10th February 2018
Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
We arrived at Sneaky’s just in time to catch Edinburgh locals Nasari, who warmed up the stage with a set of grungy, The Cure-esque headbangers getting the crowd nice and lively for the main event. Their set was short but sweet, and was a good opportunity for the crowd to see what the rich local scene has to offer.
The band everyone was there to see, Peach Pit, are a Canadian indie-rock band defined by intricate guitar melodies and a rich chorus-heavy rhythm section. Evocative of lazy sunny afternoons, their style and sound struck me as reminiscent of Mac Demarco and Homeshake but sonically amped up to a driving conclusion. The type of outfit whose stage presence and style were fitting for Sneaky Pete’s, the band were spurred forward by eccentric turtleneck-clad lead guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy and charismatic, if seemingly shy, frontman Neil Smith. The band certainly gave off the impression of being funny, friendly and approachable, making their four-way bromance a part of their overall vibe and look. Smith supplied us with a multitude of silly anecdotes throughout the gig (including one about the bassist finding his Mum’s nudes in a family scrapbook), and they came across as the kind of guys you could get a kebab with.
The gig began with ‘Drop that Guillotine’, the band’s most-streamed song from their recent EP. This set the overall tone of the gig with a ripping lead guitar line pushed by driving and inventive drums and bass, topped off by a personal but extremely catchy chorus. The band decorated their set with a mix of delicately curated slow-burners such as ‘Hot Knifer’ and ‘Tommy’s Party’, as well as faster and more jumpable tunes like ‘Sweet FA’, and the band’s namesake ‘Peach Pit’. ‘Tommy’s Party’ was the most melancholic the set got, performed with laid-back style. Smith delivered his lyrics passionately, reminiscing of past excess and detailing his own personal changes. The song ‘Sweet FA’ from the band’s debut EP of the same name came across as a beautiful representation of the band’s overall style. Brooding lyrics coupled with a quirky guitar line and a wonderful chorus to top it off lit the smoky little room up, and it was here that the fans really showed their admiration. To close their set, Peach Pit performed their own blistering rendition of Chuck Berry’s ‘Go Johnny Go’ which melted the centre of the tiny room into a mosh pit of hyped up students and teenagers. The gig ended in true Sneaky Pete’s fashion, with a sweaty crowd of knackered but satisfied fans spilling out onto Cowgate in search of a drink or two.
Overall, Peach Pit was an excellent evening, showcasing the heavier side of Canada’s greatest export.
Image: Mark Morgan via. Flickr