THE Rising Souls experienced a coming of age moment last Saturday night in Edinburgh’s The Caves as the powerful soul trio launched their second album Yardbird.
Playing in your hometown, at such an intimate venue, to a capacity crowd would daunt most; but not The Souls. They blew the stone arches off The Caves and charmed their adoring audience with tracks from their self-titled debut and new favourites from Yardbird.
In a night of bluesy-acoustic fabulousness, dungaree clad assassins The Rising Souls weren’t without accomplices.
Anton O’Donnell of Anton & The Colts kicked off proceedings with a warm and inviting set that featured tracks from the band’s debut EP 6:45 & 450 Down like ‘Better The One You Know’, old favourites like ‘Gypsy Heart’ and some new material Anton has been working on lately. O’Donnell was the perfect opener: engaging, raw, and very complimentary to the sound of The Souls. Expect to hear more from him and The Colts this year.
Another Weegie Scott McWatt took to the stage next, not as gruff and brooding as the rest of the bill but equally powerful. McWatt has a clinically clean voice that hits hard and works well with his catchy pop ditties. ‘Summertime’ was a standout from the experienced singer-songwriter setlist.
Relative newcomers in comparison to the rest of the line-up LUNIR had the honour of opening for The Rising Souls and certainly didn’t disappoint. Lead singer Becky Sikasa is as close to the complete vocalist as you are going to hear, with a seemingly unlimited range, silky flow, and even the ability to rap. LUNIR mixed covers of Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love’ and Sam Sparro’s ‘Black and Gold’ with their own original tracks, minus the usual accompanying string quartet. Uplifting and rousing, but the crowd were ready for the main event.
The gorgeous walls of The Caves were plastered with three men dressed head to toe like a chain gang all night, yet Dave, Roy, and Tom of The Rising Souls were dressed very smartly all night as they strutted around, mingling, and soaking up their big night. Drinks flowed and their classy merch flew off the shelves even faster.
However, The Souls are in this business for one reason only, because when it’s go time, they’re ready to deliver great music! Suits to one side, they were ready to blow the roof off of the building as the overalls, dungarees and flat caps came on.
Opening with two classic crowd favourites ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ and ‘The Boxer’ set the tone and got Edinburgh bouncing along to the talented trio’s roots vibes. ‘The Boxer Pt. 2’ continued the narrative smoothly as Roy “Kelso” Laing slapped the bass with gusto, multi-talented Tom Reed ran a clinic in percussion, and Dave Archibald lead them on a charge with his intensely powerful and sultry vocal.
Crowd participation ramped up and anecdotes flowed as The Souls wailed out ‘Sorry That I Love You’ and story-told with ‘Drunken Rab’. A cover of Rival Sons ‘Pressure and Time’ featured, a regular in The Rising Souls sets, alongside new favourites ‘Miss Hero’, ‘Hurricane’, ‘You’re All I Need’, and new single ‘Yardbird’.
Their live set grows stronger every time I see them, this time with the addition of some groovy electric guitar. They’re tight, innovative, and natural. Dave Archibald is a true original with a show stopping voice and has cleverly crafted the new album to show off the more mellow side to The Souls.
The Rising Souls have raised the bar and are without doubt one of the most exciting emerging acts in Scotland. 2016 will surely be their year and they truly deserve any success that comes their way.
The Rising Souls new album Yardbird is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and directly from the band. Check out the title track and lead single from their new album ‘Yardbird’ below.