The journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh, while relatively short, was indeed long enough to allow for some deep thought. Thoughts which involved recalling the many gigs I’ve recently attended and how nearly all of them were local. As a result, when asked to photograph this gig, I thought it would be well to broaden my horizons.
The venue was located down a cobbled alley filled with bustling bars and clubs; Hive, the venue in question, hadn’t opened when I arrived, which allowed me to take in the differences in the choice of venues compared to my home city, every corner had a bar or venue with some form of music playing. Whereas with Glasgow, it really can feel like everything is so spaced out.
Hive, for a first impression, seemed like a cracking place for a gig as its almost bunker design allowed for close proximity to the bands and great sound.
First up was Simon Howard, a solo acoustic act with the heart of a full band. Howard is currently based in Liverpool and usually gigs around the surrounding cities. Although it was his first gig in Scotland, it seemed to be an enjoyable affair for Howard and the crowd, performing a mix of his songs, including “Trojan Horse.” An anthem which can undoubtedly warm up a crowd. Howard’s live act consisted of a foot-stomping bass pedal and intricate guitar playing, complementing the lyrics beautifully. In addition, Howard’s sound gives the emotional pull of Gerry Cinnamon and the intense instrumental factor of Milky Chance.
The evening’s second act was Chrdbl, the room got quieter, and everyone got closer to the stage in anticipation. However, from the start, it was clear this was a different set from the last. The music was louder, faster and more distorted. From groovy bass lines to hard-hitting guitar riffs that filled the room. The concoction of smashing symbols, Chrdbl’s ( Chris Double ) raspy vocals and a strobe light effect near the end unleashed almost rave-like energy to the set.
The penultimate act was CrashKid, an Indie/Rock group now performing as a five-piece. The set started with a body-moving groove aided by the musical tightness of the group. It felt as if you were in a large venue. The sound of the band was grand and a genuinely good listen. Each song that passed got louder and more in your face. The guitar solos became more impressive, and the crowd’s excitement became all the more noticeable. Although the band has separate entities, the whole band comes together for each song to create a brilliant sound collaboration; that being said, there is still enough of each instrument to hear every member’s input. As a result, the gut-wrenching, raspy lead vocals, the pairing of electric keys and bass, ground-shaking drums and fantastic guitar riffs shine through.
The band has a natural aura, and I hope to see them again.
Finally, it’s the turn of headliners, Petty Cassettes, a rock band by all essence of the word though with a punk band’s attitude. I enjoyed the set, filled with soul-filling drum beats, hypnotic bass, and guitar riffs, with each song having unique quirks and features.
Rydo and Julianne and The Call were two songs I enjoyed from the set. The former providing an emotional anchor to the set, which I felt was an excellent contrast to the more upbeat songs of the night. The latter song I mentioned, “The Call.” really reminded me of an old clash song that is similarly named and gave a nostalgic feel to the performance.