Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The 23's - Live Review

Ralph's just had the heads up from his man in Scotland, Malcolm Parry about an up and coming young band from Edinburgh called The 23's.  Malcolm caught their recent gig at Edinburgh's Electric Circus supported by Lethalise and The Dons who Ralph blogged recently.  The 23's are Blair Ramsey - vocals, Scott McPherson - guitar, ben Clark - rhythm, guitar Keiran Smith - bass guitar and Michael Ferguson - drums.  

Given that they've just celebrated their first anniversary as a band the following review and interview by Malcolm with the lads is an indictment as to their rapidly increasing popularity.

Malcolm Parry's review of The 23's Anniversary Gig in The Electric Circus 12.4.13

I walked in mid-set of the first band Lethalise, a 3-piece bluesy rock outfit from Dunbar. Instantly I’m feeling the full force and the energy from lead guitarist and main man Carl Marah, this is my sort of band.  Scuzzy guitar, bluesy vocals with hard rock influences shining through.  One to watch out for, I certainly will be. 

Next up were young local heroes The Dons who take to the stage to the roar of “The Dons, The Dons, The Dons are on fire” which continued randomly all through their set with lead man Chris Karpacz lapping it up.  Lead guitarist Lewis Inglis picks out the opening riff and the crowd go wild and bodies start flying everywhere, “Where's the first aider?”

Mid set Chris straps up with acoustic guitar, dedicating their working class anthem 'Home' to his mum at the bar.  The band are as tight as a fat lass in a wet suit.  I catch up with bassist Lee Anderson at the bar afterwards who tells me “We're recording new tune and live favorite 'Renee' next week and will be available soon as a free download."  A band that keep on giving and one to catch live, next date - Glasgow Garage attic on Friday 19th April.

Tonight though is all about a young East Lothian band's first anniversary celebration and as headliners The 23's Lead man Blair Ramsay storms the mic in punky style shouting “Lets fuckin' 'ave ya!” - full of Liam Gallagher/Johnny Rotten attitude.  First tune 'Get On Out' is a tight driving sound, the band looking moody and confident.  Next up 'Better Day', with a touch of The Buzzcocks in the lead singer's vocals. 

Into their anthem 'Hey You' the band experience technical difficulty with one of the guitars, they lose their momentum and rhythm slightly which was a shame as I was looking forward to this tune live.  They get it back together for new tune 'She Loves' winning back the crowd. It's very '60's sounding and maybe due to its stop start verses has elements of The Who - 'My Generation'.  

The mosh-pit starts back up for 'Out Of Sight' and an Arctic Monkeys cover 'Bet You Look Good On The Dance-floor' dedicated to the ladies and the the young teenage girls scream their appreciation.  They leave the stage giving the audience a chance to catch their breath, then sound guy Joe shouts “Do you want more?” - The crowd shout - “Yes!” - The 23's oblige, introducing us to the first song they played together a year ago today, Kasabian's  'Fire' - the crowd go mad. 

After the gig Malc had a chance to chat with the lads.....

All fresh faced, aged between 17-18 armed with attitude, they tell me they knew each other from school and all shared a love of '60's and 70's music, getting together hoping to be the new Oasis or Artic Monkeys. They're fast gaining a following here in Edinburgh and across the border.  Local promotion company Fortune decided to put on this anniversary gig for them.   

I try to chat to the boys but a bit of Gallagher brothers tension arises between the lead and the rhythm players, so as I can't get a word in edge ways I ask drummer Micheal Ferguson and bassist Kieran Smith what their plans are - “We hope to get recording a debut EP in the coming months, live gig's, we don't have many lined up but we have a Spanish date in November which takes in playing bars over seven days.” Sounds fun I say and ask where the name comes from, but they want to keep it a secret. 

Lead guitarist Scott jokes about lead man being a professional debaucher and tells me they can't be bothered going over to other places like Glasgow to play, maybe joking?  I must admit it's quite nice to see a band with a don't care attitude.  These are the ones that usually make it.  

Changing the conversation to a more fun level I went for some quickfire Q & A.....

Malc: If you could go on a bender weekend with any rock star who would it be?  

The 23's: "Maybe Alex Turner or Keith Richards or even better, Pete Doherty. 

Malc: If you could go back in time would they prefer to play Woodstock or the first Glastonbury?

The 23's: "Woodstock."  

Malc: Beady Eye or Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds?

The 23's: "Noel Gallagher."

Malc: Who would you like to go on tour with?

The 23's: "Jake Bugg or The Rolling Stones."

Malc: Growing up hearing your parents music which bands/artists made you want to form your own band?

The 23's: "Sam Cooke, Sex pistols, Eagles, The Clash and Johnny Cash." 

A real mix bag of styles and it'll be interesting to see if they introduce these sounds to future music.  They commented that we need another musical revolution and that they don't look like a band.  I suggest maybe creating an image, which they tell me they have discussed this in a pub up the road.  Will there be a second year anniversary? Do the band continue towards the 'we're doing you a favour playing here' attitude or knuckle down and get out some more quality indie/rock n roll tunes?  We'll have to see, this reviewer will be keeping a watchful eye on them and will let you know.

Many thank's to Stewcy Productions for the photographs of The 23's in this blog.

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