As small venues go, The Banshee Labyrinth in Edinburgh must be up there with the best of them. Such a tiny place managed to pack in a decent crowd of 100+ to celebrate the launch of The Spook School's second album Try To Be Hopeful, on a Monday night no less.
The four piece, three of whom look like they should still be at school, made every effort to ward off the ghosts that are reported to stalk the lower depths of The Banshee. Playing a 12 song set of high energy indie/punk it wasn’t long before the crowd was swaying along in time to the tunes. This was the first gig of a mini UK tour that will surely improve once the opening bars to their Taylor Swift cover are fully remembered.
Deploying a confetti cannon at the start of the set and fitting in 'Burn Masculinity', 'Binary', 'I'll Be Honest' all at an infectious pace it was clear to see they have a good deal more live experience as, from the first bar of their set, there was a tightness not heard from support acts No Ditching and Breakfast Muff.
No Ditching, from Durham, all looked slightly startled standing on stage but still provided a decent set of heavy indie, with the unusual inclusion in their ranks of a marching band snare drummer. However, their vocals lacked a cutting edge that may be more down to the Banshee’s mix than anything else. Certainly ones to watch for future material.
Late additions, Breakfast Muff, from Glasgow played musical instruments in more ways than one as they swapped places throughout their set. Reminding me of early Bis and also X-Ray Specs their whimsical lyrics about cats and exes raised a smile and they'd a good line in self-deprecating banter (indeed all three bands interacted far better with the crowd than most acts I've seen this year).
The UK indie scene is still cranking out good and influential bands and one if not all three here will go on to bigger and better venues for sure.
Further tour details for The Spook School can be found here.