• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Introducing: Edge of the Bed

ByOrane Bissada-Bloch

Apr 13, 2023

Tuesday the 28th of March. Sneaky Pete’s is packed when I arrive. For an opening band who had done their first gig a mere three nights before, the newly born Edinburgh-based band Edge of the Bed sure knows how to attract a crowd. The gig starts in ten minutes, and I have to rush to the front just to be able to see them.

As they start setting up, I notice the nervous chatter between them, the passing of chords,  and the reassurance produced by holding and tuning a familiar instrument. There are five of them, all different in style and musical affinities. At the lead guitar, we have Chester-based Finley Aprovic, a fervent guitar and Jimi Hendrix enthusiast. On the bass and vocals, there is the indie aficionado from Australia Beth Yong, and on the rhythm guitar, Pixie’s fan Saskia Moses from Newcastle. At the drums, there is Londoner Arthur Healey who describes his music taste as going from punk to experimental, with other similar genres sandwiched in between.  Finally, we have as a lead singer and frontman Luke Reynolds, whose musical palette ranges from old-school hip-hop to Bowie.  

It’s their second gig in four days: they played at the Sketchy Beats Cafe as a supporting act that previous Saturday, also to a sold-out crowd. This time, however, they’re opening for indie soc’s Free Mantle Hypothesis. The warmup is now over and their first song, ‘Go to War’, starts playing. For the next thirty or so minutes, the crowd is listening to (post)-punk originals, with the only cover being Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’. People are dancing and laughing, but when ‘Rats’ comes on, the mood shifts. Everyone around me seems to know the lyrics (to be fair, there’s not a lot of them), and a mini-mosh pit forms. 

Their stage presence is solid. Luke dominates the scene, going into theatrics and engaging directly with the audience. As a frontman, he does a great job of animating the crowd. As a singer, his voice is clear, and he projects well. Finley is a great guitarist, and his solo demonstrates skill and practice. His movement on stage shows that he is having fun, and in general, that is something that is felt through all the band member’s actions: they are enjoying themselves. Beth goes up to Saskia, who I would qualify as the most reserved (but also the best-dressed) member of the band, and gets her to start dancing. The support they give each other is obvious, down to the fact that they all give Arthur time to shine during his boisterous and skillful drum solo.  

Throughout their five-song set list (‘Go to War’, ‘Roads’, ‘Roar’, ‘Rats’ and ‘Of Course Not’),  we get a sneak peek into Edge of The Bed’s psyche. During the gig, I got the feeling that most of their songs are deeply personal, and this was confirmed by the interview I got to do with the three founding members of the band a few days after. 

Luke, Beth, and Arthur met early on during the year and have been working hard on the band ever since. Beth and Luke are the songwriters, and the rest of the band composes their parts mostly through jam sessions. When I asked them what Edge of the Bed was ultimately all about, Beth said that “it’s about the becoming of a person.” It’s about reasons that make us the way we are, intermingled with personal history. For instance, ‘Of  Course Not’ is a deeply intimate song for Luke, who tells me that he grew up in a “poorer household”, raised by a single mother. He explains how he experienced firsthand disparity, as his friends could “easily ask for twenty quid to go out” when that was not possible in his household. To Beth, ‘Living in You’ (which was not played at Sneaky’s due to a time constraint) is the hardest song to perform, because playing it puts her back in that time in her life that the song alludes to. With Edge of the Bed, we feel privileged but also almost voyeuristic in the access we have to the group’s innermost feelings. 

Finally, Edge of the Bed is also a predominantly queer band, with one member (Beth) being ethnically Chinese and culturally Southeast Asian. For a band in a very white city and an even whiter and straighter music scene, they’re not doing too bad of a job.

One thing I would like to see from them, though, would be to lean more either into the jazzy or devastatingly loud punk-y feel that already emanates from their current sound, in order to diversify the setlist a bit more and surprise the audience. In a scene that is already suffocating with its vocation to be ‘alternative’, post-punk, and indie, it would be refreshing to get a glimpse of something else. But, all-in-all, for a second gig, they could have done a whole lot worse.

Image: ‘Edge of The Bed at Sneaky Pete’s’ provided via Press Release