Sputniks Down, Aether Flux, Schroeder, Edinburgh Merkat
A newish venue for rock in Edinburgh and how appropriate that Schroeder should appear here for their first gig. A Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ offshoot, Ewan John's band are almost unplugged apart from slightly amplified keyboards and guitar and we can tell that a wall of noise isn't on the cards. Lilting gentle melodies are what this band's about, and songs about love and strawberries are a lovely start to the proceedings.
Aether Flux on the other hand have brought their own wall of sound in the form of samples and loops plus a conventional drumkit, and proceed to generate great swathes of throbbing noise. On record this comes across as as quite a regimented approach leading to a slightly ambient vibe but here they're more free to experiment and sounds ebb and flow, samples speed up and grind to a halt and there's a definite freeform element as the band have room to experiment and create on the fly.
Sputniks Down, also drummerless, are recent signings to Human Condition, the label that started Idlewild on the road to success. Not that the Spuds will necessarily be on Top of the Pops, at least not yet. Again utilising samplers,and drum machines, the band are quite different from their predecessors onstage - "this one was written in the 80's" announces David and indeed a very D.I.S.C.O rhythm propels the 'song' along. Each piece is defined by the beat - their most upbeat track is almost triphop with an Aphex Twin feel while the slower stuff broods with a smoky almost film-noir feel as guitars chime and keyboards swirl. Despite that they have a way with a tune and while they might not be writing love songs they WILL find a way to your hearts. Promise.