Café Royal, West Register Street, Edinburgh
Monday 17th September
Hitherto frustrated, it is only during
their finale that Draw's guitarist's nu-metal leanings are fully
realised and so produce the band's best moment. Hunched over
his low slung guitar, he runs a mock with processed distortion,
forcing the vocalist in to a head nodding supporting role.
Second up RanMcSherry have the look of unglamorous, but hard working musicians, diligently treading the pub circuit. Unfortunately, this impression is borne out by their set. Predictable and formulaic, harmonies come in on cue for the chorus and there is at least one soulless guitar solo per song.
Proceedings are dramatically transformed when the headline act take the stage. Suddenly the sound quality seems to improve a thousand fold and there is a definite sense of being in the presence of a real band.
Grand Drive are indisputably a class act. Even if you are not a fan of country and all its alt. guises, there is no denying the craftsmanship and competency evident in this performance. Rising and falling with effortless sophistication, each number is a wonderful coming together of multiple musical parts. Harmonies feature strongly, but it is the instrumental sections which really stand out. In these moments, a harmonica and a melodica make cameo appearances, riding the melancholy country waves emanating from the guitar, organ and drum foundations.
Right down to their repartee, the headliners are a cut above and it is the London accents audible between songs that reveal just how far they have come. One suspects they will go further yet.