Gig review: Exit Calm, Edinburgh

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YORKSHIRE’S youthful Exit Calm may be the latest in a long line of British bands who write clod-hoppingly portentous lyrics in the hope they’ll be perfectly calibrated to register as profound with an audience bearing the glaze of beer in their eyes, but there can surely be little doubt that sequences like “forever dancing with the devil, you’re lost in the crowd / you think you’re on another level, you think you’ve figured it out” are of a kind which Noel Gallagher would gladly offer in a high-profile single release.



The quartet are at once immediately the type of band that’s been well-worn throughout the British music industry, and strangely endearing. Their swagger is ripped from the yellowed pages of the ladrock playbook, with bearded singer Nicky Smith in jeans which were hanging off him, a jumper as baggy as the music and a mic held like a cheap bottle of lager being swigged on a park bench. Leather-jacketed guitarist Rob Marshall, meanwhile, displayed a jet black hood of hair that whipped his nose as he hit clanging power chords.

Yet their attempted approximation of Spiritualized or A Storm in Heaven-era Verve, all reverb-heavy guitars and strident power in the rhythm section on tracks like You’ve Got it All Wrong, We’re On Our Own and Holy War, was more endearing than most other blokey retro copyists. It may have hit a slightly weedy note when Smith reported their set was being cut short even though “we’re kind of only halfway through it”, but as long as Beady Eye and Kasabian need support acts, these guys should be alright.