Before getting to the names that we had an awareness of, there were a pair of newcomers for us to discover. First was the Edinburgh pop duo of Chuchoter, and they made an impression swiftly with a line of bouncy, infectiously melodic songs.
Emily had plenty of poise and her voice was just spilling with a biting attitude that helped to give the material that extra touch of personality. Meanwhile, the permanently smiling Owen provided the spiffing electronics via the synths and laptop, which included some catchy as hell beats and a few tasty bass drops scattered here and there.
In particular, their new track and Pieces were freaking sweet, and also contained some enjoyably poignant lyrics. The fast-filling (anti-Deezer) crowd responded with woo’s and a surge of dancing.
Both loose and evidently having fun in the process, the two turned in a pleasing performance that got the night rolling in juicy fashion.
Bubbatrees is a name that has cropped up a tonne in our feeds lately, and they’ve definitely been gaining their fair share of traction.
Andy, in addition to having the loudest possible shirt on, was a good vocalist and a really fluent guitarist, Kyle was slick on the bass, and Martin’s drumming was superbly tight. Their tunes were driven by compelling rhythms that were a mix of being smooth and sleek – a quality elevated by the keys – yet also generating an energy with a punch of excitement to it.
The now densely jam-packed audience were sucked in and bobbing their heads along every chance they got, and the boys definitely sparked a shot of life into the room when they played their latest single, the almighty Dog In Heat, resulting in a lot of movement and stamping that had the floor shaking around us.
The trio did an excellent job, and in doing so taking the buzz levels of the night up a few notches.
Of all the acts featured in the festival, there were none that we were more excited for than Crystal, being naturally big fans of them, plus it had been nearly 2 years since we last saw the group at a show.
They came on to chants of their name before bursting out the gates with the pairing of Heaven and Sugar Sweet, both featuring intoxicating hooks, and the latter sparking a sudden mosh.
Anna is among the elite when it comes to frontwomen in the Scottish scene, with such a striking voice that blended sparkly glamour with a ruthless aggression, and she displayed an immense amount of confidence and an unbelievable display of charisma, on and (subsequently) off the stage. We even overheard from behind us “she’s so cute”, so obviously she was making some kind of mark.
Blair handled the banter and busted out with bucket loads of cool riffs, the underrated Lizzie got a chance to shine with gleaming harmonies and charging basslines, and the eventually topless Aidan was a mental and forcible drummer.
Take A Drop (which we were secretly hoping would make the setlist) went down a storm, getting bodies bouncing everywhere and an ensemble of singing along, and Sex Rich ignited the most bonkers climax ever with everybody losing their minds, screaming the lyrics and flying around the place.
We’re going to throw the little professional integrity we have out the window for a moment to say that this was plain f***ing awesome. The quartet brought their A-games and gave what was an easy choice for best set of the entire NYR series, perhaps even the best of the year so far in general.
An immense, flawless performance that garnered the most blistering of reactions and proved that Crystal deserve to move on to bigger things, and it’d take a hell of a case to argue against that.
And last but certainly not least, the main event – the swiftly rising Walt Disco. We initially had some reservations about whether they would have been able to follow what just transpired with Crystal, but luckily those fears were shattered in no time flat.
Equipped with deep and distinctive vocals, James is one of the most interesting frontmen in the whole country. He has this oddball, yet captivating theatrical character to him that was only amplified by his weird, flexible movements, and it was this flamboyance emanating from them that made for one reason to have us totally drawn in for the whole ride.
Carrying their new-wave songs were these springing rhythms that were engaging and also unpredictable, constantly shifting tones on a dime, and these were formed from amazing addictive synths, flashy guitar work, pumping bass chords and zippy drumming.
Some of the most memorable picks included My Pop Sensibilities, Cut Your Hair and the absolutely blinding Velvet Bed, with some sexy sax thrown in for measure, and Anna from Crystal returned to help cap their run off in glorious fashion.
A colourful and dynamic display which cemented the hype preceding Walt Disco, while concluding a night that confirmed just how bright the future of Scottish music is.