Review: Mother Vulture – Bannermans, Edinburgh

On their Facebook page, Bristolians Mother Vulture describes themselves as “Hectic Blues Punk with a live show so chaotic it will leave you with horrific injuries.” Five minutes into their debut Scottish show and Mother Vulture guitarist Brodie Maguire is obviously gearing up to launch himself from the small stage in Bannermans. As soon as he does, it’s almost like one is doing The Time Warp and takes a jump to the left as the head of Maguire’s Gretsch guitar (still attached to the smartly-dressed guitarist) comes hurtling towards those of us daft enough to stand at the front of the stage. The guy next to me is lost in the music and not watching Maguire. He reacts too late and ends up on the floor next to Macguire who is spinning around like vintage Angus Young after one-too-many boxes of blue Smarties. Ladies and gentlemen of Edinburgh, welcome to the wild ride that is Mother Vulture, strap yourselves in and keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times…management is not responsible for any injuries.

The vibe surrounding Mother Vulture is refreshingly free of hype, instead, it’s mates telling each other about this incredible new band that they have stumbled across (on this occasion, catching the band opening for Orange Goblin at The Yard in Truro, Cornwall), good old-fashioned word-of-mouth working its magic once again. Classic Rock Magazine is onboard, adding the youngsters to their ‘Summer of Rock’ feature, they highlight the upcoming appearance at this Summer’s Steelhouse Festival by boldly stating: “Steelhouse may pack bigger names (Frehley, Schenker et all) but Mother Vulture are the ones to watch”.

Alongside Brodie Maguire, the remainder of Mother Vulture lines up as; vocalist Georgi Valentine, Matt West behind the kit, and bassist Chris Simpson who pisses on the long-held assumption that the bassist is the quiet, studious one in the band – shyeah, right. As If. Comparisons are pretty damn hard to make as Mother Vulture offers up so much variety, and in Georgi Valentine, they have a vocalist with an incredible range that runs the full gamut from soft, soulful vocals to harsh growls and screams (check out the incendiary ‘The Wave’ and marvel at Valentine’s harsh vocals). Acts such as Faith No More and Fishbone would be a great starting point – especially on the new single ‘Honey’ which is a total rager in the studio, but a whirling ball of fury when the band unleashes it live – not so similar in terms of music, but more for the freshness that Faith No More brought to a Rock scene that was looking bloated and in need of a shot of adrenalin, and the punky, danceable anything-goes nature of Fishbone. When Matt West launches into ‘Habits Die Hard’, there is a vibrant, punk-meets-garage-rock feel, similar to what made Dr. Feelgood one of the most quietly influential British bands of the 70s and early 80s…except Mother Vulture play at 100mph with the brake lines cut. ‘Rabbit Hole’ flies past in the blink of an eye, and Valentine’s higher vocals excel, especially since he is refusing to stand still as he performs. Mike Patton flashbacks? Yeah. Having that. That same sense of “this guy could go off like a rocket anytime.”. And he does indeed go off like a rocket. Many times in fact. So much energy comes off the small stage that in a boardroom somewhere, there is a bunch of suits trying to figure out how to harness said energy and make a small fortune in doing so.

Mother Vulture

All the energy in the world would mean nothing if Mother Vulture didn’t have the material to back it up; but they do, in abundance. And on tonight’s evidence, the good folks at Classic Rock might just be on to something. File under “What the hell did I just witness?”

Connect with Mother Vulture, here.

Review – Dave

All live images – Rob Wilkins, The Yard, Cornwall 2021

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