The Chats @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, 6 Dec
Known for their viral smash Smoko, with their explosive Summerhall show The Chats mean business and prove they are far from just one-hit wonders
Let me set the scene: it’s nine in the evening, 34 degrees in Summerhall’s harsh sticky heat, and 400 people, already sweating buckets, are in for a treat. Famed for their viral smash Smoko, with over 8.7 million views on YouTube and counting, Australia’s The Chats are far from one-hit wonders and tonight’s explosive show in Summerhall's Dissection Room more than proves that.
The evening kicks off with two other rollicking Aussie bands – Crocodylus and Bad//Dreems – and energy levels in the room are high from the off with small groups of all ages headbanging in every direction.
Arriving on stage to Queen’s We Are the Champions, it’s clear from the moment Josh Price, Matt Boggis and Eamon Sandwith, aka The Chats, are in sight, that something utterly magical, highly unusual and definitely unexpected is about to happen in Edinburgh, and nothing could have ever prepared us for the next hour of our lives.
“We’ve never seen anything like this in Summerhall before,” we say out loud, just a few minutes into the show, cackling in disbelief at what we’re witnessing. A nearby gig-goer then adds: “I’ve not seen anything like this since the 90s!” Half an hour or so later, the holler of a young girl can be heard throughout the crowd: “Has anyone seen a shoe?… My friend’s lost her shoe!” and we think to ourselves, ‘Oh, that must’ve been the shoe we saw flying through the air earlier’.
The Chats bring absolute carnage upon Summerhall tonight, but the whole show is nothing short of joyful and despite the madness there's never a moment where we feel unsafe. For the entirety of their set, there are potential pockets of chaos all around us; the room is quite literally one giant, soggy sea of people, sloshing from left to right, front to back, and any which way deemed possible. “Kill or be killed”, one guy gleefully squawks at us, embracing the excitement as we bounce off one another and head off in different directions. As sweaty human bodies literally fly in every direction over the crowd, even during breaks between songs, the whole show is an absolute rush.
Following frankly embarrassing fights breaking out the night before at Lewis Capaldi’s Usher Hall show, allegedly over a couple of people standing in the seated area, it seems Capaldi devotees could learn a lot from fans of The Chats. Tonight’s sold-out show is full of respect, love and kindness, as people constantly offer a helping hand to pick each other up off the ground, share water and generally look out for one another. And as we exit to the sounds of Foreigner's I Want to Know What Love Is, it seems we don't need to look very far to find the answer.