Spare Snare/

Pizza Boy Delivery/

Police Cat -

Edinburgh Cas Rock


 Edinburgh gigs are often a bit odd, and this is no exception - 3 weeks of gigs as part of the Planet Pop festival have turned up a few gems, at least on paper. But tonight we have the sight of Police Cat taking the stage first, to deliver a short set. It's been a while since I last saw the band and following their tracks on Vesuvius and Creeping Bent this shows a lot more promise than that rather ropey r'n'b set they played a few years ago, with some new stuff on display, including slide guitar, a battered analogue synth and a psychedlic (at times) light show. There's also a bit of a propeosity to, ahem, 'rock out', but in a good way, if you see what I mean.
 Pizza Boy Delivery are the statutory local band that is included on every bill in the city due to some local bye-law. They are apparently playing their last ever gig and at first the reasons seem to be clear i.e. while they think they are the result of an illicit coupling between Captain Beefheart and Steve Albini... unfortunately they're more the like the bastard offspring of Bogshed and Superchunk. And if you think that doesn't sound all that bad maybe you're right, but once I had that line in my head I had to say it. Anyway, they're gone now, winding up their illustrious career in style, their final song consisting entirely of the band emptying bags of that popping Moondust stuff on their tongues and putting the mikes in their mouths. Not lacking in panache, at least.
 I said it was an odd gig; Jan Burnett initially takes the stage carrying a partially strung acoustic and sits down for a short two-song set of, erm, 'significantly-altered' songs, where the object of the first song plays "Scrabble, as in Trouble". 'A Matter of Fact' is vitrioloc in delivery, as Jan yells "I know SHE'S lying". It's like we're intruding on some personal (one-sided) argument and actually makes for a rather uncomfortable listen. The rest of the band (minus Paul, who's moved to London) take the stage. This means amongst other things no Superslinky due to the lack of guitars, but there's the expected trawl through selected back-catalogue stuff like Action Hero, Bugs and Skateboard Punk Rocker. But again things get rather weird, as firstly Barry gets rather irritated with the incessant chatter of the pool-playing audience through the back, Jan agrees that Edinburgh gigs are always poor and finally Alan snaps and tells the audience to stop playing pool and listen to the band. A few wander through out of idle curiousity (I was pleasntly surprised that they didn't come armed, frankly) but by then the damage is done - the gig degenerates into something of a noise-fest with a bizarre grindcore version of "I Cant Stand the Rain" bringing the gig to a shambolic close. Edinburgh got about 40 gigs and close on 100 bands over these 3 weeks... the last 10 minutes of Spare Snare tonight was about all they deserved.