Review: Kassidy, The Pleasance

Like Franz Ferdinand when they played the Liquid Room or Scissor Sisters when they played Edinburgh for the first time to a half-full Venue, there’s something satisfying about seeing a band you know are going to hit the big time.****

By Barry Gordon
Monday, 28th May 2012, 1:07 pm

Case in point: Kassidy, a hairy bunch of Glaswegians who look like Viking Warriors and play like Trojans. First time they appeared in Edinburgh was at Cabaret Voltaire three years ago, in what was your typical one-man-and-his-dog affair. Back then, the quartet resembled a bunch of male shampoo models whose summery, 70s-inspired acoustic music came across as too over-sensitive and too retro to make any real impression. How things have changed.

Performing a two-date stint at The Pleasance to promote their second album (One Man Army), last night’s shebang just about had it all: catchy hooks, raucous harmonising, big sing-alongs, and an atmosphere crackling with electricity – all beefed up with some fat-sounding guitars fuelled on pure testosterone.

Without any real de facto leader as such, however, each member takes it in turn to shine. And it’s this one-for-all and all-for-one attitude that serves them well.

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Lead guitarist Chris Potter plays his guitar as though it were a real axe, lancing the Kings Of Leon-esque numbers with due aplomb. On keyboards, Jesus Christ-lookalike, Lewis Andrew’s job is to simply look pretty and smile at the girls (women make up a large percentage of the band’s fanbase).

Forever switching instruments, another lookalike (in this case, Kurt Cobain), Hamish Fingland is an animated blur of blonde hair and cool rock poses. Barrie James O’ Neill, meanwhile, is the clear standout – his singing ability and songwriting are head-and-shoulders above the others.

The Pleasance is an all-seated venue, but no-one sits. Arms are waved throughout, girls chat about their favourite band member, and the volume is so loud it literally knocks people’s drinks over.

After an uncertain beginning, though, Kassidy have worked hard to establish themselves. As one female fan, last night, asserted: “In a few years from now, I’ll be saying ‘I was there that night’.” A few others, you feel, were thinking the same.