Friday, February 02, 2018
Live Review :: Rituals + The Ninth Wave + Wylde :: Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh - Jan 29 2018
Rituals + The Ninth Wave + Wylde
Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
January 29 2018
Words/Pictures: Richard Cobb
Local hero Vic Galloway and venue owner Nick Stewart had curated a special week of live music at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s to celebrate Independent Venue Week, an annual event showcasing the best up and coming and established acts at some of the UK’s most beloved music venues. This year they really pulled a rabbit out of the hat with their line-ups, and I spent more time at the venue than I have spent in my own flat this week!
Up first were Wylde, a post punk/shoegaze four-piece from the outskirts of Edinburgh. They’re a real unit this band, and with their sound heavily guitar driven in the same vein of DIIV, Slowdive and Sunflower Bean - but with their own unique style, they’re a perfect opening to the night and on another night could easily be headlining the venue.
Sandwiched in the middle, and in many ways the band I was most looking forward to seeing, having binged their debut EP ‘Reformation’ for weeks in the run up to the gig were The Ninth Wave. The band were on Little Indie's 'Ones To Watch 2018' list and had just sold out King Tuts in Glasgow the week before. They’re a band on the up and one you need to latch on to quick before they start playing arena gigs.
Lead singer Haydn commands attention with his iconic 80s gothic style and powerful vocals which both haunt and echo around the sweating brick walls of the room to add a chilling and emphatic atmosphere in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
An early highlight of the set was when the frontman donned a pair of arm-length red gloves and proceeded to beat the shit out of an old bin for percussive effect on new song ‘Swallow Me.’ Other highlights included ‘Reformation’ and set closer ‘Heartfelt’ which is already a belter, but with the addition of extra synth loops to the live version from Louise on the keys, this version somehow manages to surpass an already blistering recording.
Rising from the ashes of two of Edinburgh’s best bands over the last 10 years, The Merrylees and The Stagger Rats, Rituals performed their first hometown gig in ages and there was unquestionable demand for it given the sizeable crowd that had packed the venue out.
There’s similarities to be drawn to their former bands, but Rituals appear to be the cooler, moodier and more self-assured older brother to the other two bands. Though the songs are darker - a bit like The Bad Seeds and The Jesus and Mary Chain - frontman Ryan Sandison couldn’t hide his grin during the set and the band seem a lot more at ease with the sound they’re generating now. Standout ‘The Redeemer’ sounds amazing in this venue as does ‘Black River’ which sounds part monster mash and part ghost train soundtrack. For being away from the live scene for a bit, the band didn’t seem rusty at all and it bodes well for this year.
Easily the best gig I’ve been to on a Monday night and a real showcase of not only the best new music in Scotland, but also one of the best small venues in Scotland.