Summer Nights 2012 kicks off tonight, promising 60 of the best new artists and bands in Scotland over 14 consecutive nights.
Brazil Exists, a fun, youthful, poppy five-piece from Stirling (with a trumpet), are easy to compare with a number of local artists with their generic Scottish twang, and guitar-laden tracks.
However, lead singer Andy McAllister has a distinctive wail, not too dissimilar to an early Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit, that sets them apart from the likes of Twin Atlantic.
They sound a little nervous, not surprise given it is their first time playing this famous venue.
‘Harbour’ and ‘A-Okay’ are the strongest tracks in their set, with less guitar and drum thrashing, allowing McAllister’s vocal to shine.
Dundee-based Lost City Soul, a tight indie/pop band, and a world away from Brazil Exists in terms of suave-ness, take to the stage next.
The five-piece have this synth-guitar thing going on, and lead singer Alan Turner has a gritty, anthemic, stadium-pleasing vocal.
The effortlessly cool ‘Hotel’ sounds incredible, as does the 80s-chic ‘We Belong Here’.
There’s also a wonderful contradiction between the lead and bass guitarists (Fraser Stewart and Ciaran Laverty) too, with one being all James Dean-cool, and the other bopping around mental on stage like Willy Wonka.
A visual and vocal pleasure to be had by all.
Aberdonian indie-disco-pop kids The Little Kicks step things up again, complete with the Insider Olympiad Spoon as a mascot.
The four-piece, who having been making waves throughout the Scottish music scene and beyond, sound really tight with their psychedelic, synthy-pop beats, and heavy guitar based tracks.
The Discopolis ‘Loosen up’ remix sounds sick with its filthy pounding pulse, as does the unmistakably cool ‘The First Place’, where the beat kicks in and it sounds like the kind of track you listen to when driving and pretend you’re in a movie.
Things cool down a little for the more acoustic ‘The First Place’, and lead singer Steven Milne’s vocal sounds unbelievable smooth when juxtaposed alongside the synthy keyboard.
They loose a certain amount of their uniqueness during the more chilled out, less-disco, guitar stuff, it’s nice enough though.
For the final performance of the night, indie/rocker four-pice Pronto Mama are welcomed on stage by a huge home crowd and raucous applause, wearing some matching Magaluf-style t-shirts.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like Pronto Mama, they’re fun, car-crash and I like their drunken, raw drawl that gives them their charm.
However, they don’t sound all that tight during tonight’s performance, the sound is muddy, and despite it being their EP launch, it doesn’t seem all that well rehearsed.
That said, things pick up for the second half of the set with the brilliant crowd-pleasing sing-along ‘Still Swimming/I Love You’, producing an electric atmosphere, especially when coupled with the broken smoke machine.
The new stuff sounds much tighter too, and they close on a dramatic, brass-filled, frenzied finale.
Words: Erica Lennie