ALTERED SKY / THREE LONG WORDS / AUTUMN IN DISGUISE / A DAY OVERDUE @ THE STORE 15/02/2011

Following a failed attempt to see AlteredSky when they had to cancel some gigs due to illness we set off for Edinburgh keen to catch up with the band on February 15th. Generate Radio had given away two tickets in a competition during February’s ‘Wind Up The Month’ and we were due to meet the winners and band during the sound check at The Store in Guthrie Street. As we approached Edinburgh the winner phoned to say that he hadn’t been able to arrange transport – the band were great about this and offered to arrange for him to meet them on their Saturday gig at The Electric Circus.

Following the sound check and a trip to MacDonalds it was soon time for the doors to open at 7pm. I counted around 60 in attendance when the first band started at 7:30. Three Long Words delivered a creditable and inspiring performance. I wish them well and look forward to hearing how they get on at the regional final of ‘Live & Unsigned’ at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange on 19th March. Their set consisted of six songs: ‘Human Condition’, ‘To Get Rich Is Glorious’, ‘Ignorance’ – Paramore cover, a world premier of ‘Living To Forget’, their single ‘Cold Shoulder’, and finally Pendulum’s ‘Propane Nightmares’. I really like their sound with keyboards adding an interesting depth, they compared favourably with a number of the new finds that I have played / plan to play on WUTM and I will certainly be including them in future – and not just because they gave us a CD!!

Soon it was the moment that I had been anticipating – I have to say that Amy’s drum solo to start was a brilliant touch, with the others joining her on stage one by one. The first track really was ‘Picture Perfect’ as I began to capture the band’s stage performance. The next two tracks were ones that I hadn’t heard before, ‘Sapphire Eyes’ and ‘This World’.

I have to say that their energetic performance created a few problems for my camera as they moved about the stage so much – clearly enjoying themselves. Ana, the ‘gun weilding bunny’ (see Trisickle review of single), was a marvel to see in action as she worked the audience. I’ve mentioned my like of these intimate venues before, AlteredSky were certainly in their element in close proximity to the audience. Next track was the early ‘Memory’s Skyscraper’, followed by another one that was new to me, ‘I Know, You Know’. The finale was current single ‘Apple Tree’ – having listened to this a lot recently – it’s one one very few tracks that I’ve played more than once on air – seeing and hearing Amy’s powerful drumming live was indeed a pleasure. Having said that should in no way suggest that the others were less impressive it’s just that I’m a bit of a sucker for strong driving drums. Ross’s six string bass added real depth to the rhythm section with Neil and Rich’s guitars providing more texture and energy – all topped off with Ana’s crisp and clear vocals. The six string bass reminded me of one of the lessons in the old S2 Design & Technology course which involved a DVD detailing the design and manufacture of a custom made six string bass for session musician Yolanda, I used to really enjoy that part of the course. The signed set list that they kindly provided will take pride of place on the studio wall – thanks guys.

The next band on stage were Autumn In Disguise, they took the evening into different territory with their much heavier style – I did a bit of a double take when I realised that the first number did sound familiar, it was a version of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ – I’ve certainly never heard it done like that before – and it worked! The band obviously had a strong following in the audience and a ‘mini mosh pit’ appeared in front of the stage. At one point I noticed that one of the other photographers seemed more intent on filming this instead of the band!

Like Autumn In Disguise, the headline act A Day Overdue, hailed from Aberdeen and this was the final evening in their tour. Similar in style, they did however, demonstrate a bit more variety in their act, including another genre crossing cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Amazing’. Maybe it’s my age, but I did get a bit confused when one of their songs was introduced as follows: “hands up who likes the Twilight films – hands down, this song isn’t about them!” – perhaps I missed something. Once the set was finished the end of tour party atmosphere continued as Autumn In Disguise and A Day Overdue got together with their fans for numerous photos. Such close interaction between bands and their fans is what makes venues such as The Store so good.

After the gig we were asked if Generate Radio was looking for any volunteers – we quickly ‘jumped’ on this offer and traded contacts to be followed up next day. After thanking AlteredSky for their help and hospitality we headed back south over Soutra Hill into the sleepy Borders – no chance of sleep in the car when I treated Kyle and Oscar to a demonstration of my car’s stereo with an almost full volume play of Saint Saviour’s magnificent ‘Birdsong’!

With a trip to see Saint Saviour already ‘in the bag’ February is going to continue to be a busy month for me as I’m about to catch a bus to London for the launch of Kenelis’ single ‘Jealous’ at IndigO2 on Friday! Wonder if I can squeeze anything else in?

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