Staged in aid of The Rock Trust, with all profits going towards fighting youth homelessness, Good Grief's all dayer offered up seven bands for a tenner - a bargain & no mistake. Unfortunately for the event it ended up taking place on one of the coldest & dampest days of the winter, in an unheated venue (a recurring issue for the seat-of-the-pants Biscuit Factory).
Sound-wise though all the bands enjoyed good, clear production and the turnaround between acts was achieved with the minimum of fuss so, despite the need for the audience to constantly move one way or another just to maintain circulation & everyone staying fully coated & begloved the lulls between performances were decently short (indeed Breakfast Muff were happy to go on 20 minutes earlier than scheduled, possibly to put everyone out of their misery that bit sooner).
Smooth Dad & The Community were already in full flow when we arrived and their choppy brand of indie, coupled with wry observational quips between the songs, went down well with the audience. Things were musically off to an encouraging start.
A start which, given the aghast looks on the faces of many attendees, faltered somewhat with the next band up, Rainham Sheds. Despite the charm of the improvised stand created for the band's tiny keyboard (a child's high chair comprising the lower part of it) the strident vocal assault unleashed by their wandering singer came as a bit of a shock & was certainly at odds with the previous act's tones. The band's energy & commitment definitely can't be faulted and if they'd been a metal act in the right setting no one would have batted an eyelid. As it was we took the earliest opportunity to brave the cold again and walked to nearby pub The Village to get some heat and save our ears.
Upon returning to The Biscuit Factory it was possible to buy a pizza from a van outside, thus providing me with some cardboard underfoot to take the edge off the freezing concrete floor. Jack Lee were the day's third band and very good they were too. Unfortunately two of the group have to return to Australia (for reasons not gone into) therefore this was their last gig for the foreseeable future. As they seem to have been Edinburgh-based it was a shame to think we'd not previously managed to hear or see them but they have at least recorded an album so the experience can be had by all.
Fourth up (&, it has to be pointed out, the final act we stuck around for due to the ongoing cold) were Breakfast Muff, a perennial favourite who failed to disappoint. Including a number of new songs in their set the trio were as charming and funny as ever, particularly around the issue of keeping the bass in tune. Always a joy to watch in action they rattled through their set with only one underplayed number being dropped due to it being so fresh as to not have fully bedded into their musical brains. Sure it'll see the light of day soon enough.
All in then this was good value for money, despite us sacking off the final three acts and proof positive that Good Grief know what they're doing when it comes to organising shows. A venue with radiators would though be a better option next time around.
Find out more about The Rock Trust here.