Dawn of the Replicants / Cruiser
The Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Mon 15th July


Edinburgh music fans thirst for music obviously wasn,t quenched from the weekends T in the Park shenanigans with a surprisingly healthy attendance for the launch party/benefit gig for Small Fry magazine. With issue 2 primed for the streets, Small Fry is a free fanzine full of poetry, earnest rants, and scribbled pictures. Tonight they,ve pulled of a bit of a coup in tempting Galashiels finest, Dawn of the Replicants back into action. There,s a bit of festival feel to the event with its own Glastonbury inspired Healing Corner, where for a small donation you can have your head massaged, feet rubbed, or your energies rebalanced with some Reiki.

First up is American, Howard Booker Bridges (the second) with a moniker like that he was always destined to be a singer/songwriter, playing a few pleasant enough solo tunes. Meanwhile playing only their second gig and with Mogwai,s Stuart Braithwaite watching, Fife hopefuls Cruiser start up in the second room. Looking decidedly nervous, their atmospheric music is like a wee bit of practically every Scottish Indie band going with a hint of the Velvet Underground. As their set progresses there,s a bit more of an edge creeping in as they slowly settle into their stride. The confidence a few more gigs can provide may just make them ones to watch out for.


The Artic Circle begin in the other room and the festival feelings return with people shuffling between the two rooms. Trying to create an audio visual experience, Artic Circle have their own VJ projecting and manipulating bizarre images from his lap top over the electronic musings. Musically they could easily give John Peel quandaries on what speed to play it at on his show and sound a bit like what Radiohead tinkered with on Kid A, but with funky basslines. The advertised set from leading Edinburgh turntablist, Richie Rufftone fails to materialise but DJ Giro does a respectable job filling the DMC finalist shoes with some chunky beats before the headliners Dawn of the Replicants. After a few sound problems, during which they got a few of the crowd to breakdance, they rip into action. Once touted as leading Scottish lights, DOTR have returned with a no nonsense, riff laden sound a la Strokes and the Hives. Halfway through front-man Paul Vickers out of practise voice is descending into Tom Waits territory but he manages to hold it together right to the end of their well received set. Not bad way to get over the TITP hangover at all.

Review by Stuart Barrie; originally from the Edinburgh Evening News