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  • Writer's pictureDanny C

Bikini Body, The Mash House, Edinburgh 09-02-24

Friday’s Bikini Body show, their first of 2024, was absolutely packed and with good reason – they were excellent. Not just the main act but also Eyes Of Others (aka John Brydon) , who I managed to get in to catch, took to the stage by himself but soon filled the room with his laid back and perfectly layered (sometimes subtle/ sometimes almost ravey) set of songs. Great melodies and hypnotic beats had me bobbing along and his in-between chat was funny and engaging, but even better were his descriptions of what his songs are about. I thought there were snatches of Stone Roses, Leftfield and mid-90’s dance Primal Scream at times - a great combination. I’ve been playing Eyes Of Others self-titled album from last year quite a bit over the past week since the gig and I’ll definitely be keeping an Eye Of My Own on them.

The Mash House is another great small Edinburgh venue and was the busiest I’ve seen the place for this. I might be wrong, but this could be one of Bikini Body's first hometown headline shows with their local fans out in big numbers to let them know they are loved. The crowd was pretty mixed (and by “mixed” I mean half, ‘old indie-kid’ types and half enthusiastic ‘young giggers’. There were definitely some squeals of appreciation after some songs in amongst the cheering and the occasional “vibe-checks” to the crowd by singer, Vicky Kavanagh, were definitely responded to more by the latter group, although everyone did cheer at these. God that makes me sound old, but a real testament to the appeal of the band across their fanbase).

They are definitely one of Edinburgh’s hardest working bands, who never seemed to stop playing live throughout 2023. I first saw them support The Bug Club in January last year (having met a couple of the band briefly at a ‘secret-not secret’ Fall/Mark E Smith tribute disco afternoon during the Edinburgh Festival in August 2022) and while they were good last time I saw them they’ve continued to grow, sounding even better this time round. They still have their energetic, punky edge but I thought they performed with a more confident, fuller sound. They played a mix of familiar tunes and some new ones including, for me, the highlight being their new single Mr Tinnitus, released as part of their much-deserved new deal with Optimo Music, which was celebrated by band and fans together with the promise of new material on the way. It's a real step up in sound; like a psychedelic Rio Carnival tune, complete with funky cowbell and whistle brought to the party, and if that’s not enough it has shades of late Talking Heads thrown in too.

They sent the crowd away on a high after rounding off their set with an encore of Late Bloomer and So Posh but instead of taking advantage of the half price entry with gig ticket to the after party event, I decided to head (as I often do) to the nearby Royal Oak for a few nightcaps and some excellent local folk singers led by the Friday ringmaster, Bobby Nic. Some incredible singers, musicians and songs from all over the world pop up there. All to be heard for the price of a pint and a few minutes of silence to enjoy their musical talents.

I doubt this will be the last I see Bikini Body (or Eyes Of Others) this year, but I don’t think it’ll be at anywhere near as small as The Mash House next time.

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