Baby Strange @ The Mash House, Edinburgh, 14 Jun
While it may not be one of the most sophisticated show in the world, for Baby Strange's young crowd it sure feels like one of the best
Possessing a scuzzy sound somewhere between Slaves and The Stooges, Glasgow’s Baby Strange have now been going for over half-a-decade. By the standards of pop rock, they’re lifers and it shows in a tight, gritty set that threatens to soundtrack a riot among their youthful crowd.
Outside the venue surly teens in ripped jeans and leather jackets smoke cigarettes. Inside, they pogo, crowd surf and generally lose their shit, as the trio on stage rocket through 45 minutes of short, tight garage punk. The throat ripping Pure Evil, with frontman Johnny Madden yelling 'Tired of my generation' as a sea of limbs flail and wave, captures them in full flow.
Not every trick in the relatively limited Baby Strange arsenal works: California Sun’s primary coloured escapism feels a bit second hand and the mid-set veer towards Green Day-esque pop-punk lacks the grit and bite of their best material.
Still though, they’re a great singles band with Friend nailing the streetwise, pissed off ruckus of the Ramones’ Beat on the Brat. By the end of the set, Madden’s pedal board has given up the ghost, tights and shirts have been ripped, bouncers called in. It’s not the most sophisticated show in the world, but for their young crowd it sure feels like one of the best.