Gig review: Edinburgh School for the Deaf, The Third Door

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FROM the moment Edinburgh School for the Deaf take to the stage it is clear that tonight is designed to be an ear-splitting experience.

Instead of the usual slow build-up to ease the audience into things we are immediately faced with a wall of distorted noise and screeching feedback that serves as a real statement of intent from the band.

Despite the fact they were formed just two years ago there is little here to suggest that this is band who are still finding their feet.

This should perhaps come as no surprise, as the core of the band are Grant and Ashley Campbell who are veterans of various almost-made-it Edinburgh bands, most notably the sadly missed St Jude’s Infirmary.

Now joined by Jamie on drums, Alex on guitar and Aggie on vocals, they form a cohesive unit who are clearly keen to show they have learnt lessons from their past experiences.

After their initial onslaught many bands would have eased off, but if anything they step it up a gear sonically on the next couple of tracks, particularly with Orpheus Descending which did an excellent job of building the atmosphere in the disappointingly small audience.

This is followed by a bit of a change of pace, with Aggie’s delicate vocals on La Nostalgie De La Boue providing an alluring contrast to the menacing backing track, while the fragile harmonies of Heavenly are as close to a conventional pop song as we are likely to get this evening. Grant then briefly moved to lead vocals for a quick Mark E Smith impression on Love is Terminal, before the evening is brought to a satisfying but premature close with the epic, speaker-bothering Of Scottish Blood and Symphonies.

Despite its brevity and a few sound issues there is much to admire about tonight’s performance. Comparisons to the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain are not out of place, and their progressive, distortion-heavy sound is admirable while still remaining accessible.

Based on tonight’s performance, Edinburgh School for the Deaf may still have room for improvement, but ultimately they have the potential to be a truly class act.

Rating: ***