Live review: Summer Nights 2012 featuring DARC, The Mouse That Ate The Cat, Johnny and the Giros, TeKlo at Tut’s, 26/7/12

This is the first Summer Nights gig I’ve personally made this year, and I’m first to admit that upon listening to the acts on the bill tonight that it’s not really my my of tea.

I was asked along to spin some tunes (create an iTunes playlist) in the bar beforehand which proves a pleasant way to meet a few people in the bands and people involved at Tut’s.

But onto upstairs and first up is much hyped Edinburgh synth/drums duo TeKlo who delivers some bass heavy beat driven power to a growing Tut’s crowd.

It may be a touch too early in the night for this type of stuff, glitchy brash electronics touching on the dancefloor side of dubstep, but the duo seem to be enjoying themselves up there.

They welcome Kerr from The LaFontaines, making his first of three appearances tonight (the latter being with his own band in the bar, I miss this due to some stupidity with key placement), to bring some joyously delivered angular rap into the equation as TeKlo sample some fan favoured remixes.

Second guest vocalist Charlie Lindsay, of Xavia, joins them on stage for the last track and tries to encourage the crowd to have “one wee boogy”.

While earlier in the week Erica pulled him up on here on being a bit of a poser, he does nothing to discount these claims tonight, for me his vocal and look is a bit too Lostprophets – I’ll just leave at that.

Glasgow synth/guitar duo The Mouse That Ate The Cat is up next and enters with vocalist Brian Henderson in full mime get up.

Their indie disco leaning electro pop is extremely catchy but feels a bit too guilty, like something I would have loved in my more adolescent years as Henderson’s vocals wouldn’t sound too out of place in a popy post hardcore band.

Needless to say this is bound to win fans, and a second appearance from Kerr adds some bravado and a beat driven, if a bit soppy, set standout.

Their final track displays plenty of sunny tendancies and the smiles onstage allow you to get past any questioning statements; these guys are having a bit of fun and are all the better for it.

Johnny and the Giros have cowbell!

They do, but despite this they bring the set back to a more rock ‘n’ roll feel and step away from cheesy pop of before.

The Stirling electro rock six-piece still could fill a dancefloor at any indie oriented disco and while not massively original, it’s all good fun.

Vocalist Mikey O’Donnell has an engaging presence with a certain intensity and at times euphoric ability to hold a crowd, entertaining stuff.

Then it’s up to Edinburgh’s DARC to close the night upstairs, and the live dance band are certainly enterprising, but it somehow leaves me underwhelmed.

The band bounce around the stage exchanging vocals between MC David Thomas and guitarist Richard Kennedy, while Thomas and DJ Ross MacLean exchange big soaring beats, but the start of the set leaves you unsure, feeling a bit too much like a constant intro.

Still, DARC are entertaining, the beats keep coming and they get past the early  questions and deliver beat after dancefloor filling beat.

It’s high octane house when they hit their stride, kind of impressive that they’re creating this with a live band at a venue like Tut’s.

Photos: Neil Jarvie

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