BDY_PRTS @ Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, 2 Dec

The surreal pop wonders of Bdy_Prts prove as impressive live as on record

Live Review by Peter Simpson | 07 Dec 2017

There’s a whiff of the Eurovision about Jenny Reeve and Jill O’Sullivan’s BDY_PRTS project, and we love it. Maybe it’s the intricately applied facial make-up, perhaps the catchy, 80s-inflected pop stylings are what's reminding us of everyone's favourite musical spectacle. It could be the dress code – equal parts Starlight Express and 1990s wrestling tag team The Legion of Doom. Whatever it is, the wild ambition of the duo is a sight to behold – it’s as if they looked at an arena pop show, then glanced back at the intimate confines of Sneaky Pete’s and thought ‘you know what, we can probably fit most of this in.’

The sparkling vocal harmonies and multi-layered guitars of debut album Fly Invisible Hero are as impressive live as on record, with the duo backed by a suitably-sparkly guitarist and a drummer putting in an admirable shift in a whirl of sample pads and hefty snare shots. Make no mistake though, this is the O’Sullivan and Reeve show, with a fantastic soundtrack that pulls together whole decades of pop goodness at a time.

By the time we get to the ‘electro Kate Bush’ sound of Warrior three tracks in, all bets are off. First the duo are wading into the crowd, then they’re going for some avant-garde choreography, then they’re swimming around in some outlandish strobes. The big beat-toting Take it to the Top is another highlight, and gives O’Sullivan a chance to shout out the dancer behind the surreal and fantastic choreography in the accompanying music video.

‘Surreal and fantastic’ sums up BDY_PRTS pretty well; there's a conviction and confidence to their sound and stage presence that is hard to deny. Fun, a little bit kitsch, musically impressive and undeniably unique – this is the exciting face of modern Scottish pop. Now, who do we speak to about showing this to everyone else?