Sunday, 15 June 2014

TeenCanteen at Henry's Cellar Bar in Edinburgh

There is something about a gig in a small, tight, sweaty basement bar. There is nowhere for a band to hide, it can make or break them. It is on occasions like this that you can see a band demonstrate just exactly what they have to offer, or fall flat.

TeenCanteen were incredible last night, truly stunning.

Analogue (currently available as a free download from T-Break) opened proceedings; highlighting the harmonies, humour and songwriting talent displayed by Carla, Amanda, Sita and Deborah.

Without pausing to enjoy the applause, the 4 girls started their debut single Honey. There was a nice raw edge to the sound of Amanda's acoustic guitar. The song flowed superbly, rising and falling and powering on through with delicious hooks and harmonies.

I am red when I want to be purple

The band introduced a new song Coming Up Roses and it was brilliant. A Motown beat kicked in and a Spector-esque Wall of Sound built up as the band unleashed choruses and hooks to die for. The closing section was rammed home.

I'll always love you
I'll always be true

The band were in fine form and had the confidence to play a beautiful love song called Under My Cover that slowed down to the point of stopping, just harmonies and breathless vocals before the band came blasting back in.

TeenCanteen are clearly a band that know their pop history; riffs, refrains, harmonies, choruses, false stops, hooks, flows...

Friends was introduced as a song about friends falling out and it started with a bass driven synth

This is how it starts
The beginning of the end
This is the point when you say
You just want to be my friend

It is a brilliantly written and delivered song that builds towards an epic closing refrain. Deborah Smith on drums was sensational, Moe Tucker meats Motown.

(How We Met) Cherry Pie was introduced as an old song they hadn't played in a while. An early demo was picked up for an independent film featuring Karen Gillan. The chorus flows superbly.

Like rain that falls without a warning, on a sunny morning
This is how we met
Like sugar in my cup of coffee, apples dipped in toffee
This is how we met
Like snow fall showing in the summer, with massive claps of thunder
This is how we met
Or missing puzzle pieces meeting, with joys of seasons greetings
This is how we met

New single You're Still Mine (available on ltd edition 7-inch sparkly vinyl here) was a cross between New Order and The Ronettes, delivered with gusto and style.

Going back to the small, tight and sweaty basement; it can really make or break a crowd. TeenCanteen had the confidence to close the show with Vagabond, b-side of their current single and a real tug on the heart strings anthem delivered largely with just Carla on piano and vocals with Amanda and Sita harmonising and Deborah playing just the right amount of drums and percussion.

This was an amazing performance and one that was lapped up by the packed audience.

Chants of one more tune were politely declined. More please.

TeenCanteen have a few festival shows coming up at; T in the Park, Wickerman Festival and Indie Tracks.

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