Howlin’ Fringe Presents Future Echoes ****
Leith Theatre, Edinburgh
Label boss Johnny ‘Pictish Trail’ Lynch was launching his new album, also titled Future Echoes, and his full band show in the penultimate evening slot was a highlight; a dense and innovative set which stepped back from the template of wistful, folksy electro-pop Lynch has built up over his career and into a realm of sturdily grooving space-rock with a raw, emotional edge. Robed like a bearded Sun Ra, his excellent band featuring fellow Lost Map adventurers Suze Bear of Tuff Love and Monoganon (who had played his own set in a small upstairs room earlier).
The bill he and the rest of the Lost Map team had prepared for the day was rich in familiar faces – like Edinburgh’s Kid Canaveral, “the beating heart of Lost Map Records”, whose ability with a great pop song has matured in tandem with Lynch’s – and new signees Manuela, a collaboration between Manuela Gernedel and her husband, sometime Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy.
Meanwhile, headliners The Comet is Coming – surprise Mercury Prize nominees this year for their album Channel the Spirits – were a revelation, a London psych-jazz trio with their own love of Sun Ra and a style which noisily borrows from house music’s irresistible beat.