Upon walking into the venue tonight, two things became instantly clear. Firstly… I am getting old. From the moment I was inside, I found myself surrounded by either hyper young teens or nervous looking parents who huddled around each other in packs at the back of the room. Secondly… There were a lot of Mindless Self Indulgence fans in the room judging from the t-shirts on show. The second point makes sense seeing as they were headlining the show, however this always worries me slightly with younger audiences because it’s never clear on whether they will welcome the support bands or if they are only there for their musical heroes! We would soon find out…
English synth-punk band, The Dead Betas, were up first on the bill. Brand new name to me, but I have a lot of respect for the amount of energy they threw at a crowd, who apart from a select few adolescents up at the front bouncing along, no one was doing much more than semi-politely nodding along. They played a pretty short set, but the band appeared to appreciate the crowd and enjoy themselves so all was not lost.
Next up were Australia’s The Red Paintings, who are a band I had been intrigued to see for a while now. Describing themselves as ‘Orchestral Art Rock’ and dressing in a way which is almost visually overwhelming and completely bizarre… I had to hear for myself what their music had to offer. Not surprisingly the tracks were as odd as the costumes and semi-naked bodies we were treated to on stage; but odd in a completely original and interesting way.
The Red Paintings are clearly a band who strive to be a little bit different and they certainly achieve then and even more importantly… it’s working for them. Opening with Wasps, a single from their latest album ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’, they immediately had the crowds attention. There were a couple of sound issues during this first song, but thankfully the issues were quickly sorted. The band were short for space due to the sheer amount of them, when you include the on stage painters who come as part of the package, however this didn’t stop them putting on a fantastic show.
There is no denying vocalist Trash McSweeney has a beautiful tone to his voice, which even during his harsher vocals comes across clearly and with effortless charm. He won across the few remaining members of the crowd who were still a little unsure of what they were witnessing when he gushed about how much he loved Edinburgh as a city, before breaking into a cover of Mad World. This soon had everyone singing along and the applause they received afterwards showed they had certainly made an impression on the Scottish crowd. Due to another short set, there was only time for a couple more tracks before The Red Paintings finished up to make way for the headliners of the night. Finishing with the title track of their new album, it is safe to say these guys achieved what they came to do. I would advise anyone who comes across The Red Paintings to go in with an open mind, you might be surprised at how much you like what they do! If nothing else, they certainly are one of a kind.
Headline act Mindless Self Indulgence have been a bit of a hit or a miss band for me upon past experiences of seeing them live. The first time I saw them, they were incredible, whereas the next time, it was like a completely different band… and not for good reasons.
Hoping two out of three of the experiences were going to be good ones, I was quietly confident about their set tonight. They kicked things off with Witness, the opening track from the new album, ‘How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence’. At this point, the Liquid Rooms exploded into a frenzy of dancing children while the parents shrank further and further into the background, failing to hide their disapproval of the language and onstage antics in front of their little angels. Next track, probably their most famous to date, Shut Me Up, only intensifying the crazy dancing going on and from this point on, the crowd did not stop moving.
Their electronic punk style may not be for everyone, but for the crowd in attendance tonight… they were loving it. Playing a set packed with all their biggest hits such as, Never Wanted To Dance, Evening Wear and Bitches they blasted their way into the night finishing with an encore of Straight To Video before calling it a night due to the annoyingly early curfew of the Liquid Rooms.