Edinburgh is not a city known for its live music scene. With the glittering lights of Glasgow an hour down the road, most bands tend to head there rather than to our nations capital. As a result the venue is only half full when we arrive, and sadly it stays that way throughout the show. It is unfortunate that people won’t come out to support local gigs, especially when the line up is as strong as tonights.
We arrive just in time to see the appropriately named The First take to the stage. Vocalist Benny Salter makes numerous attempts to get the audience to sing along with the chorus of ‘Take It Back’ and with the “woah’s” in ‘Kicks’. While a couple of people half heartily participate, it’s really something of a failure. It is a pity that The First don’t receive a better response. They’re a band that mange to produce a perfect set of tracks to dance, mosh and scream along to…but there is no one here to do it.
We’ve heard a lot of good things about Brighton’s Verses. They have a similar melodic rock sound to The First, but with a lot more melancholy thrown in. So much so that we’re ready to slit our wrists by the end of the set. They’re good at what they do, but to us they sound just like any number of the interchangeable scene bands doing the rounds in Kerrang!. That may seem a bit harsh; but while they may appeal to angst filled teenage girls, they’re just not our cup of tea.
Tonights headliners LostAlone have been labelled as the “next big thing” for at least the last 6 years. It was in 2008 when they came to our attention and although we weren’t instantly impressed, it didn’t take long for them to grow on us. After heading to the US, recording a new album in LA and being away for a while, the band are back to rock the UK. It’s plain to see that LostAlone are a big league band who still play in the second division, which begs the question: why are they not massive yet? Their time must surely come soon?!? Still riding the high of a 5 K review for latest album Shapes Of Screams, nothing can stop LostAlone tonight. Not the on stage monitors not working, not the lights failing to work, not even several sound issues. No, tonight LostAlone carry on regardless, and give what is arguably one of the best shows we’ve ever seen.
Opium is a small, dirty, grunge venue which has no backstage to speak of, so the band have to get on stage by running through the crowd. Playing smaller venues to even smaller audiences may depress some bands but Lostalone embrace it. We may be a small crowd but we are mighty, and screw it all we are going to have fun. In spite of being unable to hear themselves on stage LostAlone persevere, and what could easily have been a Spinal Tap show turns in to a glorious Almost Famous story of triumph over adversity. LostAlone’s performance is so endearing and special that we find ourselves falling in love a little bit.
Vocalist come guitarist Steve Battelle is possibly the most charismatic frontman there is, a one man tornado of pure rock fury breaking down the third wall and crashing out the other side. Throwing his guitar to a girl in the front row, Steven jumps from the stage to play amongst us in the crowd. The banter continues as various crew try to sort out the sound difficulties, and for a while Steve keeps us entertained with his own brand of stand up. Taking each of our hands in turn he pulls us in to a circle and proceeds to perform in the middle of the floor. It’s clear throughout the set that it’s important to the trio to put on the best show possible for their fans, and they truly relish every moment. There are too many stand out tracks to name them all but honourable mentions need to go to ‘G.U.I.L.T.Y’, ‘Creatures’, ‘Hostages’ and the crowd led ‘Love Will Eat You Alive’.
Tonight’s LostAlone gig was a perfect example of how every single thing can go wrong, yet a good band can rise above it and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. LostAlone are a game changing act, and tonight they succeeded where lesser bands would have given up and gone home with their tails between their legs. These rock heroes deserve all of the good things in the world to be said about them, and more. They may be LostAlone, but we’re there with them, every step of the way.
Reviewed by Lisa Fox