Tacocat @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 3 May

Live Review by George Sully | 11 May 2016

“If you close your eyes, it’ll sound like there’s three of us.” Niall Strachan looks a little lonely on the Electric Circus stage tonight, and while no explanation is offered as to the absence of his Garden of Elks bandmates, he soldiers on, drums and bass replaced by a backing track. The first of a punk triple bill, the solitary Elk sets the tone for the evening’s thrashy energy, and though his vocal wobbles a little here and there, it’s a solid set.

The way is paved for Riot Grrrl acolytes Tongue Trap, formed at Edinburgh’s Girls Rock School and the perfect support for tonight’s headliners: fun, poppy punk, sparkling with the right doses of playful gusto and pointed, feminist lyricism. And among songs about celery and buttplugs (“It’s about assholes”) they drop a cover of Grimes’ Oblivion so perfect it feels like Claire Boucher should start a punk band. The crowd is already on board; guitarist Kim Grant ripping off her rainbow skirt to reveal her “period pants” climax pretty much sets us on fire.

To fan those flames, on walk everyone’s favourite palindromic almost-all-girl rocktivists Tacocat, sporting more glitter and tropical hair than a 90s cartoon. Taking the evening’s chuggy rock down more melodic roads, the Seattle quartet deliver hit after hit to an increasingly blissed-out moshpit. Punk’s not known for its dawdling songs: there’s plenty of time here to squeeze in such crackers from recent LP Lost Time as FDP, You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit, and a gleefully welcomed Men Explain Things to Me. The band’s inclusive warmth – though still driven by a fierce had-enough-of-this-shit message – renders the night a memorably joyous love-in.