The alternative Glaswegian music scene came through to grace Edinburgh with its presence last Friday night. Local live music is a staple feature of the relaxed, no-frills venue of Henry’s Cellar Bar on Morrison Street, and the quality of Friday’s trio of performances was exemplary of the bar’s ability to book great bands. With a line-up comprising Objectified, Tongue Trap, and The Animal Mothers, Henry’s music-loving audience were in for a treat.
The Friday 13th date was apt for this evening of discovery. As a personal introduction to the neighbouring city’s psychedelic rock and grunge scene, the sense of curious unfamiliarity surrounding the symbolic “13” definitely rings true. The bizarre nature of the night begins even before arrival. The initial intention was to support my brother’s mate who plays guitar for the opening band, Objectified. However, a last-minute phone call asks whether – after a recent random e-bay purchase – my brother could blast out something on the trumpet to accompany the psychedelic tracks, an instrument he has not touched for over six years; “No worries, you’ll be fine, it’s basically all in E anyway”, they reassure him before taking to the stage. Beers in hand, the dedicated yet laid-back crowd arrange themselves before the modest stage. And then it kicks off. With heavy, repetitive beats, voice-altering effects and the main guitarist using a beer bottle to play, the experimental musicians sweep the audience off their feet. The unique sound and ironic lyrics on tracks such as ‘Behave Tony’ make for a spectacular and unforgettable performance – even us accidental newbies are nodding along. Its immersive intimacy brings the audience and the music together to create a sense of unity and pure enjoyment that only great music can produce.
Next to quickly set up on stage is Tongue Trap. The Glaswegian grunge girl group was born from the Girls Rock School in Edinburgh in 2015 and they now have a growing following behind their EP Girl Crush. They immediately blast out tracks with comic lyrics and social commentary, including their cult favourites ‘Taco Tuesday’ and ‘Period Pants’. Perhaps evoking a grunged-up version of Courtney Barnett’s musical style, it cannot be denied that with some stronger musical peaks and a more unique lyrical inspiration Tongue Trap could be the girl-group that the music scene needs.
Finally comes the main act of this evening hosted by WYRED Records, The Animal Mothers. In anticipation of launching their fifth album The Animal Mothers Must Be Destroyed on 20th October, they let tracks like ‘Selling Drugs to Kids’ and ‘I Want a Witch’ loose on the Edinburgh audience. The atmosphere soars and the temperature rises as the crowd dances around the cellar.
The evening comes to a close, but the night just begins as the now-connected punters continue to chat over a united love of great music and pints. To escape sterile bars and generic clubs, Henry’s Cellar Bar with its friendly informal atmosphere, is the place for discovering new music.
Image: Tongue Trap Facebook