Gig Review: Skarlett Riot / Fahran / Sertraline Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh (21st March 2019)

Here we are again at Bannermans for the start of Skarlett Riot’s UK tour, but before that we have two support bands to listen to. Having seen all three bands before I know it will be a good night.

Sertraline (c) Gary Cooper
Sertraline (c) Gary Cooper

The first band up tonight, in an already packed venue, are Sertraline from the Leeds/Manchester area. The band kick us of with four from their 2017 Guilty EP starting with the title track with its gritty full on bass, drums and guitar intro before Lizzie’s melodic voice comes in. Her smooth voice also hides a real snarl though, with hints of Lacuna Coil in the vocal changes. Lizzie’s voice has come on leaps and bounds since the last time I saw them live. The groove-laden “Nyeevise”, possibly one of my favourites, is next before we get “Snakes” followed by “I Admit the Blame” which really shows off Lizzie’s soaring vocals. The sound was a touch muddy in the venue, but it did not detract from the quality on show from the band.

We get the new single next in the form of “Relapse” with its full-on growl intro and the Lacuna Coil sound does come through here; the sound is more grown up on this new track and a nice step up for the band. Sertraline end an all-too short set with “Mean to Me” from the Bury the Ghosts EP featuring a fabulous guitar lead-in from Mike and Wilson who have been feeding off each other tremendously all through the set, and ably backed up in the rhythm section from Hendo on bass and Si killing those drums. The band are all grown up now and look so comfortable on stage, and Lizzie’s voice just gets better and better. Get out and support this promising young band.

Fahran (c) Gary Cooper
Fahran (c) Gary Cooper

Up next tonight are Fahran from Nottingham and tonight’s setlist will all feature on the new album V-A-P-O-U-R-S due for release on on 28th June. This includes new song “Pyre” which shows off the band’s familiar modern rock driven sound. You can see how they get compared with Shinedown a fair bit and new tracks “Home”, “The Bitter Taste of You” and “Blind” all have that modern rock vibe to them. Yes there’s a hint of Shinedown but with that harder Fahran edge which still retains that melodic vibe to the songs.

There is great interplay with the band, and Jake & Chris on guitar are flawless along with Joshua on bass who never seemed to stand still all night. They are ably backed up by Josh in the rear on the drums. The previous singles “Stand Alone” and “State of Mind” get an airing tonight. I love the guitar and chorus work on “State of Mind”, and it will be interesting to see if it will change at all on the album.

I really enjoyed the set tonight. The boys sure can play and again they have moved up a step. I’m looking forward to the new album. Get out and see this bunch when they are in your area as, after the album comes out, it may be larger venues next.

Skarlett Riot (c) Gary Cooper
Skarlett Riot (c) Gary Cooper

The headliners now with Skarlett Riot and the band play virtually all of 2017’s excellent Regenerate album, opening with the soaring fast paced “Break” before hitting “The Storm”. A fantastic opening salvo with Skarlett’s vocals in fine form. We head back to the 2016 Sentience EP for the harder “Scream at Me” with its fine guitar and drums opening, one of my favourites with its groove-laden hooks and Skarlett’s voice that just carries you along for the ride.

The Sentience EP gets another couple in the set tonight in the form of “Voices” (a bit like Iron Maiden meets No Doubt) and “The Wounded”. Meanwhile, the excellent “Broken Wings” is the only outing from from Tear Me Down. The punchy 2017 single “Feel” goes down well with the crowd and really shows off Skarlett’s voice as it soars along with the punchy guitar riffs.

Skarlett Riot (c) Gary Cooper
Skarlett Riot (c) Gary Cooper

A few more from Regenerate close out the set – “Outcast”, “Stand Alone” and the thumping rifftastic “Warrior”. Also in the set tonight is “Divide Us” from 2015’s We Are The Brave EP, a real class track with the way the drums and guitar are in harmony with Skarlett’s voice.

This was a class performance tonight to a hot, sweaty, packed Bannermans. I urge you to get your collective asses off the couch and get out there and support Skarlett Riot and all the others on the bill tonight. This is the future of rock right here and it was very pleasing to see a full venue from the opening riffs from the first band. A truly fantastic night of music.


  • Break
  • The Storm
  • Scream at Me
  • Closer
  • Voices
  • Calling
  • Affliction
  • Broken Wings
  • Divide Us
  • Outcast
  • Feel
  • The Wounded
  • Stand alone
  • Warrior

Photos by Gary Cooper

Skarlett Riot: facebook | twitter | youtube | reverbnation | bigcartel

Fahran: official | facebook | twitter | bandcamp

Sertralineofficial | facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | youtube

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