Spreading musical joy across the city, the Aberdeen Music Open Day provided a perfect opportunity for the people of the Granite City to discover the musical delights that dwell in their fair city. After a series of successful live performances took place in unusual locations around the city centre – One Up Records, ii Music, Brewdog – the focus was directed to the day’s grand finale: The Lemon Tree showcase.
The evening was opened by four young bands who, over the past few weeks, have been taking part in a Strategic Music Partnership initiative which aims to give them experience and lessons to help them grow and mature as artists. Suffice to say, although a little rough around the edges, all four bands showed promise and each had some excellent moments.
Ruins were first up, kicking the night off to a great start with their upbeat metal-infused party-rock. Next onstage were Burn Em, fronted by a Harry Styles lookalike, whose indie-rock set included a song about a Belgian paedophile who “wanted my ass so bad”. Sanity Club’s straight-up rock sound followed, to a great response from the crowd. Finally came Sludge, who definitely sounded the tightest and most accomplished of the young bands on show.
Following a short rest, Marionettes arrived on stage with their upbeat indie-pop, and right from the get-go it seemed their emphasis was on making the night as fun as possible. Sounding tighter than ever, most likely due to their extensive touring over the summer, the band were on fire as the tore through their set which included Deja When, Today A Dog Shall Die and Shrinking Violets.
Headlining the night were local alt-rock legends Stanley, who bucked with tradition and opened with a series of new songs. With the tracks from their debut album, Animals with Amazing Disguises, having been in the set for some time now, it was a refreshing change to hear the five-piece’s new material. Playing four new tracks in total – Morning Breath, Home Brew, 4000hertz and Salt ‘n’ Shake – the band’s more recent material slotted perfectly into the set, and showed that the guys still have a knack for writing killer tunes. The highlights of Stanley’s set, though, were undoubtedly the old favourites: songs like the North-East-Western soundtrack Edit the Night and the rousing Join Hands are always a welcome addition to any Stanley set, and this was no exception.
Ending on a high, the Lemon Tree showcase was a superb end to a fantastic day of music across Aberdeen. With promises from organisers of a bigger and better event next year, we at Hercules Moments can only say one thing... we can’t wait!