French Wives, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Tue 28 Feb (3 stars)

French Wives, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Tue 28 Feb

Successful performance from band on the cusp of greatness

‘We’re kind of shitting it’, French Wives frontman Stuart Dougan declares with a semi self-conscious shrug, a statement referencing the thirty gigs his band will embark on over the next month (including a stint at SXSW) and succeeding ‘two great bands’.

On the latter I can kind of see why; the finest support bill I’ve seen for some time combines Glasgow’s Galleries and the eagerly hyped Bwani Junction, playing a milestone ‘100th gig’. An instrumental synergy, enveloping guitar melodies and vocal harmonies prove the ‘seventy hours’ they’ve spent on stage have been put to good use.

Opening with an intentionally slow and strikingly beautiful ballad, French Wives’ bewitching boy/girl vocal and slinking violin prick up all ears in the reserved though appreciative crowd. There’s a promising showcase of new material from their debut album The Dream in Between, on the cusp of release this May, which includes the rhythmically brilliant ‘Back Breaker’. Last year’s anthemic ‘Numbers’ and the enchanting, half-melancholic ‘Halloween’ are also standout crowd pleasers, however if there’s something to get really excited about it’s the brilliantly uplifting new single ‘Younger’. Purveyors of this kind of feelgood indie needn’t worry - they’ll do well on a far bigger stage than this.

French Wives - Younger

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