashed a gripping set of unsubtle acoustic songs on subjects ranging from ass-grabbing to schizophrenia to the murder of prostitutes. In doing so, she also exhibited a wonderful singing voice. Admirable as much for her lack of subtlety as for her talents as a singer-songwriter, Hannah O’Reilly is worth seeing. Believe me.
Glasgow-based folkers The Sunshine Social could probably out-drink (and therefore, of course, are better than) Mumford & Sons. In saying that, you could probably summarise this showing as good show; shite patter. Calum MacDonald (on vocals) was in fine voice whenever he sang. Whenever he bantered between songs, the atmosphere was almost cartoonishly awkward. True to the literary Scottish folk sound that seems to be trending, this act are bound to go from strength to strength.
Another act from Edinburgh? Surely not. Neoviolet harbour a considerable deal of emotion in their alt-rock sound, which threatened to explode into something dangerous. It didn’t but definite potential was evidenced. In what was probably a toned down performance, this act gave an impressive showing. The vocals of frontwoman Nicky Carder undoubtedly belied her diminutive stature and tender years. The whole band were in fine fettle, in fact. Definitely worth seeing.
And then came The Cosmic Dead, who as a psychedelic space-rock outfit, didn’t fit the bill in the slightest. However, those who stayed the course were given a rather special performance, which paid no attention to regular song structure or standard timing. Instead, a maelstrom of controlled noise gave us an idea of how Hawkwind might sound if they were starting out in 2011. If shows like these were the origins of tornadoes on the other side of the world, you could probably excuse them.
It was then time to leave and to get the bus. The 62 bus. Better than the Royal Rumble. Sadly.