The band that plays together stays together
“Everything just gels when we’re together,” says Kirstie, lead singer (and very occasional guitarist) with local rock outfit Who’s Edna.
Before she joined Greg, Scott and Stuart – replacing a couple of previous singers who didn’t work out – the band didn’t feel as though it had a sense of identity.
Now, all four members share the same tastes and ambitions, each of them wanting to take Who’s Edna as far as they can.
“Yeah, bands like the Chili Peppers and Placebo are influences,” says guitarist Scott. “Rock stuff with good riffs.”
“And Garbage are one of my favourite bands,” adds Kirstie. “All the great bands of the 90s!”
Tonight, Who’s Edna are playing the open-mic slot at Whistle Binkie’s, hoping the venue will like what they hear and give them a weekend date. Though they’ve only been together for six months, the band have a string of live dates around Scotland behind them and many more ahead of them.
“We wish there were more venues in Edinburgh,” says drummer Greg. “In Glasgow, it seems a lot easier to get a gig.”
“Though places like this and Henry’s Cellar Bar are great,” says Stuart. “I’ve even heard Frankensteins is a good place to play these days.”
I need excitement oh I need it bad
“It’s the one every band plays!” says Kirstie, asking me to guess one of the cover versions they’ll soon be performing.
“We have to play covers here,” she says. “Whistle Binkies love bands to play them.”
“Though we really prefer playing our own stuff,” says Greg.
As the band take the stage and launch into that cover version (Teenage Kicks, in case you were wondering), two things become immediately obvious.
First, Kirstie’s voice is powerful and perfectly-suited to this kind of music. Raunching between a Gwen Stefani purr and a Shirley Manson-ish growl, she is every inch the rock chick up on stage.
Second – although Glen & Stuart’s rhythm section skills are not in question – is Scott’s guitar. Not only can this boy play, he ably steps into the size 11s of his idols, with a cool onstage presence reminsicent of the Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea.
Their short set alternates between covers (Weak As I Am by Skunk Anansie and Zombie by The Cranberries) and their own material.
Like them, I prefer these. Songs like Sunny Day are crafted well, with riffs and melodies aplenty allowing Kirstie to flex her vocal muscle.
Set closer Friday Show is a highlight, and Who’s Edna have by this time succeeded in getting the crowd behind them.
I think WB’s will be having them back on the strength of this performance, and I’ll be watching this lot – who are planning releasing an album’s worth of their own songs later this year – closely.
I still don’t know who Edna is though.