Good things come to those who wait but standing outside for an extra forty minutes seems a tad excessive when you’re waiting in the brisk Scottish weather. Nevertheless it was worth it if just to get a glimpse of the show to come as the bands could be heard sound checking after the billed opening time. With the queue growing and expanding like the snake in Nokias’ Snake 2 it felt like being egged on for the nights entertainment.
With it being Sunday the turnout was surprisingly good and as music lovers across all walks of life moved into the foggy room to partake in some sonal delights the UK based Empathy Test brightened up the stage with their enigmatic future pop. With a bit of precipitous rapport the English troupe were welcomed with the same warmth from downing good whiskey as their take on New Wave, drunk on melancholy, prepared the crowd for the upcoming acts.
Malcontent with just making America grave [what gothic raves or cyber discos used to be called back in the olden days – Ed] again the seasoned Aesthetic Perfection exported their darkwave cabaret to the more conservative UK and like the flawless hotshots they are confirmed prestige by killing each song with clinical professionalism. Even though they were missing the mighty Tim Van Horn adding weight to the punchy drum patterns the set was masterfully carried by singer/song-writer/performer and big bad wolf Daniel Graves who sounded huskier than on the album recordings.
Album recordings were the only way we north born Scots would get to know headliners Mesh without leaving the country as this was the first time in their eighteen year history that they had played in the melodramatic Scotland, and much to the crowds merriment they took the stage with professional familiarity. Their engagement and dedication to music and fans was prevalent in their set.
There was one gripe however, after being held outside while listening to the final effects of the soundcheck at the beginning, the sound seemed to lose its fidelity in the midst of the final tracks of the set. While it was distracting for both the band and the crowd it didn’t diminish the almost youthful vitriol that Mesh inspired.
The set in duty of Looking Skyward (the new album, out now through Metropolis Records) was filtered through some of their iconic tracks and singles which seeing live for the first time was monumental and as we were treated to portraits from the crowd on the projector screen during the honorific Friends Like These the night had a completeness to it. Yet it wasn’t over there, as the crowd incited to chorus, welcomed the encore with fresh vigor.