Imperial Racing Club,

La Belle Angelle, 16th November

This must be how all the greats started out, you know - no, not playing in dodgy venues to 2 men and a dog. In fact, La Belle Angelle, quite classy as dives go, had quite a few punters here to see Imperial Racing Club's last gig of the year. But when you think of all the big names - Nirvana before they burned out, the Manics before they went soft... even The Who, though they didn't know it at the time. Playing PUNK ROCK, pure and simple.
So the Racing Club started off with something of a declaration of intent as the band emerged from behind a squealing wall of feedback. 4 microphones, one for each member, suggested an emphasis on choruses, and one suspects that they don't share drums with the other bands on the bill simply because their kit gets the daylights leathered out of it.
And what we got was indeed very old school British punk: a pogoing singer, melodies remeniscent of the Clash; indeed the only concession to American stylings were the false endings which owed a debt to the likes of Jawbreaker. But mostly it was nods to SLF or the Partisans, despite the fact that they're probably too young to recall those halcyon days of music in this country. The band claimed to have written new songs but apart from Good Life the set mainly comprised tracks from their album. Indeed they closed with Big Day Out, their debut single from 5 years ago, which dated them more than their influences could, and in its mix of raw energy and sheer excitement probably summed them up. Better catch them before they get old, or fade away.

 an amended version of this review originally appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News