The Trade, The Foxes and Steven Winton – Cafe Drummonds – 02/06/10
It had been a busy few days for gigs in Aberdeen with the Stereophonics, The Damned and Teenage Fanclub all playing to sizeable crowds at venues in the Granite City and my fears were confirmed of yet another decent line up that doesn’t get the attendance it probably merits. I’m glad to say however it didn’t appear to dampen the enthusiasm of tonight’s performers who all appeared to put in the effort as though the venue was almost full, as opposed to being nearly empty.
First up is Steven Winton, playing on his own tonight as opposed to sharing the stage in one of his other projects Kashmir Red or the increasingly popular Fridge Magnets. With his trusty acoustic guitar and powerful voice he treats us to a half hour or so of attention catching songs. The small audience gave him full respect as he treated us to Failing on a Monday, Wasted Lake, Little Caroline, Harvest Moon, Farewell, Kings & Queens, Superstars & Heroes (my pick of the set) and finally finishing with Love It.Mean It. Steve’s a good lad and you could do much worse than catch him playing live yourself sometime if you haven’t already. Without really `fitting` into the rest of the bill its a good start to the evening.
Last time The Foxes played Aberdeen I didn’t manage to get along for some reason or another which annoyed me greatly at the time so I was glad to see them in action this time round. These lads aren’t really unique in any way, I’m not going to tell you otherwise but it’s not something that really bothers me, not one iota as I like clean sounding music with a happy vibe to it when the mood demands. Having spent the previous few days with their ep (Depression, Joy and a Moment of Fame) being forced into my ear canals I had a good idea of what to expect on the night. Or so I thought. You see, they’re a poppy bouncy, happy kind of sound going by their recording but what I was finding on the night that it came about as being a much heavier, direct kind of mix, with much more of an edge to their songs. Not going off the genre description of course, I didn’t mean THAT much heavier but just a bit more, well gutsy if you like, I thought so anyway, maybe it was the live atmosphere but surprisingly it actually worked better for me.
Kicking off with the spirited Lover, Killer and then Get Me and then Something About You, you can’t help but get with the beat and I’m a total sucker for catchy tunes. No Reply, Too Little Too Late, Trauma Town and Send Me Nothing for the set ending Run from their first EP that also hosted the opening track. It was bouncy, powerful indie-pop stuff. I enjoyed.
Sometimes a young band comes along that you like and there’s no outstanding reason for it and this is what confuses me a bit when it comes to The Trade. Call them what you like, indie, soft rock, whatever… it all just works for me. I first saw them supporting The Undertones in their own neck of the woods in Dundee and this is the second time I’ve seen them in Aberdeen since then, and boy they’ve progressed a bit even in that short time. We’ve the release of the single Fight Club, and the reason for this tour, the release of their album Lie In The Dark (more on that another time).
Tonight’s set begins with the quality Beg, Steal & Borrow and their fans favourite The Dealer before album track Confused at the Petshop gets an airing for the first time in Drummonds. Some might say they lack a stand out track but after 20 we get the Let It All Out, a fucking superb anthem for a packed house to enjoy (in my humble of course). Do You Want It, and Fight Club take us to the set closing Empire and yet again, I’ve enjoyed the performance and I’m wondering when they’ll get a break supporting maybe one of the bigger artists when they’re in town. For the record I’d have liked to hear In Colour live but I’m sure there will be another time for that. Their tour has taken them to places like London and Sheffield and the experience of touring will have done them good. Whats next I wonder?
The Trade MySpace
The Foxes MySpace
Steven Winton MySpace
Thanks to Angus Ross for the pic of The Trade.