The Pleasance Sessions: Saturday


Kicking off the second night of this year’s Pleasance Sessions are a post-rock, or perhaps more post-punk, five-piece going by the name of Outblinker. Standing amidst a chaotic set-up of wires, synths and percussions, they are quick to pile on the glitches and distortions, heavy synths and persistent drums in what is an impressive twenty five minute opener to the night. Vivid associations to the furious drumming in Whiplash spring to mind when watching Outblinker’s most impassioned band member almost break the skin of his kit as he sets a frenetic pace to the set. Other band members head bang in unison as a response, as whirling sounds fill the room, accompanied by overriding guitar riffs. They could be jamming in a basement, oblivious to their audience, immersed in the powerful noises they’re making. Outblinker are a thrill, and prove once again that you can sound average on tape, but excel on stage. Laura Cain


Since the band’s assembly a couple of years back, duo Jill O’Sullivan and Jenny Reeve have added a guitarist and drummer to their live set-up. As a result, their sound is more pop-oriented. Not that this is displeasing to the ears. Sporting candy green and pink leotards, worn at their recent BBC Introducing gig but strangely matching the Pleasance Sessions’ colourful bunting onstage, Bdy_Prts visually add a more surreal element to the night. In fact, avant-garde and slightly under-rehearsed dance moves are on display besides their high-pitched vocals and guitar-playing. ‘IDLU’ is a highlight of the night, showcasing the vocal abilities of the act and ‘Cold Shoulder’ demonstrates their interesting to-ing and fro-ing in terms of lyricism. Bdy-prts are undoubtedly intriguing but you can’t help feeling that they’re held back by their dance moves, more awkward than any real asset to their performance. LC

RM Hubbert

Disparity between appearance and content reaches its peek with the popular Scottish finger-picking guitarist. Filling that often awkward small talk between songs with tales of his adventures on buckstasy (that’s popping ecstasy pills into a bottle of buckfast for those of you who didn’t know), male self-satisfying and cleaning one’s private parts, RM Hubbert goes on to play beautifully melodic acoustic music. Between shock, laughter and intrigue, it’s impossible to fully encapsulate the feelings elicited by the man’s set. Hubbert mixes his dexterous fingerpicking and percussion with ease, throwing in the occasional vocal on a few songs, before earnestly opening up about past relationships. His honesty and vulnerability come to the fore in a particularly poignant moment of the set, as he introduces a song dedicated to his dog, the one constant in his tumultuous life. RM Hubbert perhaps knows little boundaries, but it makes for a fascinating and often touching performance. LC

Blanck Mass

To round off Blanck Mass played an intense electronic set that felt more suited to an underground club in Cowgate than the Pleasance theatre, and I wasn’t entirely sure it would work. Despite the initial awkwardness, enough beers had been consumed that plenty of people were dancing in the aisles and at the sides. At the end of the day everyone had a great time and Blanck Mass’ set was a pretty unforgettable end to a great night of Scottish music. Katie Brookfield

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