Facebook Slider

Les BOF! And Logan's Close - Franklin Rock 'N' Roll Club

  • Published in Live

It’s been too long. This is my first trip out this year to the no-less-than legendary and always welcoming Franklin Rock ‘N’ Roll Club.

As my friend and I approach the groovy green shack, we see Logan’s Close walking in the opposite direction across Leith Links. Finished already? It’s only 9pm, surely not... it turns out they are just off to buy chips. That’s rock 'n' roll people.

It’s 10.20pm before Logan’s Close take to the floor - but that’s okay by me, more time to listen to some top tunes spun by Franklin regular DJ Tony Twoeyes. Finally the beat-ific four piece from Dunbar, a new bass player in tow (the last time I saw them play at the amazing Franklin Fest 2015, they didn’t have a bassist) open their set with a classy cover of ‘What’d I Say’. They continue at a pace with more self-penned numbers ‘Everybody Wants The Girl’ paying homage to a girl they all fancied in school, and ‘Listen To Your Mother’ played with absolutely no hint of irony. They all (bar the new bassist) have a crack at vocals. Drawing comparisons to The Beatles, The Yardbirds and a slurry of other big Beat and R’n’B ‘60s popsters would be too easy, but what the heck.    

They are clearly very talented, and I hear that they have recently appeared on STV, and have a gig lined up in the big smoke. Vocalist Scott Rough has a stunning voice reminiscent at times of Mike Nesmith, and at way over 6ft, he’s definitely omnipresent. However, I am kinda willing them to rough it up a bit - well okay, a lot. They are very clean cut, however I do see devilment in those eyes Mr Rough. The high point (for me) is the mini wig-out during (and I hope I’ve got this right) ‘Where The Blues Don’t Go’ a Lightning Hopkins tune inspired by Them’s ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. They wrap up quite a long set and encore with beat band standard The Revels ‘Comanche’ and a decent stab at Dick Dale’s ‘Miserlou’.

It’s been at least 8 years since I last saw Les BOF! My recollection of that night is somewhat fuzzy, on more than one level. And tonight they don't disappoint. They give us exactly what we've been waiting for - fuzz, fuzz and more FUZZ. Yes, yes and OUI!! It’s practically impossible not to have a good old shimmy and shake. They are a good time band and make no mistake, they are not afraid to let loose. They are taking us on an exhilarating ride tonight. Vocalist Laurent Mombet (of flippin’ fantastic The No-Things) always knows just what to do to une) get the party started and deux) keep it going on, and on. They are tight, and with wild songs like ‘Ne Me Jette Pas’ the driving ‘P-Club’ and the séduisant ‘Ils Vont Tuer Le R'n'R’ they are really hitting the g-spot (that’s the garage spot ladies and gents!). Did I mention that Mombel sings everything in his native Francais? Oui mon petite pois. It kind of adds to the whole aloof too cool for school-ness, think Jacques Dutronc and Ronnie Bird.

They wrap up a très énergique, excellente and passionnant set with a cover of Plastic Bertrand’s ‘Ca Plan Pour Moi’. The crowd is a sweaty mess, we leave collectively and light a metaphorical Gauloises…          

The Franklin Fest 2016 takes place on 23rd, 24th and 25th June, including a Saturday afternoon special (woooo!). The line up includes the hottest bands of now peddling yesterday’s finest wares. Featuring such delights as the exceptionnel Les Grys Grys!! Hula-hooping ho-dads Oh! Gunquit!! Bovver boot-iful Thee Jezebels!! The fantastiske Courettes!! Spooky space bods The Sine Waves!!! and many more. It’s an international cast, and you would be a FOOL to miss out. Muso's Guide are proudly covering the event, so watch this space during the coming weeks for interviews with some of the upcoming bands. Tickets are selling fast so don’t delay! The full line-up and details of where to purchase tickets can be found here.    


Preston Pfanz And The Seaton Sands, Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

  • Published in Live


It’s time to get your reverb out, and loosen up that vibrato arm because Surf’s up at Henry’s Cellar Bar tonight; and eye spy, I’ve already spotted some ho-dads hanging around the door looking conspicuous, maybe looking for trouble? but probably just looking for the gents ...  

It’s a busy night at Henry’s - the smallest venue in town (or at least that’s what it feels like). I’m very happy to hear that Edinburgh has a surf scene; or at least enough surf bands to host a whole evening of instro action.

Edinburgh fabled five piece Surf Manchu are already in situ when I arrive, and I have it on good authority that they’ve been playing for around 50 mins! Describing themselves amusingly as ‘Not so much SoCal, kinda more NoSco’. They’ve certainly made an effort to at least look the part, with polynesian shirts and fezzes, no less. Always a welcome sight.They are both youthful and enthusiastic, and I caught them playing Dick Dale’s 'Miserlou' and the ‘60s Batman theme - both of which are always good value. I hope to catch their full set next time.

Onto the Head Henchmen. The fantastic foursome take to the tiny stage. They say that ‘they still can’t decide whether they are a surf rock band or a sledge rock band’ check out their facebook page for more info on that one. Whilst not looking like most traditional surf bands, what they lack in that department, they make up for with sheer exuberance and a lovely longhorn bass guitar. Superficialities and joking aside, they are quite impressive. Their set is a mixture of self-penned numbers and choice covers, all performed with capability, pounding drums a-go-go. The give us a weird and wonderful mixture of tunes; the Tetris theme tune (an excitable young lady informs me), The Shadows’ ‘Apache’; the first but not the last Shadows cover of the evening. I would like to know a) when did The Shadows become cool?* b) why no Shadows Walk?**. Ending their set with a fabulous version of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’.    


Lastly, but by no means least-ly, it’s time for Preston Pfanz & The Seaton Sands. You may recognise a few of them from various other Edinburgh ‘60s repro bands over the years such as The Thanes and Les BOF!. And this particular band, although very modest about it, are definitely in a different league. They have a distinct presence. Kicking off with Link Wray’s ‘Run Chicken Run’, and then onto the more esoteric ‘Black Sand Beach’ by Kayama Yuzo (swoon!). They continue driving through their set effortlessly with a varied and cool mixture of surf / drag / spy and horror instros, along with more from the Shadows. Frontman Angus McPake challenges the crowd to a dance contest, but I don’t think the crowd are quite that tipsy, and to be fair there isn’t much space to Twist effectively, never mind Hully Gully.

They dedicate a rendition of The Beatles ‘Please, Please Me’ to the recently deceased 5th Beatle George Martin, as well as ending their set and encore with ‘Cry For A Shadow’. 

*I’m yet to disassociate them from Cliff Richard.

**The Shadows Walk is three steps within a 60-60-60-degree triangle with a reverse right-heel back-kick with optional can-can finale (source: Wikipedia)

If you missed them this time, Preston Pfanz And The Seaton Sands will be playing at the official after party for The Scottish Tattoo Convention at Studio 24 on Sunday 27th March details which can be found here.

Subscribe to this RSS feed