Ballboy, Barichello, Nero
The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
Sunday 13th November

Supreme confidence and originality are always a good mix and in Nero's case its all the more impressive given that they look like they're still at school. The front man in particular cavorts with the belief of a veteran of the stadium circuit, wiggling his ass and breaking in to comedic operatic voice when ever the mood takes. The songs, largely in a punk pop style, are stuffed with the band's own sense of humour. They round off their set, for example, with a song containing more monkey noises than intelligible lyrics.
Barichello, although having decidedly more gravitas than Nero (which isn't hard), aren't half as entertaining. The front man is in the earnest but laddish singer songwriter mould, and the band support his outpourings in a laid back fashion, occasionally working up a reggae or Latin inspired groove.
Whatever one's feelings about Ballboy's music you can't deny that they squeeze every last advantage from their particular aesthetic. Thumping technoesque drums and swirling synth sounds provide a meaty backing over which Gordon MacIntyre passionately delivers his tales of urban dreamers. Problem is though, it takes more than hard work and musicianship to be a good band. Gordon's dreams of being Elvis or going to the moon display clichéd imaginative impulses. And what's worse, with the thumping drums and rubble like qualities of the melodies, Ballboy sound like celtic rock. Enough said.

Rick Lyons