Review: The Spangles – Bannermans, Edinburgh

Call Of The Wild Festival on the not-so-distant horizon, The Spangles are getting some shows under their belts. They opened for The Wildhearts earlier this month, and whilst on their way up to Aberdeen for a gig they thought bugger it, let’s stop off in Edinburgh for a night at Scotland’s favourite Rock bar: Bannermans. First of the two support acts are local band The Throwaways. The four piece play all original music and drink at the well of many flavours. A bit of punk, bit of indie, some rock n’ roll… something for everyone really. At times there was perhaps a subtle suggestion of a Buzzcocks influence? Lead guitarist Jamie is not afraid to use effects through his playing, and ends ‘Meatjaw’ on the floor at his board, coaxing some almighty noises out of it. The impression that I get from The Throwaways is that they like to mix things up on the night, and I imagine that if you caught them playing the same song twice it would sound different both times. Following on from The Throwaways are Geordie Alternative Rock band The Creep Void, who are actually playing their first gig in four years. Tonight’s set is loose; as vocalist Barry Appleton points out, they don’t have a set list so everything seems off the cuff. Musically there is a strong Nirvana and QOTSA vibe with The Creep Void. This is mainly through the stellar guitar work of Chris Hanna, especially on the stonking ‘Not For God’s Sake’. With a headline show at the O2 Academy in Newcastle only a few weeks away, it’s going to be a challenge for the band to get into shape for such an important gig. They have the material that’s for sure; there are some great moments on their studio output. Take Ben from The Main Grains and Ginna ex-The Main Grains, add Polly from The Idol Dead, give them a case of Strongbow and the end result is The Spangles. A band to put a smile on the face of even the most cynical of punters out there, a band to remind everyone exactly what music is supposed to sound like: fast, raw and loose. As infectious as the retro sweets that they take their name from, but not as sugary or as orange. What’s particularly pleasing about The Spangles is that they have put key players in different roles and made it work. Ben Marsden plays lead in The Main Grains: here he also sings lead vocals. Polly Phluid sings lead vocals in The Idol Dead: here he plays bass, as well as taking lead vocals on occasion. Even Ginna gets in on the act, taking lead vocals on the Weezer-on-steroids ‘Dirty Pictures’. The set flies past in the blink of an eye. No extended jams or songs dragging on, most are under the three minute mark with ‘One Good Reason’ barely reaching two minutes. The Spangles are a short, sharp shock to the system. A shot in the arm. They play with such enthusiasm and obvious joy that it’s impossible not to get swept up in the moment. Polly introduces ‘POTUS’ by dedicating it to Nigel Farage who was out canvassing in Edinburgh that day, and the reason that I couldn’t get a milkshake in McDs! The kind of full throttle protest song that young bands in the late ’70s early ’80s were knocking out in garages in response to the Thatcher era. Sadly there seems to be very little in the way of this these days; kids look to Ed Sheeran, Tom Walker and George Ezra for inspiration. Sad times indeed. With only one album recorded at the moment, the set is bolstered with some new material (‘Under The Weather’) and a cracking cover of ‘Have Love, Will Travel’, made famous by The Sonics in the ’60s. Ben jokes that once they have recorded their follow up album they’ll come back and play for longer “maybe an hour this time!”. Here’s hoping! The Spangles play the Badlands Stage at Call Of The Wild Festival on Saturday 25th May. Polly also plays the day before with The Idol Dead. Get yourself along and check out both bands, a good time is guaranteed. While you are there, pick up a CD from The Spangles. Like so many bands appearing over the weekend (Hands Off Gretel especially), they fell victim to the PledgeMusic debacle and are seriously out of pocket. Like the saying goes…”Life’s always sweeter with Spangles”. Full image gallery available here Review – Dave S Images – Dave Jamieson]]>

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