Carbs – Teviot, Edinburgh, Fri 29 Nov 2013
Humorous, nostalgic beats-and-rhymes from Jonnie Common and Conquering Animal Sound’s Jamie Scott
Tonight’s gig (a support slot for Edinburgh indie guitar poppers Book Group as they launch their double-A side ‘Victory Lap’ / ‘The Lowdown of a Loud Sound’) is only the second outing for Carbs, but their constituent members’ prior onstage experience translates into a largely easy and affable demeanor onstage. Jonnie Common is perhaps the less forthcoming of the two, his self-deprecating tone forming a perfect counterpoint to the hip hop bragadoccio of Jamie Scott (aka The Japanese War Effort and one half of Conquering Animal Sound) who, thanks to a Movember-and-spectacles combo, bears an uncanny resemblance to Mike from Spaced.
A third partner (who, in keeping with Jonnie and Jamie’s alliteration, is referred to as Jay) is in charge of conjuring alt.electronica beats and bleeps from a laptop while the two MCs bat lyrics back and forth – think Beastie Boys if they were signed to Anticon. Lyrically, it’s all very retrocentric – Mr Whippy and Margaret Thatcher are namechecked to evoke memories of the 1980s, there’s a shout out to ‘pre-millenium Channel 4’ and its special significance to teenage boys, and there’s even a brief between-songs debate about the merits of FIFA 95 versus FIFA 98. Anyone not overcome by the pair’s buoyant and infectious delight in nostalgic pleasures is left to revel in the flashes of brilliant wordplay – ‘Sipping cappuccino in my Kappa and my chinos’ is a particular highlight.