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ConcertsElectric Mary, Edinburgh Bannerman’s, 4th November 2019

Posted on Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 20:51:23 CST by Steven Reid
Concert Reviews

Twenty one hours across two days is how long it took Australia’s Electric Mary to arrive in Scotland from their homeland on the other side of the planet. However, so delighted were the groove masters who play ‘rock n’ roll the way it used to taste’ to be performing for a small but enthusiastic Scottish audience that not one ounce of road weariness, travel sickness or jet lag weighed into what proved to be a scintillating performance. Steven Reid plugged himself into the mains for Sea of Tranquility…

There’s no disguising the fact that Electric Mary came a long way to perform their first ever Scottish date for the disappointingly low tally of around forty folk, but what this no nonsense old school act served up was a show deserving of a venue ten times the size of the one they found themselves in and with a crowd to match. The band’s stalwarts, vocalist Rusty Brown and guitarist Pete Robinson, simply seemed thankful that anyone had turned up at all on what was a cold, wet and windy night and then set about digging grooves so deep that it’s a wonder that Electric Mary didn’t use them to burrow right through the Earth’s core to Scotland!

“Let Me Out” is one hell of an opener, Robinson locked in super tight with Alex Raunjack as the fret-brothers barely took breath before they dived headfirst into “Gimme Love”. The duo aren’t afraid to show their chops either, with numerous solos hitting the spot again and again but when the pair combine with twin leads during “Guns & Gasoline” the results really are something to behold. However, Electric Mary are no two-trick ponies, ever grinning bassist Brett Wood and Spider, a new recruit behind the kit, super glued at the hip during the slower grind monsters of “Sorry Baby” and “One In A Million”, as Brown also showed a more tender side to what usually is a full throated vocal display. He’s also an incredibly comfortable and engaging stage presence just as happy to make eye contact with the gyrating throng in the front row as he is cajoling the rear wall huggers into the party.

At one stage the singer actually joined those near the back of the venue but rather than being one of those vain attempts to ‘connect’ through unintentional intimidation, Rusty was simply taking a breather as his bandmates cranked “Sweet Mary C” tighter and tighter towards a mighty show stopping crescendo. It also served as a neat way into both incorporating and avoiding an encore in a venue where the band have to enter and exit the stage through the crowd. Hence rather than go through that hackneyed routine, Electric Mary did what they do best - grinned, cavorted and then tumbled headlong into the rifferama of “Already Gone” and “Woman”. As he had all night Rusty continued to prowl the stage looking every inch the caged beast as Bannerman’s tight confines constrained his movement but not his enthusiasm.

“M B F (I Fell Out With My Best Friend)” is rabble rousing rock and if any song could compel a crowd to shrug off the fatigue of a working day, horrible weather and energy draining set, then this was it. And so it proved, Electric Mary bringing to a close a set that hit the spot from start to finish, raised a few laughs, many fists and everyone’s spirits along the way and then left everyone cheering and hollering for more. Suddenly twenty one hours seemed like a small penance for all concerned when the results were this good - and if they decide on a return trip anytime soon then the Electric Mary faithful will be there once more. Let’s hope we can grow their number between now and then because displays as potent and memorable as this merit more than a handful of fervent supporters.

No matter the turnout Electric Mary’s mantra remains ‘rock n’ roll as it used to taste’ and on this evidence that flavour would appear to be one to savour.

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