Pleasance Sessions: The List Magazine Presents ...
Two Wings, Ubre Blanca and Prehistoric Friends showed refreshing variety of musical talent
Over the past week the inaugural Pleasance Sessions mini-festival has been doing a great job of representing Scotland’s alternative music scene with a bunch of cannily-curated gigs whose reasoning has seemed to be more ‘who’s best?’ than ‘who’s available?’ Last night it was The List’s turn to get involved, and the roster of those involved was as refreshing for the variety on display as much as it was the solid quality of those chosen. From Glasgow came Two Wings, held aloft by the old-school folk-rock dimensions of guitarist Ben Reynolds’ (formerly of Trembling Bells) playing and the sublime but craftedly unconventional vocals of Hanna Tuulikki.
Also from the West Coast are mighty two-man electronic adventurers Ubre Blanca, whose set is an instrumental odyssey through the sounds and styles of classic digital pioneers like Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter and Giorgio Moroder. Amidst the heads-down churn of their music, all brilliantly moody and evocative of dystopian disco parties, Andy Brown’s drums are an insistent clatter beneath the electronics, as just-audible as the Remember Remember and sometime Divorce drummer’s unmiked voice as he shouts thanks between songs. By contrast, guitarist Joel Stone’s playing is completely subsumed, but his flailing dance moves and programming skills helped carry the set.
Finally – and not forgetting the TYCI DJs playing the interval music - headliners Prehistoric Friends were a light but irresistible combination of warm synthesised rhythms, perky indie-pop urgency and keening violin strings, a capable replacement standing in for usual player Nichola Kerr (she’s on holiday, apparently). With Admiral Fallow’s Joe Rattray and Julian Corrie aka Miaoux Miaoux also amidst the backing group, singer and songwriter Liam Chapman unleashed his delicate, piercing voice on songs like ‘Hallucinations’ (about being scared in his parents’ country house while cat-sitting, a subject matter which can only be described as twee), the vaguely tropical ‘Gentle Giant’ and fan favourite previous single ‘Bermuda Triangle’.
Pleasance, Edinburgh, Thu 16 Oct.