“A natural ability when it comes to live performing and artistry.”
On August 2nd, Harry Miles Watson brought his Safe + Legal Driving Tour to a close in the iconic Sneaky Pete’s venue in Edinburgh. This was also a Central Belters show, which is a concept that involved the memorable venue in the capital, as well as Glasgow’s Broadcast. This consisted of a month of music between the two cities showcasing an array of musical talents.
Along with his accompanying band, The Union, Harry also included two very talented support acts: King Prawn, and Bootlace.
This gig included a debut from Edinburgh based King Prawn. In their first ever performance, they worked through minor technical/musical issues. However, their maturity in approaching these issues was something to admire. This could have caused even some of the biggest names in music to become flustered, maybe even much less motivated to complete the show. The resilience in overcoming these small difficulties resulted in a very successful debut slot, and one they should be very proud of.
King Prawn demonstrated their professionalism throughout playing their setlist of original tunes. This included one track called ‘An Ode to Stramash‘, which went down a treat, even though it wasn’t played in the award winning venue. Incorporating the violin heavily throughout the performance was also really refreshing, we don’t often see modern bands or artists incorporating different sounds like this. Their ability to keep the crowd engaged and interested in their set helped give them the opportunity to showcase each individual talent, and ultimately the cohesion within the group.
The Edinburgh based five-piece were next to take to the stage, and they were incredible from the first note. While having roots in Dundee and Stonehaven, the indie-rock group are based in Edinburgh. This also technically made this the second hometown show on the lineup. Within their setlist, which consisted of all original tracks, BOOTlace utilised this set to boast their writing and musical talents. This involved powerful and impressive vocals from singer and guitarist Joseph Hamilton Young. Accompanying Young were Benjamin Thom, Robert Tingle, Archie Lochhead, and Austen Brunton. Each of them are very talented behind their respective instruments, which made them work immensely well together.
Young’s voice was full of emotion and passion, which beautifully brought each of their songs to life. The group gave electrifying renditions of songs from their second EP “Basement Ball“, a four-track production released late July of this year. This included single ‘Back to Back with Angus‘ which has been given recognition by BBC Music Introducing by being played on Radio Scotland. BOOTlace are a band that are destined for more great successes, this live set is just one factor that proves it. Their sound was very professional and roped the whole of Sneaky Pete’s into a musical trance.
Harry Miles Watson & The Union
Harry Miles Watson is Edinburgh based, like the two support bands. Their music is said to be “erratic folk rock with a punk energy” and this description seems to perfectly summarise the show. When you think of the term “erratic” you’d probably think of other connotations like unorganised, messy, and noise. This show, however, proves those words wrong. While this description is fitting in summing up the music of Harry Miles Watson and The Union, the setlist was very well thought through. It allowed the personality and story of each song to shine through, also allowing the talents of each person on stage to be showcased.
From the first note, it felt like being transported into a soundtrack. The energy filled playing along with almost taboo and tongue-in-cheek words gave a comical, yet well constructed performance. One of the included tracks was ‘I’m Still Straight‘ which encompasses the erratic, taboo, yet well constructed description previously given. The jazz sound and talkative lyrics were well mixed and made for an intriguing watch. They carried on promoting their various talents in a live rendition of fan-favourite ‘Something or Nothing‘. This involved amazing audience interaction and participation through vocalisations within the track.
Alongside their original material, the group performed a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Proud Mary‘, made famous by the late Tina Turner. This saw the band perform a modern shouty vocal twist while keeping the 1969 track musically similar. It takes impressive talent to create an original version of a music classic without butchering it, and with his band, Harry Miles Watson did just that!
Harry Miles Watson has a natural ability when it comes to live performing and artistry, and this extends to being able to keep a packed out room engaged. From the moment they took to the stage, Harry Miles Watson and The Union gave a show to remember.