Frank Black / Aereogramme, Edinburgh Liquid Room, 6th August

You can usually tell a lot about a gig just by looking at the audience. Not tonight, however. Sure, it's a sell-out, but whether they're 30-somethings revisiting their Pixies albums isn't clear. Aereogramme may have had this in mind - will they win over a crowd whose last purchase may well have been 'Trompe le Monde' - on vinyl? Well, it's clear that they will have made a few new friends on this showing: the crowd - swelled by tourists in town for the festival - are won over by their dynamic sound and a stage show which exudes 110% commitment. From the lilting 'Hatred' to the the full-on rock leanings of 'Zionist Timing', they are a band reeking of confidence, and well they might as album 'A Story in White' has the markings of a classic. 
So, having established that if the audience weren't Aereogramme fans, they are now, we can ask again, who have they really come to see? Frank Black or the Pixies? Maybe even the Catholics? Surprisingly the answer seems to be the latter. Obviously any Pixies material aired is met with approval, but the calls for 'Debaser' are few (and unanswered) while tunes from more recent solo albums such as 'Pistolero' are welcomed like returning heroes. Even the memories of the Pixies ex-members are erased, thanks in part to guitarist Rich Gilbert. Resplendent in red linen suit and green loafers, he takes guitar playing to a new art form, delivering Joey Santiago's guitar licks in such a deadpan way that the term "guitar anti-hero" requires to be coined. Something of a virtuoso, he also delivers slide guitar and keyboard, though the arrangements sometimes leave a lot to be desired - the crisp punchy sound that Aereogramme had seems to have become lost somewhere, and the full set - close to 2 hours - is starting to become an ordeal for the Pixies-spotters in the audience. However, they seem to be in the minority, and are temporarily sated by 'Monkey Gone to Heaven'. Most of the Black anoraks are happy to singalong to anything, be it a good if muffled 'All My Ghosts' - perhaps the best-known Catholics song - or the apt closer 'If It Takes All Night'. The rapturous reception means encores are inevitable, and, ever-unpredictable, we're transported further back into 80's student bedsits with a cover of 'Dirty Old Town'. 'Speedy Marie' and 'Where is My Mind' further win back the old-timers in the audience, but for the majority of tonight's crowd, the new Frank Black will do nicely.