Right Hand Left April 2010

Right Hand Left EP Launch – Cast of the Capital, Make Sparks, The Deportees and Right Hand Left – Cafe Drummonds – 30/04/10

A review of the gig by JustBoy57 followed by a review of  Right Hand Left’s Lipstick EP by Godzilla Blues.

Right Hand Left EP Launch Night

This bill was one of the most exciting I had seen locally for some time, probably since the Beach Ballroom gig which featured Cast of the Capital, Indian Red Lopez and The Little Kicks. The gig was to celebrate Right Hand Left’s new single release, “Lipstick”, on local label Fat Hippy Records. £5 entry, four bands and a copy of the RHL EP which had three tracks on it. This couldn’t be scoffed at!

I moseyed on down at about the back of nine and the first thing that strikes me is how much  better Drummonds is looking after it’s recent make over. It looks fresher and I’m personally glad they got rid of that stupid circle bar bit that looked like the arse of a boat. A make over was long over due and it has certainly added something to one of Aberdeen’s best music venues.

First band on was Aberdeen indie pop troubadours Cast of the Capital. The first thing that strikes me is the sound; it’s fucking fantastic. I’ve seen this band a few times now but what gets me tonight is the sheer energy that is coming through in their performance. New tracks Park Hands and Cinnamon Hill are absolute belters and help the older tracks such as Comiston Springs and Tree Sleep sound fresher and better than ever. It’s great what a couple of new songs can do to a set list. Lead singer Matt Morris’ vocals are outstanding tonight, and the energy being conveyed was anchored by some fantastic time keeping by sticksman Alastair Naylor. This is a band going places and are surely on the cusp of greater things. Go forth and listen now!

Next up were Glasgow three piece Make Sparks. A bit surprising they were on this bill due to it being a local showcase, but a pleasant one none the less. This band are gutsy, loud and everything a three piece should be and their use of vocal harmonies make them sound just that extra bit special. Although the sound is a little muddier than CotC’s, the band put on a great set, with tracks, The Answer, Question and Rewind being the standouts. Nae so sure about the Eminem cover through. This is a band that should play more often in Aberdeen. There is something about this band that I love and to be honest I can’t quite put my finger on it. Accessible indie rock, some may say a tad cheesy, but my god does it work.

Next on the bill were Eddison and Edgar Prais love childs, the Deportees. I hadn’t actually seen these guys live but I had heard a lot of buzz about them so was definitely looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. First thing that took me by surprise was the sheer amount of time they took to set up! Maybe this was down to the vast amount of different instruments they use? Anyways, I thought to myself, good things come to those who wait. They finally got going and I don’t know if it had anything to do with the sheer energy displayed by Cast of the Capital and Make Sparks, but I feel my attention waning already throughout the first song. They are obviously a group of talented lads, and the Myspace recordings of The Birth of Industry and All night are fantastic, the harmonies especially, but tonight just didn’t do it for me. Another type of gig, perhaps a more laid back, quieter bill or maybe even if they had opened tonight’s gig would have perhaps helped their songs carry that little bit better. However, I haven’t given up on this band and I hope to catch them again soon.

Onto the main event and Right Hand Left, dislocated shoulders and all, bounded on stage and rip roared straight into new single Lipstick. This sounds much bigger live than on record, and Bob Will’s vocals are up there with the best in Aberdeen. I had seen RHL once before, supporting The Xcerts on their album launch night and their time away seems to have done them the world of good. They weren’t bad before, not by a long shot but tonight they are smoking hot. Everything about this band are slick. Their look, tonight’s set and the design and packaging of their new single. It’s a benchmark that has now been set for a band coming back to start all over again. They play a bundle of new tracks, but it’s golden oldie Reinvent Yourself that results in me, as well as the 150+ crowd going away smiling. I look forward to keeping tabs on this band and can’t wait to see them live again soon.

“I’m not special, you’re not special, we’re not special…” RHL, I beg to differ….   Justboy57

Right Hand Left - EP Launch

Right Hand Left – Lipstick

Lead track ‘Lipstick’ is a bit of a slow burner at first, with an insistent rolling tom/snare drum pattern and subtle slightly delayed guitar flourishes leading into occasional bursts of guitar that is very reminiscent of U2 to my ears. In fact if it wasn’t for a very different vocal style to Bono, this track could have sat quite comfortably on ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ or ‘The Joshua Tree’ – it has that kind of atmospheric quality that the lesser known songs on those albums had. The vocals have a kind of guttural nature to them that recalls indie bands of the past such as Paris Angels and Flowered Up…the overall effect is quite retro. I think if you liked 80’s bands such as The Chameleons and more recent acts like Interpol and The National you may enjoy this track.
Second track ‘Sat on the Bench’ is another slow burner that speeds up in the mid-section to a slightly misplaced, almost Rapture-esque change in rhythm before returning to the main motif for a fast paced climax. Closing track ‘Boulders in the Sky’ is a pleasant enough acoustic number.

Overall I think this is a decent release, I thought ‘Lipstick’ was a pretty good song but I’d rather see a bit more variation in pace.   3.5/5″   Godzilla Blues

Right Hand Left MySpace

Right Hand Left - Lipstick

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