Make-That-A-Take Records @ Conroy's Basement, Dundee, 7 Jul

Make-That-A-Take Records bring a trio of acoustic acts to Conroy's Basement topped off with a palette cleansing and riff-heavy set from Dundee band Indica

Live Review by Amy Kenyon | 11 Jul 2018
  • Indica live at Conroy's Basement, Dundee, 7 Jul

Conroy’s Basement in Dundee is home to the city’s burgeoning DIY punk scene. Make-That-A-Take Records presents an evening of soul-baring acoustic folk punk from Cairngorms Young Team, Haystack Monolith and Babar Luck with a headline set from progressive grunge-rock outfit, Indica.

Sean Cairns performing under the moniker Cairngorms Young Team debuts original material from his digital album New Sonnets to Combat Oppression. Cairns' music is a cynical but vulnerable ode to relationships past. Although the words he chooses to express his broken heartedness are at times a little clichéd, the layers of sound he creates on stage are not, the simplicity of the lyrics making the songs more relatable. Thinly disguised love songs unravel to reveal the temper tantrums of a petulant child as he screams, 'If I can’t have you no one can.'

Performing solo under the name Haystack Monolith, Mark Urban from band St. Kilda Mailboat has the air and appearance of a substitute teacher taking a break from the multiplication tables to teach us how to find wonder in the smallest of things. A natural storyteller, Urban uses his forgetfulness and other environmental distractions to enhance his humour and comedic timing throughout his set. The wonderful rhyming folk tales and fables become increasingly more bizarre until he dispenses with the guitar and begins to rap along to a pre-recorded soundtrack which is like watching the onstage liberation of a children’s TV presenter.

Self-described as droll music or gangster-folk, listening to London's Babar Luck live is an altogether different and more spiritual experience. Luck’s music has a soul; his songwriting style mirrors the reggae tradition of giving thanks for what we are grateful for. He plays with a unique blend of anger and optimism that things can and will change. Places like Conroy’s Basement, where people come together over a shared love of music, are a great starting point for such radical change to take place.

Headlining the evening, and the perfect palette cleanser to a night of mainly solo acoustic performances is Dundee's Indica who have taken on an almost mythical status in the local music scene. They have the audience transfixed with their clean vocals and thundering riffs reminiscent of Tool from bassist Jade Walker. It wouldn’t be a night at the Basement if the audience didn’t leave with their ears ringing.