T-Break Heat 6 @ King Tut's, 12 May
O.B.E. pounce on the unsuspecting crowd
On with the second west coast showcase and the T Break heats gather momentum. First up is the only electronica/ambient act participating at T Break, Glasgow-based Ives (3/5). The duo have been gathering a following for their intricate and epic style but suffer tonight with a small crowd that, though enjoying the chilled out Orbital and Aphex Twin influenced electro, are not quite ready for that vibe at 8.15pm.
Traversing to the other end of the musical spectrum and the country, 3Style (4/5) provide both visual & aural stimulation. The trio of front men shoot out their words with ease, covering hip hop, reggae & jungle styles and never missing a beat. Despite early microphone related sound problems, the ever-increasing crowd appear to dig what they have witnessed.
Apparently the only way to follow one Edinburgh act is with two more. The Acute (3/5) come on to the stage with purpose, intent and - in the case of guitarist and front man Stephen - no top, bizarre scrawls on his chest, braces and a nice line in facial decoration. Their glam-sleaze tendencies give nods to early Manic Street Preachers and Placebo offerings and they do have stage presence in the same vein but the whole effect comes across as cliched.
Further cementing the Edinburgh presence in Glasgow, O.B.E. (4/5) pounce on the unsuspecting crowd, now back to the previous evening's full capacity. Proclaiming themselves as "the tightest live outfit on the scene", on the basis of this performance, they give no room to disagree. Bringing their sound in somewhere between Sly and the Family Stone and Talking Heads, they ignite a welcome burst of crowd-jumping from their appreciative audience.
So the only way to follow such funk-emblazoned joy is with The Yellow Bentines (4/5), Glasgow's own ska-groove loving fools with their pork pie hat-wearing trumpeter and enthusiastic smacking of cowbells. They project a sound somewhere between Less Than Jake and The Specials. A large support is evident and they appreciate the splendid performance.
Concluding an enjoyable Friday are Bwana Devil (4/5). Tonight, the crowd have stayed until the end and welcome Bwana Devil in true Tuts style. Standing out from their peers with their straightforward songwriting, their obvious influences range from Ryan Adams right back to early Springsteen. With their effective three part harmonies, they quickly establish an individual identity.