Here we are, back at Edinburgh’s best small venue to catch Syteria but before that, we have two other bands, both from Scotland. We start off tonight with The GoatBoy, who class themselves as a grunge rock band, from Perth and begin with a short instrumental, “Shango”, from their It’s Not Regret It’s Worse Than That EP with hints of early Nirvana. We get “Bookshelves” next and I’m thinking early Iggy Pop meets early Foo Fighters with a bit of early Alice Cooper style vocals: nice. We “Evaporate” before we get a new one in the form of “Mon the Barnacle” which bodes well for the future as I really enjoyed this one.
The title track from the EP “It’s Not Regret It’s Worse Than That” now with its killer guitar, bass and drums intro and definitely a nod to Nirvana here; possibly my favourite from their set tonight, it would make a good single. We stick with the EP now with “Julian” and damn, I could be listening to Kurt now, what a great vibe this track has with the guitars nailing it and the bass lines just laying down that vibe with the drums; just a killer track. Another new one now with “Julie Anne” and again bodes well for the next EP/album. The band end a thoroughly entertaining set with the last from the EP “Time Waits for No Man”, a real grunge ending to a fabulous set. If you get the chance get out and catch the boys live and check out the EP.
Next up at Gothzilla who open up their set with “Today is a Good Day to Die” from 2011’s stunning Catharsis album and it just blew me away, I am a big fan of The Mission & Sisters of Mercy and this is a band truly following in their footsteps – no drummer, sampled beats along with the bass player and the two guitarists in full flow with Tim on vocals; tremendous start. We get another from the same album next with “Tightwire”, again with the sampled drums/keyboard. Tim has an amazing voice as the band grooves along behind him; I think I have found another favourite band. The haunting keyboard and guitar intro signal the arrival of the “Negative Creep” from the harder edged 2017 album The Dark is Rising, I love the laid-back vibe of this track, the band wrap us up in a “Blanket” next from the same album with its pulsing opening along with sampled choir-style background vocals, amazing with its guitar laden groove.
We get a new one now from their new forthcoming album due to be released next year as we go “Softly Softly”, if this is anything to go by then I am really looking forward to the album. We go back to The Dark is Rising for “3 Into 2 Won’t Go” with its hypnotic rhythm and great chorus rhythm, we head to the “Edge of Forever” from the same album with its great keyboard sample leading us in before the voice opens up and the band carry us along and, again, fantastic chorus lines. The band now finish up a fantastic set with “Temple of Sound” from Catharsis and I have really enjoyed their use of samples tonight as the drums/keyboards take us into the song, a great ending to a set I have thoroughly enjoyed. As I have mentioned if you are a fan of The Mission/Sisters of Mercy and that style of music then I would urge you to check out Gothzilla as you will not be disappointed, I look forward to catching them again.
The main event now and a band I have been following since they started out, Syteria start us off with “I’m All Woman” from 2017’s Rant-O-Bot album with its stop-start intro and you can tell the band mean business tonight, this is a great track with good hooks and catchy chorus lines. Julia is in fine voice tonight with Keira pounding out those bass lines, Jackie trading licks with Julia on guitar as well as vocals, and Pablo bringing up the rear, steady as always, on the drums. The band tell us “As If” next before we see the “Reflection” from the 2016 Wake Up EP with its frantic beat and chorus line. We need to “Back Off” next before we are told to “Get A Life” with its upbeat guitar intro and stunning chorus line vocals between Jackie, Julia & Keira; one of my favourite tracks of theirs as it has just a great vibe along with Kiera’s great bass riffs throughout the track along with Jackie on guitar.
We get to catch sight of the “Stupid Girl” now; a real bouncy track with Julia in fine vocal form, the band just has a great feel for harmonies and hook-ridden melodies and would fit right in with the American pop/punk bands with the likes of Bowling for Soup etc. The guitars and drums kick in as we meet the “Loner” and you can really hear Pablo on this track as he drives it forward from behind, there is a lot of great interaction tonight between the whole band and it’s clear they are enjoying themselves. The funk-ridden bass lines from Keira heralds “Live, Fail and Learn” – a track which really shows off her bass skills along with some tasty guitar licks from Jackie. The “Asylum” leads us into “Complications” from Rant-O-Bot with its tasty guitar and drum intro before those soaring vocals pull us into the song. Julia’s voice is on fine form and a joy to hear, the band are such a tight unit tonight and having fun with it.
A big “If” now before we are told “I Want it All” as the heavy “Revolution” gets underway with its heavy guitars and bass lines but again with another stunning hook line chorus. We head to “Rockaway Beach” now as the girls power through a great Ramones cover, before we get the singalong “Hypocrite” with even myself getting handed the mike to sing the song’s title intro (sorry folks). We head back to the EP now for the crunching “When I Get Out of High School” with its harder vocals, guitar and drums. A spot of “New World Order” to end a tremendous main set before the first of two encores starting with, what else given the up coming season, their recent single “Halloween” with a Keira scream lead in, a fun singalong track before we sadly get to the last track of the night, the bouncy “Sheeple” from Rant-O-Bot.
A fantastic end to a fantastic night of music with three great bands, I have to say that is the best I have seen Syteria, they are a great band with a great lead vocalist in Julia who was on top form tonight and Jackie is just a joy to watch and listen to her playing whether it’s in Syteria or Girlschool. Keira is one of the best bass players in the business and Pablo is just a powerhouse on the drums along with backing vocal duties. The band has great tunes, hook-laden melodies and are just a joy to watch as the really enjoy themselves on stage, get out there and catch all the bands tonight live, get their music, get the merch and support live music at its best.
- I’m All Woman
- As If
- Back Off
- Get A Life
- Stupid Girl
- Live Fail and Learn
- I Want it All
- Rockaway Beach
- When I Get Out of High School
- New World Order
Photos by Gary Cooper Photography