In the latter half of this year France has been providing the cream of the garage band crop in the shape of The Missing Souls, The Arrogants & Les Gry Grys. The No Things benefit from their own French Connection in the shape of frontman Laurent Mombel and musically they rank comfortably alongside those fully French groups.
A less Francophone unit than Mombel's Les BOF! the quartet allows him possibly even greater freedom of expression than that band. Always an energetic & mobile singer with a great talent for showmanship (witness his arrival onstage via the crowd back at the first Hipsville a couple of years ago) he covers a lot of ground tonight in between shaking tambourine, maracas and blowing away on the harmonica.
'Diamond Ring' and 'Who Did You Rob, Bob?' are two of the highlights of a strongly performed set that sees the dancefloor crowded. Having one way or another managed to miss the band in various support slots this year it's great to finally have clapped eyes and ears on them. Those album recording rumours could do with being true.
2/3s of The Wildebeests enter into the spirit of the season whilst John Gibb deigns to wear a bah, humbug Santa hat only for the duration of opening number 'Out Of My Head'. Wise man but then if this is as christmassy as it gets for me this year then I can't complain. Shouts of "ZZ Top" are met by replies of "ZZ Bottom" so you know it's going to be one of those nights.
And did we expect anything else? Of course not (& we'd be disappointed otherwise) so, digging into their back catalogue along with covers never before attempted live (The Boston Dexters' 'Nothin's Gonna Change Me Now', Motorhead's 'Motorhead') we get 'Pow Wow', 'Mongoloid', 'Comanche', 'Lucinda', 'Rowed Out', 'Cadillac' and a host more. Laurent's called upon to provide harmonica on a track or two but is unable to & so cheerleads for an encore instead. Teases of 'Public Image' are made a number of times but it's not to be.
A fun show to round off a very good year for the Franklin Rock 'N' Roll Club, the undisputed home of garage punk and related sounds in Edinburgh. It's a resource that can only get stronger in 2016, given the commitment of those involved.
No-Things photograph by Debbie Sheringham.