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  • Writer's pictureDanny C

Jasmine Minks & The Muldoons, Leith Depot, Edinburgh 21-03-24

They don’t Work For Nothing but the Jasmin Minks do (still) make their own history and they also still cut me deep. They’re responsible for one of my all-time favourite songs (Cut Me Deep), they’re a shining light of mid-late 80’s Indie music and a standout on Doin’ It For The Kids (the Creation Records compilation album that for me rivals C86). And The Muldoons aren’t bad either! Great to see both bands together at Leith Depot – if you get a chance to go see either don’t miss out and get a ticket asap!

Went along to this one with the ever-Indie Mike Mystery and Tim P – one of my oldest Indie school pals from our Penicuik days (and excellent artist, check him out on Insta @mirren_audax). Our pre-gig chat revolved around daft laughs as Newcastle Brown Ale Special Agents in our youth, Mr Mystery’s latest multiple creative projects (sounding excellent – watch this space for updates) and a New York style road-rage incident on Leith Walk that ended in farce. Less square-go and more like shit, let’s go, on one driver’s part after some verbals and dodgem driving.

 I’d had a heads up from Gigeratti Grant, who was also here, as well as with us at Echo & The Bunnymen the day before too, that The Muldoon’s would be worth seeing as they’ve got some new material in the works and always good live. He was right, well worth the early entry. They have a great mix of familiar early 80’s Indie sounds; jangly, upbeat, melancholy at times and much more – really complex tunes that they make sound deceptively easy and simple. Plus with a trumpet front and centre, they put me in mind of another classic Indie band The Man From Delmonte that I played to death in my teens. If that wasn’t a big enough yes from me there was even more to heap on. First off a couple of songs reminded me of my absolute favourites, The Soup Dragons; another track’s guitar sounded like it was channelling both Johnny Marr (Smiths era) and Paul Weller (Jam era) in the space of the same song; and then one of the best songs ever covered, After All by The Frank And Walters topped off a great set of a perfect dozen tunes. Great set, loved it, and will be looking out The Muldoon’s future gig appearances. By co-incindence, also looking forward to seeing The Frank And Walters in Glasgow in September too!

On to the main act, it was a crowded stage with six eagerly anticipated legends of the Scottish Indie music scene. I was a bit late to the party with Jasmine Minks by the time I caught on mid/late 80’s, and I didn't get the chance to see them back in the day – as lead vocals & guitarist Jim Shepherd said at one point before jumping into a JM classic, "a certain Mr John Peel first played this next song for us forty years ago!”. I was only twelve then, and stuck out in the middle of a town that felt link light years from civilisation, but more on the remoteness of 1980’s Penicuik another time. There was a quick reminder of new merch available (a fab t shirt and new album cd purchased!) before kicking off into the great Work For Nothing and then a well mixed split of new material, some select older classics and generally all round great tunes. Pleasantly surprised by the interchange of roles song to song – three of the band sang lead at different points (they all sang during most songs to be fair, as did a lot of the crowd) and with three guitarists and keyboard on top, that kept the pace bouncing along. I knew the band were originally from Aberdeen but I didn't know that a) the only song they recorded in Edinburgh was Cut Me Deep and b) they recorded it in Broughton Street – a road in Edinburgh I know like the back of my hand, having stayed nearby for several years and pubs I’ve frequented regularly over the last 35 years!

This gig was so good I managed to get hold of a setlist and on my way home after the gig I made a Spotify playlist of the set. If I’ve piqued your interest enough in them with this write up; 1) check it out on the link below; 2) buy their new album (and old ones. and merch); 3) go and see them live!

I got a good blether afterwards with Wattie (guitar), the excellent Dave Musker (also of the TVPs) and Jim. Wattie’s stories of winding Ian Broudie up, Dave Musker’s superbly sung bonus encore (sorry Dave, I forgot the song title you told me and isn’t on the playlist) and Jim’s cheery chat were a great way to end the night and I’m looking forward to seeing them again as part of the Glas-Goes Pop line up later in the year. If this is what they’re like with ‘a few’ years under their belts, I can only imagine how good they were in their heyday while I was kicking about the streets of Penicuik with not much going on and too young and too far away to see them anyway.

Go see the Jasmin Minks, go see The Muldoons, buy their records and spread the word; they’re making their own history!

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