Aberdeen “booze rock titans” Deadfire were kicking off the show, one of two fresh new faces to us. Erin from EBB had positive things to say about them beforehand, and damn she was right.
The vocalist Charlie was imposing both in physical stature and stage presence, with a heavyweight brawn behind his voice all the way, and at one point, he unleashed his inner King Kong and climbed up the speaker, proving to be a master of balance.
The reminder of the quartet formed some pure rocking rhythms with an addictive sense of energy to them. Jonny, who didn’t want us to stare directly at him, was great on the guitar, the tweed-dropping Boothy belted out these thick resounding bass chords, and the drumming from Tunk added an extra pulse.
There was little time mucking about, and they kept that fiery flow on the go throughout. A rally of headbanging initiated behind us, and as time passed, the front barrier filled with more folk, drawn in by the beauty of what was unfolding.
The crowd fun, the band had fun, and we had fun, it was kick-arse stuff. Who needs an expensive candlelit dinner on Valentine’s Day when you have Deadfire, who were worth the admission fee alone.
Now for a breather courtesy of Laurie Talbot-Heigh, an act that we were familiar with, having seen him in this very venue mere months before, and now he was flying solo acoustically this turn around.
There was a definite improvement in some areas since then, with Laurie again proving to be a fine guitarist and a decent writer, but most notably, he displayed a sharp versatility in his vocals. The only real issue is that his confidence was visibly a little shaky, as he was certainly a little tense and he looked a bit distracted by others in the venue.
But honestly, the problems were more those on stage as opposed to this actual performing. He’s a capable guy with plenty of potential to unlock, he’s still young yet and we do believe he could go far if able to iron out the faults.
If anything, he managed to lead the people on an Iron Man acapella, and that was a cool moment.
It had been 4 years since we were introduced to Erin Bennett, being given the chance to review her then-new album ReFlowered, which was eventually named our favourite solo record of 2015, and in 2018, she made another significant impact under the reformed guise of EBB with Post Sexy Post Truth.
Obviously we’ve been big fans of her, but in all that time, we unfortunately never had the opportunity to see her and the group live in person. Until now.
Erin – when not choking on her own hair – was a sensational frontwoman as predicted, with such a fierce intensity behind her singing, her riffage and her style in general. She was backed up by the fabulously charismatic pairing of Suna and Kitty. Finn whipped out some slick bass chords, and we got a mixture of fancy keys and synths from Nikki and battering beats from Anna.
We got a kick out of such memorable favourites like Under, Twofolds The Pain and Hecate, and we made a connection with the emotionally-pulling Suicide.
One third ravishing, one third theatrical and one third dynamic, making for what was on the whole an entertaining set from the unified entourage. This was years in the making, and totally worth it.
And now for the Stirling headliners, The Cobalts, who we were completely unfamiliar to us beforehand, and they had brought a sizable amount of people along for this night.
The boys gave us a collection of nice, catchy indie rock numbers highlighted by an often chipper pace and satisfying choruses, backed up by their performances consisting of polished harmonies, neat riffs and a solid rhythm section. Folk swayed along to the melodies, and a couple of mixed dancing/drinking sessions were going on beside us too.
While not quite hitting the same level as EBB before them, they still put in a clearly considerable effort. It was not too shabby at all, and made for a good way to wrap up the show. As with Laurie, these are young guys with potentially bright futures if able to step up their games.