Saturday 5th February 2011

Delta Mainline, The Machine Room, Pet

Delta Mainline are a band who have been quietly going about making a name for themselves in Edinburgh over the last few years and are currently in the process of recording their debut album.  Their performance at Limbo took everyone to a very special, psychedelic place, while newcomers Pet and The Machine Room provided note-worthy support.

The new band from Action Group’s Pete Boggon, Pet are on first and there’s already a good crowd in the room to catch their set, early doors.  Pet features two guitarists, bass, a drummer, some keys plus a laptop and ipod for further effects.  The resulting sound is rich and they quickly create a fairly psychedelic atmosphere of their own, with a lot of echo and reverb going on, especially over Pete’s vox, mainly channelled through his own effects device on-stage.  They play for about thirty minutes building the atmosphere via the heavy grooves that break out on a few occasions.  The effect is dazzling and they really stand out tonight.
The Machine Room made their own Limbo debut last summer and that was also compelling.  They’ve clearly lost none of their enthusiasm in the intervening period and have once again assembled a decent crowd – apparently providing reliable support, as well as a distraction for the band when it’s time to go on.  Front-man John Bryden also likes to use quite a lot of reverb on his voice.  This has an ethereal, softening effect on the band’s sound and contrasts well with the rougher textures, when these come into the mix.  However, perhaps the most striking thing about The Machine Room is that they seem to wear numerous influences quite proudly on their sleeves – John bears a passing resemblance to a certain Stone Rose in more ways than one, for example – but, at their best, they manage to combine them all to sound quite fresh and not really like anyone else apart from, well, The Machine Room.

Last up, headliners Delta Mainline provide everything that’s expected of them and more.  Following possibly the longest sound-check for a band thus far at Limbo, they have myriad boxes of tricks up their sleeves and it’s a formidable presence just surveying the stage set-up before they take to it, let alone when all seven of them are up there.  The word ‘spiritual’ has been applied before (and it’s not unwarranted), but psychedelic is probably the best way to describe what Delta Mainline do, and, after years of honing their craft, they do it very well, too.  The songs ebb and flow on the tide of their performance, ‘from sweet and simple melodies into intense sonic experimentation’ (as they put it themselves), the atmosphere in the room rising and falling in tandem.  It’s the tightest and most accomplished set Limbo has witnessed in ages and the unmitigated rapture that greets them from this overwhelmed, near-capacity crowd suggests everybody else feels the same.  Delta Mainline: transcending an astral plane near you.

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