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The Beatpack, Franklin Cricket Club, Edinburgh

The last time The Beatpack graced Edinburgh with their presence was in 1991. Having been away doing other things in the interim (see our interview here for details) their recent EP, Back, Behind And In Front was a record which needed to be taken out on the road and so Edinburgh’s premier club for all things garage & beat and rock ‘n’ roll was proud to host their return to the city.

It’s always a pleasing statement of intent when the lead mic’s placed on the floor rather than the stage, heralding as it does the imminent arrival of a singer unafraid to get in amongst the crowd, something Hugh Dellar is only too ready to do when the band strike up. Ranging as far as his lead will allow he’s constantly in motion throughout the band’s hour-long set of cracking originals (‘Looping With Lucy’ and ‘Met Myself Coming Back’ from the new EP particularly coming off as well as anticipated) as well as the odd nod to pioneers of the genre such as Holland’s The Outsiders.

Maracas get shaken within an inch of their life (and nearly punched through the ceiling a couple of times), harmonicas are howled through and the rest of the group pound and strum away gloriously as all five of the band exhibit a clear love of the live environment and the especial setting and atmosphere which the Franklin Rock ‘N’ Roll Club’s setting allows for such exuberant expression. With the club’s third Franklin Fest fast approaching this was the latest in a long list of excellent shows in the cricket club, showing it to be in rude health.

Support tonight came from musical all-rounder & club co-founder Angus McPake and one of his many musical outlets, The Sensation Seekers. Combining their own compositions along with a few from Booker T. and Ennio Morricone theirs was a mainly instrumental set of both soulful goodness and rocking meanness, propelled by McPake’s proficient organ playing and droll wit. Where else would you gain the top tip of tying your maracas together with a cable tie to keep them from rolling off your keyboard when not in use.

A fine night’s entertainment, as is always the case in our humble opinion. Thanks to Hugh & Simon for their interaction on the night.  

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