Salvation by Stories, Nikita, Loki, Tues 2nd November, The Tron

'Dundee - so little to answer for'. That could replace 'City of Discovery', at least musically. Even the city's rare successes - The Associates, or Danny Wilson - are pop mavericks; hardly traditional chart material. Yes, Dundonian bands seem to plough a resolutely uncommercial furrow. And last night's acts looked like they may keep this tradition going.

Loki appeared young and fresh-faced. They were also missing a guitarist, so we not have seen them at their best. However, despite the slightly shambolic opening number, 'Hide's hint of Yo La Tengo certainly showed promise for the future. Guitar instrumentals - wait, come back! - in a style more of the Durutti Column than Mogwai also figured largely in their set. They closed with a possibly ill-advised of a Magnetic North Pole cover, but this showed they're not afraid to try something different.

All three bands were slow starters, and Nikita's material certainly got stronger as their set progressed despite some technical hitches. 'Airport' made for a jangly start while 'Honest' showed they have an ear for a hook. Treading a line between pop and alternative, they sounded at times like the missing link between Wire and Blur.
Salvation by Stories brought a fair-sized entourage who must all have been fans of punk rock, as the headliners' blend of Buzzcocky rhythms and Minutemen ideas went down a storm. Unfortunately technical difficulties plagued their set, though they didn't help matters by using 4 guitarists which gave a sound too dirty for the confines of this small venue. The band, perhaps buoyed by 'their' audience, carried on regardless - if confidence was enough to get an act discovered Salvation by Stories would be there tomorrow. But last night we saw there's enough potential in the sound of Dundee to float the pubic's boat.

this review originally appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News