Catholic Action are a band that blasted on the scene in late 2014 and have done really well for themselves in that very short space of time, which is both admirable and enviable at the same time.
We were there to check them out at The Mash House at the end of their first run of what will be many shows scheduled in 2017.
First up though, we have grunge/metal band Spectacular Primate Disaster. At first, you would think that you had seen an act like this before. Angsty, angry lyrics with heavy, sludgy riffs that are trying to emulate the best of Nevermind and early Biffy Clyro. In fact, the frontman even joked about how one of their songs was their “Nirvana” song. However, as they got towards the end of their set, the band’s versatility started to show as they seamlessly moved towards the metal end of the spectrum and the band showed off some of their impressive skills on their instruments, ultimately winning over most of the crowd looking less like Nirvana and more like Mastodon. Clearly, this is a band still trying to find their sound but once they do, they could well end up being a band that have something to prove.
Next up was Whitehill Grove, an indie rock band from Edinburgh. Whitehill Grove easily remind you of bands like The Strokes and early days Arctic Monkeys alongside Pop Punk bands like Blink-182 and Yellowcard. All in all, Whitehill Grove proved that they have lots of potential performing their own blend of power pop rock. A highlight in particular, was their inspired cover of ‘Shut Up’ by Stormzy. However, it need to be said that they still need time to “gel together” as a band. More than once through their set the rhythm of the band as a whole was a bit off and they weren’t really hitting the beats and rhythm together. This can be forgiven for a band, who only formed in early 2015 and over time they can only get better from here. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on.
Finally, it was time for Catholic Action out to prove that they are worthy of the many “one to watch” accolades. As it turns out, they certainly are.
They blended together Franz Ferdinan-esque spiky indie rock riffs with harmony guitar solos in the vein of Thin Lizzy. It’s a combination that works incredibly well as they blasted out song after song, including the insanely catchy single ‘Rita Ora’ which nearly had the whole crowd dancing along and ‘Breakfast’.
The highlight of the night came towards the end of their set where they simply stopped playing for around twenty or thirty seconds and stood motionless while the crowd watched on in complete silence. It takes a lot of confidence and stage presence to pull off something like that and turned out to be a simple yet incredibly effective. They then finished off with the incredibly poppy ‘L.U.V’ to a well won over crowd.
Ultimately, Catholic Action are a band who have the potential to become a well-respected name in the Scottish music scene. Some would argue that they already are and the evidence definitely supports that. In fact, don’t be surprised if you hear a lot more from them in the future once they release their debut.