Live review: Kitty The Lion, Bear Bones at Stereo, 20/10/11

This comes as a little blast from the past having not seen Kitty The Lion in a good couple of years. When I messaged the band regarding covering the show Anna (Meldrum) had thought I might have forgotten her but no such luck.

 

Anyway, here was hoping they pull off the delightful set that I remember from just after they first formed.

First up is Bella Spinks, who although isn’t Scottish and thus doesn’t fit with what the site covers, I felt her set too much of a charm to not mention.

Chirpy piano lines, at times exaggerated cheeky vocal styling and a quirky pop style puts you in mind of Regina Spektor.

But don’t let the comparison be the be all and end all, Spinks, who had taken a plane for the first time today, mixes amusing and sombre tracks, bringing an assured beautiful vocal performance and provides a wonderful start to the evening for a sadly still sparse crowd.

The crowd is starting to build as Edinburgh’s Chasing Owls take the stage and immediately apologise for where they come from.

These guys lift the energy brilliantly as pounding drums, twinkling keys combine and blatantly Scottish vocals combining to create their own brand of folk rock.

There’s a touch of humour about Bear Bones as frontman Ben Harrison dramatically states that they’ll “start with something miserable”.

Contrastingly they bring an uplifting set which sets toes tapping and has many singing along by the end.

The nine-piece band combine beautifully as four way vocals leave the crowd gobsmacked, but for every moment of bliss there is another moment where it all seems a bit bare, musicians with arms crossed while two or three tackles parts themselves seems a bit wrong.

That is not to say the stripped down moments aren’t good, in fact some of these moments are touching enough to draw a tear.

Bear Bones hit that folk pop chord which draws comparisons with many of the artists up at Fence and Harrison’s comfort on stage is impressive as he to revels in the spotlight joking about the band’s fans: “they all have Twitter and they’re all bitches!”

Kitty The Lion headline tonight, I recall seeing Anna in her first full band headline show in a delightful affair at Brel a good few years ago, and not a huge amount has changed in terms of that darling pop charm that I so vividly recall.

Meldrum’s fringe may have disappeared but aside that it’s only got better, the band seem a more confident unit, chat comes from all over, old tracks put a smile on your face as much as the new.

Kitty The Lion seem to have evolved from an endearing singer-songwriter to full all encapsulating pop delight.

Photos: Emily Wylde

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