There have been storms threatening to rampage across Edinburgh for days now. Last night was certainly wet and windy, but the only real tornado was that sweeping across Electric Circus in Market Street, as the Capital’s latest (new) band, Gathering Lights, whipped up a cyclonic fury of their own design.
Nine months in the making and featuring members of previous Edinburgh notables Cry Over Billionaires, X-Tigers, Lions Chase Tigers and Penguins Kill Polar Bears, Gathering Lights are something of a supergroup – experienced, talented and confident, yet not without an element of indie self-consciousness.
The music – gargantuan and widescreen – is, for the most part, instrumental. The arrangements are slightly mathematical and this formidable five-piece are clearly fans of the quiet-bit/loud-bit approach.
Visually, there’s a fair amount of stubble to be seen on their faces and the hairstyles are (mainly) of the sharp, buzz-cut fashion. Yet whilst the focus is certainly on the tunes, they also like to concentrate on the imaginary gum stuck on their brogues, such is the amount of shoe-gazing going on).
Playing a half-hour set, their panoramic soundscapes could easily play out as one long piece. And just like the changeable weather we’ve been experiencing, the band barrage through all the elements – creeping up on you with crispy autumn-morning frostiness, before ending in a flurry of twinkling melodies and bubbling bass.
In short, the perfect soundtrack to some moody, independent Scottish movie.
Comprising three guitars, bass and shock-absorbing drums, you get the feeling vocals will, eventually, play a larger part in their make-up. When the human voice was allowed to air, it sounded light and ethereal; a fine complement to their smoother-sounding melodies. Indeed, this is the sound of a promising band finding their feet, a group testing their wares on a healthy-sized audience who, you could just tell, were urging them to do well. As debuts go, they couldn’t have asked for better.
“We’re Gathering Lights – this is our first show,” said the band’s frontman.
“History in the making,” came the shout from a man at the back of the room.
Spoken like a true prophet.
Rating: * * *