Teviot Underground, Edinburgh
April 28 2017
Words: Richard Cobb
Fresh (or not so fresh) from playing Newcastle’s Meet The North festival the night before and scheduled for Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival two days later, Dundee's Model Aeroplanes stopped by Edinburgh’s Hogwarts looking student haunt, Teviot Underground for a long overdue headline show in the Scottish capital.
The atmosphere was more than a little awkward prior to the band taking to the stage, probably down to the fact that support band Team Player obviously didn’t get the memo about not laying into a fairly young audience who aren’t there to see your band. Those front of stage spent most of their set looking like rabbits caught in the headlights, whilst the car facing them was at this point careering off the road and over the cliff. Edinburgh crowds get a lot, occasionally justifiable stick about appearing to have their feet stuck in cement at gigs whilst adopting the same nothingness expression, normally only reserved for an appointment at the hairdressers. In all fairness however, if a band are going to spend the majority of their set lashing them instead of just getting on with it, then the blame certainly doesn’t lie at
the doorstep of the audience.
After a few venue related technical difficulties, Model Aeroplanes flew right into ‘Something Like Heaven', the title track from last year's debut EP. The guitar effects and vocals from Rory Fleming-Stewart are the song’s secret weapon and make it an ideal start to proceedings. Short and sweet track ‘Electricity’ successfully hot-wired the crowd into life -and into the palms of the band's hands from here on in.
I’ve always been of the opinion that a bit of lighting can work wonders for a band's stage presence, this was the case when I saw The Twilight Sad a couple years back and it was the case here once again. The smoke machine and lights helped massively with audience engagement, which in turn visibly impacted the band’s energy throughout the hour long set. The Aeroplanes played a selection of old songs including fan favourites ‘Club Low’ and ‘Deep In The Pool’, but it was their newer songs like the massive-sounding set closer ‘Lover’ - an anthem in the making - which stood out, largely due to their clearly technical approach to their writing process.
There are parallels in style of the newer stuff that can be drawn to label mates Bombay Bicycle Club’s last album ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ in the way that the songs flow, and the Eastern sounding guitar lines. Parallels though there may be, there’s still a huge amount of freshness and originality about the band and with a new EP due to land later in the year, it’ll be good to see where they go from here.