Massive/Black Cat Bones/Tequila Mockingbyrd
Bannermans, Edinburgh

26th July 2017

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland


Aussie rockers Tequila Mockingbyrd have been developing a bit of a reputation as a quality live outfit and the big crowd gathered early doors in Bannermans to catch them shows it's working.

Typically for an Australian band they are confident, competent and yes, ballsy, so the fact they are an all female unit is just one more thing about them. That might help with the marketing but it's not why they're here.


Guitarist/vocalist Estelle Artois is the smiley chatty one up front while bassist Jess Reily has more of a mean and moody rock and roller look about her but is happy to have fun too. It's drummer Josie O'Toole who really catches the eye with an enthusiastic performance and an energy level that drives the band on.

Playing songs from their debut, 'Fight And Flight', along with some new tunes they get a warm and enthusiastic response from the crowd but I couldn't really find any killer songs among them. A really likeable band but I'm not sure they have the material to match yet.


The meat in The Australian sandwich tonight are Liverpool classic rockers Black Cat Bones. Living in the tight budget end of the rock'n'roll money pool they interspersed cheeky calls for the crowd to buy merchandise with some bluesy rock'n'roll.

Inspired by the great bands mostly of the past, I thought I heard some Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses influences here and there and singer Jonnie Hodson is happy to channel the old school vibe with his look and vocal style.

These guys were at their best when bringing the bluesy side of their sound to the fore such as on the title track of their EP, 'Down To The River'. Some work to do maybe, but some promise in their bones.


Massive are another graduate from the rock'n'roll school that is the Australian bar scene. If you're not both good and able to handle a boisterous crowd you don't get out alive but these guys certainly did and it shows.

Singer and guitarist Brad Marr may not be the biggest rocker around but he has more than enough balls and talent to front a show. The band are tight and obviously know what they're doing but it's great to see that spirit of spontaneity is still with them. Bassist Aidan McGarrigle just disappears into the crowd during second song 'Bring Down The City' and it's obvious the move wasn't expected by the rest of the band.

It doesn't phase them and actually nothing phases them for the rest of the set. Marr chugs down beers, strings are broken and support band's instruments used to keep going mid-song; it's all about the rock'n'roll.


Among the mayhem there are more than a few good songs too with 'One By One' and 'Calm Before The Storm' standing out tonight. Even ballad 'Ghost' ends up as high voltage rock'n'roll tonight though, that's just their vibe live.

Inviting the other two bands on stage for a gloriously chaotic version of 'Highway To Hell' was a totally suitable ending to a night of rock that made a Wednesday night feel like a Saturday. Massive walk the walk as well as talking it and they will be in a venue near you soon.

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Black Cat Bones

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Tequila Mockyngbyrd

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