Review: The Begbies, Sneaky Pete’s

Friday night saw a sold out Sneaky Pete’s welcome Choose Rude #2 club night with three bands on the bill.

Headliners, Livingston seven-piece The Begbies, instigated Choose Rude as a monthly zine covering the local unsigned music scene. Tonight’s gig is Choose Rude’s second venture into organising and staging a live music club night.

However small a push back against the dominance of corporate power, this much needed grassroots approach is to be applauded and supported. Check out the back issues on thebegbies.co.uk website for some cracking playlists and cutting social commentary.

Tonight’s music does not disappoint with first band on the bill – Palmiros, a three-piece from West Lothian – giving the night a lively kick start to the delight of the growing audience.

The band have a vintage bluesy guitar vibe best illustrated by their debut single, the hypnotic Little Lady Blues.

There is a different sound to their newer songs and the strong melody and rhythm of latest single, Frozen, works well on stage and is a definite crowd pleaser.

The set finishes with a rousing performance of Wander, its driving beat pumps up the audience leaving them on a high.

Next up are talented Dunfermline quartet Moonlight Zoo, whose brand of upbeat funky pop earned them a well deserved slot at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The set opens with the melodic hooks of Captivity, which meets with instant approval from the crowd.

It’s a perfect start and things just get better. Glass Eyes fires everyone up, its infectious ska reggae beat creating a swirling mass in front of the stage.

The new single Melting receives a huge cheer and Sunset On Mars goes down a storm.

The finale, a raucous version of Breaking or Broken leaves the crowd chanting for more.

Keep a close watch on Moonlight Zoo – this could be their breakthrough year.

The crowd are in boisterous voice and ready for the awesome live experience that is The Begbies, where no c**t leaves the dancefloor until its bouncing.

A huge roar fills the venue as the band take the stage and launch into Sleeping Dogs. It’s skank time and the floor is bouncing with energy from the off.

The frenetic pace continues with Too Experienced and Spend A Little Time Alone, which drifts into an explosive cover of the Specials’ You’re Wondering Now.  The two saxophonists add punch to the live sound and the brass hooks work particularly well on It’s Just The Way.

Behind the upbeat tempo, the band’s lyrics reveal a serious political message – they are songs of rebellion as well as dance.

Midway through the set, lead singer Gary Ovens raises a deserved cheer when he tells the audience “remember, no idols, no heroes… be you”.

The kings of skindie are on top form and the night ends with the audience singing along to Stay Young Stay Free – a glorious combination of brass, ska guitar, raw vocals and dance floor mayhem.

It’s been a hot sweaty night – bring on Choose Rude #3.

Words: Alan Hotchkiss

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