The Edinburgh Summer Sessions continue to gate-crash the various festivals this year, Thursday night seeing a return of the Vaccines supporting a predictably energetic Bastille.
4 out of 7 stars - * * * *
The latter played at the Usher Hall only back in April with a small orchestra but tonight they’re back to basics, Dan Smith fronting the standard touring quintet.
He’s known to like to climb the rigging is Dan, but tonight he restricts his energies to bouncing on the monitors. The band are a quite the musical magpies, it’s easy to pick out their influences; a bit of hip-hop, a bit of Police style reggae-groove and er, Craig David.
They kick off with 2016’s Good Grief and a cheeky wee clip of what was almost Scotland the Brave led into Blame. Their first “depressing song” of the evening was World Gone Mad which was adapted specially for last year’s Netflix film Bright, a Will Smith vehicle.
An accidentally amusing side of the evening was the appearance on the big screens (invariably in front of Smith’s face) of a Spongebob balloon being held aloft by someone down the front.
Their Craig David collaboration I Know You is belted out with standard gusto and a singalong ensued. A stonker of a high point was Two Evils from 2016’s World’s End, Smith’s superb vocal range being utilised to the max and then into another “depressing song” in Fake It.
The lighting director flexed their imagination during Bad Blood, the stage being bathed in red light and then they were into their mixtape hit, Of The Night, the crowd giving it predictable laldy on this.
They started to wind things down from here, joking that they were trying to coincide the end of the show with the Tattoo fireworks up behind them. Flaws, from their debut EP saw Dan the man escape bouncing about the stage to joining the crowd (and Spongebob) for a bit of a bop and a few audience members found themselves briefly on vocals.
Back on stage, he introduced Quarter Past Midnight, which is the 1st track from the next album Boom Days which, he gleefully informed us earlier is an “apocalyptic party” piece. Okay. Perhaps appropriate in the shadow of an extinct volcano, they end on Pompeii and pretty much on cue, the fireworks kick in as they’re winding this down. This got the biggest cheer of the night which can’t have pleased them much.
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