Gig review: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party - Waverley Stage

Picture: Toby Williams
Picture: Toby Williams
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THERE was a pulsating end to 2015 on Waverley Bridge, with three full-throttle acts defying the chill winds to power into the new year.


RATING: * * * *


With singer Leo Condie sporting sunglasses and, latterly, a shimmering blue lamé jacket, Glaswegian art-pop, funk outfit White cut a knowingly post-disco, retro dash - justifying excitement at their recent emergence with their urgent, danceable sound. The feverish Blush apes the expansive quality of The Arcade Fire shot through with the playful mischief of LCD Soundsystem, while Living Fiction features an inspired groove and Future Pleasures is a statement juggernaut of sardonic lyrics, aggressive guitar and thumping bass.

Kent punk duo Slaves aren’t shy on attitude either, with their socially conscious, swaggeringly cocky vocals bellowed over a raw, pogo-inspiring sonic assault, singer-drummer Isaac Holman showing no inhibition from his recent shoulder dislocation. While the snarling agit-prop can seem like youthful posturing, the brevity and impact of idiosyncratic tracks like Where’s Your Car Debbie? and Cheer Up London nevertheless impress with their explosive anarchy.

Finally, Maxïmo Park arrived to play through the bells, celebrating 15 years together as a band and a full decade since their debut album, A Certain Trigger. The arch but frenzied Apply Some Pressure and the anthemic Graffiti naturally featured prominently, but they kicked off with the bouncing Girls Who Play Guitars, the Geordie quintet successfully blending their upbeat, almost pop sensibility with credible, literate indie intelligence. The mellow richness of Leave This Island was a nod to their Scottish surroundings and the soulful ballad Midnight on the Hill to the timing. The highlights, however, were unquestionably the broodingly dramatic Books From Boxes and the still punchy, impassioned closer, Our Velocity.