The first night of Breakout at Bannerman’s Bar in Edinburgh was one to remember with a showcase of some incredible local talents. On August 13th, four Edinburgh based bands took the stage, and boasted their various talents to a packed out Bannerman’s.
Edinburgh quartet Figurines were first to take to the Bannerman’s stage that night. The group are based in the capital and are fronted by Josh Vaughan on guitar and vocals. Vaughan’s vocals are always powerful and this night was no exception. He was joined by lead guitarist Ben Vaughan whose electrifying guitar solos kept the crowd entertained throughout the set. On drums was James Douglas who kept everyone in time and always looked like he was having fun while doing so. On bass was the newest addition to Figurines, Tal Liston-Smith who made playing bass look incredibly easy.
The band’s energy together is unmatched. They spent their set dancing to their own tunes, showing just how happy they are with the endless effort they put into their craft. Their setlist was filled with mostly originals with a couple of covers thrown in too. Josh’s stage presence is on another level, he knows how to work a crowd, and the packed out Bannerman’s was the perfect place to demonstrate this. His voice always fills the room and he carried out his own version of Freddie Mercury’s ‘Ay-Oh‘ from Live Aid which only seemed to entice the crowd further.
They played already released singles ‘So I’m Told‘ and ‘Wild One‘ as well as a host of brand new and unreleased tracks. Even though their music was unfamiliar to a lot of those who were there, everyone was fully engaged. This just further shows how impressive their talents are as a band. Figurines are a band that are destined to continue onto high accolades and it’ll be exciting to watch them do so.
Continuing with the trend of Edinburgh based bands were Canongate. While they normally perform as a quartet, this ended up being a trio but this didn’t hinder them in the slightest. Dylan Elphinstone fronts the band on vocals and guitar. He is accompanied by Rory Bayne on guitar and Leon Morris on drums. Together, their eclectic mix of tunes kept everyone guessing, which meant their set wasn’t predictable.
During the set, Canongate announced the release of their newest single, ‘Fire Igniting‘ which was released on August 18th. They also played their April 2023 release, ‘Glad I’m Free‘. Canongate have a unique talent of being able to combine a huge array of sounds and concepts to form nothing but cohesive sounding music. It’s fair to think that accumulating all of these separate ideas would make the songs hard to follow. However, they have mastered the technique of making seamless transitions into a different tempo or style halfway, or even multiple times, through a track. Towards the end of their short set, Canongate incorporated some audience participation in the form of vocalisations at the end of a track. This closely resembled the idea of howling like wolfs, but in tune with Elphinstone.
Canongate are a group that are really intriguing to watch on stage. It was difficult to find anyone in the audience who wasn’t moving or dancing along. Their mesmerising mix of musical melodies make them a band to look out for.
Dazed & Confused
The third band to grace the Bannerman’s stage were four-piece, Dazed and Confused. The four-piece are lead by vocalist and guitarist Callum O’Reilly. His vocals are incredibly distinctive and he demonstrated this throughout the set. O’Reilly is joined by Archie Brewis on bass who danced and swayed his way through the set. Drummer Alfie Smith was an impressive sight to watch too, never once missing a beat. Smith looked like he was really enjoying the set, while also remaining focused on his dynamic skills on the drums. Ruariadh Rattray is Dazed & Confused’s lead guitarist who gave the crowd something to become entranced by as he played various electrifying solos during the set.
The Edinburgh group’s music has a nostalgic yet all too familiar feel. Their sound is so polished and professional, it transfuses various concepts from older songs into a more modern track. This has proven useful for Dazed & Confused as their audience seemed a little more diverse in terms of age ranges. This also opens up the idea of introducing a newer generation to the style and sounds of 70s rock, which seems to be a primary influence in their music. Alongside a beautiful cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion‘, Dazed & Confused boasted their lyrical talents through renditions of their own material. This included numerous unreleased tracks like newest single ‘Come Around‘. Fan favourites like ‘1000 Guitars‘ and ‘Red Road‘ also made appearances. The latter tune has collected over 10,000 Spotify streams so far which is quite an impact from a smaller band.
Dazed & Confused are one of the best live bands out there. They always look like they have so much fun on stage, which makes what they do look like second nature and incredibly effortless. Like Josh Vaughan from Figurines, O’Reilly’s stage presence is something to admire. He knows how to pull a crowd into the show, and keep them there, which is a talent that cannot be taught. Their sound is amazingly addictive and upon hearing the unreleased material a few times now, they are most definitely ones to look out for.
Headlining this first Breakout show were Attic Days. Alongside their terrifically talented vocalist Kirstie Maclean and the remarkable skills of bassist Murray Brown, the five-piece’s set saw a few familiar faces make a return to the stage. Guitarist Rory Bayne, who performed with Canongate, played another magnificent set. Drummer Alfie Smith also makes his return to stage, further showing off his talents behind the kit, adding to his set with Dazed & Confused. We also see their other guitarist Ruariadh Rattray play his second spectacular set of the night too after also playing a set with Dazed & Confused.
Bayne and Rattray shared the role of guitar solos, often switching this responsibility with each song. However each time a solo appeared, neither of them disappointed, giving the entirety of Bannerman’s more to watch and take in. Maclean’s phenomenal voice made each word within their tunes stand out and make more an impact. Brown and Smith created the musical foundations for each track, seamlessly bringing together and transitioning between various elements regardless of the tempo or speed.
Included in their carefully constructed setlist was latest singles ‘Happy Sad‘ and ‘Trying To Please‘ which are both uplifting tales of various emotions within a relationship of any kind. They also played their 2022 debut single ‘After You‘ as well as various currently unreleased songs.
Attic Days create the most infectious indie anthems and watching them being brought to life is always mesmerising. Mastering the ability to make such addicting tunes has proven so undeniably useful for them. With so much talent both independently and as a collective group, it won’t be long before Attic Days are headlining more shows, and eventually tours of their own.