Live review: Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun, Starling Heist, Trapped Mice at Tut’s, 23/9/13

Jim Lockey_King Tuts_John Graham_Bassline Images_05With tracks titled ‘A Song About Death’ and ‘England’s Dead’ it’s no surprise that Jim Lockey and his trio of bandmates are clad in black as they take to the revamped King Tut’s stage.

They’ve travelled up from Cheltenham to promote new material and it’s fair to say that no one is expecting ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’.

First up though are young Edinburgh quintet Trapped Mice and the rousing folk-rock of Starling Heist whose lead singer David Laing has a soulful voice that lends the four pieces’ barroom stomp a warm edge.

A new track provisionally titled ‘Marmalade’ shows signs of ambition while their closer draws on needling chords reminiscent of Two Door Cinema Club’s recent album.

Laing apologises for his patter as he leaves the stage but it’s the songs people will remember.

Resembling Jack Whitehall fronting Gaslight Anthem, Jim Lockey makes an unusual hero in the confines of King Tut’s but technical problems aside he more or less rises to the occasion.

To call him folk-punk is needlessly simplistic; this mate of Frank Turner’s tracks’ is thoroughly electrified albeit occasionally prone to slipping into American idiom.

Lyrically, like Gaslight’s Brian Fallon, he’s never far from the cemetery or the hospital but these dark settings only serve to illustrate his eye for the peaks and troughs of human emotion.

Interestingly tonight’s highlight ‘Warriors’ delves back even further into the middle ages for its lyrical inspiration but there’s no denying that Lockey can be a perceptive wordsmith.

Jim Lockey_King Tuts_John Graham_Bassline Images_01

New single ‘Wilderness of a Wild Youth’ features a wild twin-guitar attack, albeit matched to a slightly uninspiring vocal, while the more intricate ‘Ruin’ hints at ambitious plans for next year’s forthcoming album before the stomping ‘England’s Dead’ builds to a rapturous climax.

He might be a long way from home but Jim Lockey and his band made sure not to waste the trip.

more photos

Words: Max Sefton
Photos: John Graham

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