Review: Them Things @ The Wee Red Bar

If it’s an intimate gig you want, then look no further than the Wee Red Bar, nestled within the grounds of Edinburgh College of Art.

A small dance floor with no raised stage, the gig area encourages a shared space and tonight (Jan 19), with four acts on the bill, the performers freely mix with the audience until their turn on ‘stage’.

Playing intimate venues with smaller crowds can be at a cost for the early acts and, first up, A Standard Model (aka a guy called Steve) comes on to a sparse audience.

Despite this, he delivers an entertaining set embellishing his Patrik Fitzgerald-type songs with a sprinkling of poetry and storytelling. All the more impressive from a man who, just eight hours earlier, had woken up in a cupboard somewhere in Glasgow.

The next act, Vince James, a singer/songwriter from Cardiff, has a fine collection of pop-folk songs imbued with a hint of the 60s Greenwich Village sound.

The songs are catchy and melodic and the growing audience reacts well – particularly to the soon-to-be-released single, Show Me Love.

Third band on, Katie Pham & The Moonbathers, emerge from the audience to take their place in the spotlight.

The three-piece from Sheffield delight the audience with their brand of psychedelic surf pop loaded with some terrific base lines.

The bouncy Koala Kola picks up the crowd and the band finish the set strongly with some wonderful dreamy sounds.

With a decent-sized crowd now built up, headliners Them Things come on to complete the night.

A four-piece based in Newcastle with band members from the UK, France and Russia this international ensemble display an impressive mix of styles.

After their opening number, they motion the audience forward to make the most of the intimate space before launching into the haunting psych rock of Astronauts.

The band keep the tempo up throughout the set and close with the 70s retro rock of Mythomania.

This band are crowd-pleasers and, like all the acts tonight, deserve a larger audience.

Words: Alan Hotchkiss

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