A fascinating night at Camden’s Dublin Castle on Thursday night. Three very different bands but one undoubted star of the night in Edinburgh’s Filthy Tongues and very good they were too.

First up were a very young band from Southampton, The Dead Freights. They seemed to have brought their own fans with them and their take on indie/mod pop went down pretty well. I’d say that they have a lot to learn and that they need to find a sound that is unique to them but they definitely showed potential and I’d like to see them again in a year or so.

Not so the second band on, Sister Witch. Incoherent vocals from the lead singer Lux Lyall and a stoner drone from the rest of the band. They just seemed to be heading in different directions and their set seemed to end very abruptly when Lux stepped off the stage and disappeared into the bar. Shame because they have been mentioned in dispatches a few times but on this showing …

Finally the imposing figures of The Filthy Tongues hit the stage and it was immediately apparent that this was a band in a different league. Lead singer and guitarist Martin Metcalfe is an imposing figure in his black suit and black hat and at first I was worried that they would be throwing out a Bad Seeds groove of slow darkness but in fact they mixed up tracks from the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ album as well as new material from the ‘Back To Hell’ album and the set moved with real pace and verve. There were a few standout numbers in ‘Holy Brothers’, ‘Children Of The Filthy’ and a superb version of ‘Mother’s Got A Knife’. They closed on a wonderful take on Jacques Brel’s ‘In A Port In Amsterdam’. They are powerful and impassioned and their dark and moody numbers really hit the point in a Dublin Castle that was pretty well packed and really up for their ‘stuff’.
I’d love to see them again, playing a longer set – a very good and original band.