It’s Bwani’s turn to headline this years King Tut’s Summer Nights and though the smattering of people steadily increases as each of the four acts takes their turn on stage, the venue doesn’t quite hit the atmosphere provided by a full and roused audience.
Be Charlotte (AKA Charlotte Brimner) is a singer/songwriter from Dundee who uses superbly impressive vocal acrobatics to dance around the poppy melodies, which punctuate her upbeat, hip-hop tinged music.
After each song, a couple more people filter through and Charlotte is sure to remind us that she’s without her backing band for the evening.
This doesn’t deplete the delivery however; her unbelievable voice will probably always be the focus of attention, however many people share her stage, but I’ve taken note anyway to go see her when the laptop is supplemented by some more instruments.
Whispery Club take the tone of the show in a heavier direction, snarling with 90’s Americanisms, and being accompanied by a small group of eager fans.
For some reason this is their last show, but they play some pretty cool alt-rock songs anyway and the slightly inflated crowd love them.
I would recommend having a look at them, but the only way to do that now is on YouTube, so crack on and have a good mourn at their demise after you realise they could have been your most favourite new band ever.
The sound of the night once again gets wrenched in another direction, this time by Barbary Coast, and though they seem to be okay at crafting a disco/indie song, their set melds into just that – one massive and samey disco/indie song.
The business of mindless discouragement is a pretty nasty one, so I’d have to say it looks as if a large portion of people watching would whole-heartedly disagree with me, but I just can’t find anything inspiring about the performance.
Be Charlotte has so far outshined the two middle acts, but Bwani take the stage with a kind of confidence that only comes with years of playing music together and fully grab back the attention.
They open with second album track ‘Borneo’, which recently received a Japanese tinged rerelease under the name ‘Tokyo Talk’, which sort of confused me; I wasn’t sure if there was a need to change the song – maybe it was just a fun experiment.
Regardless, they play the original tonight and quickly follow it with ‘Civil War’ – a strong and superbly energetic introduction.
As I said before, the audience hasn’t so far made significant movements towards anything akin to rowdiness and unfortunately it doesn’t look like Bwani’s unique brand of indie is going to loosen anyone up.
This being said, they still muster brilliance, and show once again that their tightness as a group of talented musicians is something to be impressed by and envious of.
For example, the drop in tempo provided by new song ‘ICU’ shows off an ability to be heartfelt and hook-laden at the same time.
As always, each of the individual band members adds something vital to the overall sound: chirpy and bold vocals; complicated guitar work, which blends in perfectly; and a ridiculously tight rhythm section.
Ending on the classic ‘Two Bridges’, Bwani play a set full of very promising new material, which seems to tie together the best aspects of both previous albums.
Special mention also to Indigo Velvet who play a cracking midnight set down in the bar (which sounds surprisingly awesome) after Bwani.
Words: Greg Murray