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First Aid Kit, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

  • Written by  Fraser Young

Having had the privilege of seeing First Aid Kit not so long ago at Maida Vale studios in London, performing to 100 people, I was keen to see if they could transfer their sound to a larger venue. And the answer is they can and impressively so.

It's been almost five years since First Aid Kit were in Edinburgh when they played Sneaky Pete's in the Cowgate. This time around the crowd was at least 20 times bigger and a far more spectacular venue too.

Arriving on stage to a rather ghostly scene of smoke and blue lights the Soderberg sisters, backing band of local boy Scott Simpson and Melvin Duffy, launched straight into 'Lion's Roar'. From then on in it was a hugely tight performance with plenty of crowd interaction that shows the sisters to be pretty down-to-earth people.

A trip to the newly opened cat cafe in Stockbridge was a highlight and may prompt a career move should Johanna and Klara become tired of making excellent, evocative music.

Continuing to play their most memorable hits 'Stay Gold' and 'Waitress Song' were interrupted by a version of 'Ghost Town' performed without microphones. I had long wondered whether the sisters could fill a hall with just their voices alone and this version proved it. They even managed to get the crowd singing along too, a rather spine chilling moment.

It seems that Jack White is held in high regard and a jokey version of ' Seven Nation Army' was attempted before being cut short for the real cover version, 'Love Interruption'.

Drawing it all to a close was an extended version of 'Wolf Mother' with a big guitar solo by Melvin Duffy and then a pounding drum solo brought huge applause from the crowd.

First Aid Kit delivered a wonderfully powerful gig, full of audio images of wagon trains, small-town diners and lonely souls and I half expected a bar brawl to break out at any moment.

Fingers crossed it won't be another five years before they return. And by their appreciation of Irn-Bru I'm sure it won't be.

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