Sons & Daughters,
Mother & the Addicts,
The Alpha Western
at the Night & Day,
Manchester, England
(17 June 2005)

Scottish music has moved on considerably from being known predominantly for its wonderful Celtic traditional music. North of the border there is a new wave of kickass "Scottish rock" that is emerging on the scene. Not only has Scotland brought us the Mercury prizewinners Franz Ferdinand and the delightful and talented singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, we now have bands such as Sons & Daughters and Mother & the Addicts to add to the list, making the Scots a ubiquitous bunch of rockers who are here to stay.

Sons & Daughters were top of the bill at the Night & Day, with Mother & the Addicts and the Alpha Western as support bands. When the doors opened we got to hear sound checks by both the Alpha Western and Mother & the Addicts, and it seems neither band was able to rectify the poor sound quality even though many levels were attempted. Unfortunately, this hampered all the bands at the gig to a certain extent and a poor sound quality was prevalent throughout.

The Alpha Western is a band to avoid. The lead singer was attempting (poorly) to emulate Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, and even did his best to dress in the same attire as the Foo's frontman, wear his hair the same and even grow the same facial hair. Unfortunately, he did not have the same talent as Grohl and was quite excruciating to listen to. The band was mundane as hell without a memorable song to its name.

Mother & the Addicts was a stylish, theatrical band with a great frontman to boot who gyrated rhythmically all over the stage. In the vein of Talking Heads, they were like watching musical theatre at its best. They are a band to look out for.

Sons & Daughters deservedly topped the bill, and they are a band that has everything going for them: gender equality (two boys, two girls -- yes, I know the Magic Numbers have that, too, but they don't sing in Scottish accents), fast and furious music in the vain of the Ramones (blink and the song is over) and great clothes. Opening with "Medicine" from their currently released CD The Repulsion Box, they immediately created a crowd frenzy. They are multi-instrumentalists and their lead singer, Adele Bethel, slithers across the stage like a sexy snake trying to seduce you with her vocal venum. "Dance Me In," their third number, is bound to become a club anthem! It growls and rocks. The audience lapped that one up as well as the rest of the set, which consisted of "Broken Bones," "Taste the Last Girl," "Monsters," "Red Receiver," "Rama Lama," "Gone," "Johnny Cash," "La Lune," "Royally Used," "Choked" and "Blood."

Sons & Daughters do not write comfortable music and are proud to "dance you in" with the best of the dysfunctional in life. Scott Paterson on guitar draws you into his mesmerizing performance, especially on the haunting "Rama Lama" with its almost cowboy feel equipped with whistling!

Go and see this band -- you even get a free Sons & Daughters lighter ... although a non-smoker like myself was just satisfied with the music alone!

by Risa Duff
29 October 2005