Broken Records, Freelance Whales

Jennifer Flett 30/01/2011

On the face of it, Edinburgh is a city that struggles to compete with the thriving Glasgow music scene but there is most definitely a burgeoning underground hub of musical activity and it is Broken Records who are in the forefront of this seemingly non-existent world.

For their first gig of the New Year they returned to the city's famed Liquid Rooms. This is a venue that has raised its self like a phoenix from the ashes after it burned down two years ago but has quickly reinstated itself again as a favourite venue for both bands and the fans, which was highlighted by Broken Records front man Jamie Sutherland's visible delight to be playing there.

Supporting Broken Records were the somewhat unconventional indie/pop outfit, Freelance Whales fresh from New York this is the second time that they have visited Scotland and the UK. Their unique brand of music lead singer Judah Dadone explained comes from being exposed to the harmonium growing up, which has lead to the almost understated musical spectacle the band produce. Playing across a rather strange mix of instruments, including the harmonium, glockenspiel, synthesizers, waterphone and the more conventional guitar, bass and drums what you get is an innate feeling of happiness as you are swept up into their world. This is not in your face, but sweet and melodic musical synergy and even more impressively each member of the band played several instruments throughout, constantly changing but totally captivating and not a note out of place.

This array of musical instruments was obviously a theme that would be continued as Broken Records took to the stage. As a seven-piece band (six- piece for touring) they add to the mix a violin, trombone, cello and accordion which has seen them quite often compared to the likes of Arcade Fire. They have this same very ambient style, especially on their slower numbers like 'Slow Parade' but their songs build up into a magnificent crescendo. They certainly bring an element of that
traditional Scottish sound into their music which makes for a gig with more foot-stomping action than any sort of mosh-pit but with now two albums worth of material (Until the Earth Begins to Part and Let me Come Home) their folk/alternative style will enchant anybody and with such an awe- inspiring performance you would be hard pushed to not find Broken Records incredibly endearing and a joy to listen to and watch.

This date only just kicked of the beginning of a new and exciting tour for the band which sees them tour across the UK, Europe and finally America, representing Edinburgh and Scotland as they go.