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The Last September, The Bongo Club, Edinburgh

Launching their third album, Volcano, in a city which in its day had one or two of the things, The Last September took to the stage to the strains of 'Man With A Harmonica' from Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West. After a year in the making they're clearly pleased to have the work finished and available and to be able to present it to the assembled throng.

Live the album brings a rather uneven line to the set as 'Hold Me Down' is quite a downbeat song to move on to after the faster paced 'Half Shut Knife' and this issue, despite the quality of the material, is one which allows a restlessness to creep into the audience as time goes on. Greater use of keyboards, at the expense of the favoured accordion, and a dose of better between-song-banter would help in a more general sense.

The band's collaboration from the new album with poet Rachel McCrum, 'Climbing', provides the gig with a refreshingly different (indeed unexpected) few minutes as she intones her spoken words and the quintet just provide the backing track. Rounding off the main set with current single and album highlight 'This Train Remains' they receive a lengthy and heartfelt applause before people start to wonder if an encore is possible, the band not really having had anywhere out of sight to place themselves. Older tracks 'Pond' and 'Ventolin' (with it's U2 & Bowie references) are offered up and they can finally head off to the bar & to take the welcome plaudits from friends & family.  

Volcano is available from the group's bandcamp.

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