08 November 2019 (gig)
12 November 2019
It was a bitterly cold Friday night in the Scottish capital but temperatures were on the rise inside Henry’s Cellar Bar when all-female punk-garage band COMA CAT celebrated their EP launch party and with ample support from various other acts.
With its grimy ‘ambience’ (think CBGB’s) the tiny venue turned out to be the purrfect spot for an evening of fun, anarchy, garage-punk and slam-dancing. Native Edinburghian Josh Corkill opened the night with his warped, experimental and psychedelic solo tunes, followed by Faliraki’s decidedly harder sounds. The atmosphere was frantic and the constant stream of punters eagerly welcomed the Coma Cats live on stage… Fans weren’t disappointed!
Fronted by Sha Rivari (main vox and guitar) and flanked by Red Ribela (guitar and backing vox) and Fi Banshee (drums), the first track was ‘Pacify Me’ from the band’s Scratch EP. It really was just a warm-up so to speak because the next track was in fact a wicked cover version of The Cramps’ classic ‘Goo Goo Muck’. Although Sha didn’t quite capture the vocal sleaze factor Lux Interior was famous for she certainly stood her ground, what with a perfectly dangerous growl and howl towards the end of the song. Next up was ‘Song of the Day’ – a thumping pulse-beat track already performed live by the band at Edinburgh’s annual Meadows Festival in June. Then Red Ribela took over on lead vocals for ‘Taste of Vacation’ – a story of fun vs insanity in Spain. Red Ribela’s Mediterranean temper was short-lived however, with Sha back for more main vocal duties… this time for the rather sombre ‘The Void’ (her downbeat facial expression prompted laughter).
Another track from the freshly launched EP was ‘Red Wednesday’ – as Sha sarcastically explained the song is a celebration of all things red, like monthly periods for example. Finally the Cats played the number everyone was waiting for (and which recently received airplay at a local radio station): ‘Angerland’ is a riotous, kick-ass anti-Brexit ditty which almost descended into more chaos than the Houses of Parliament when some over-enthusiastic punters – like a bunch of lemmings ready to leap into the sea – decided to leap onto stage and join the frantic goings-on. Shame that Machiavellian mastermind Dominic Cummings wasn’t present for he and his ego would have been crushed by the ensuing mayhem, culminating in Sha being lifted up into the air by countless hands – no mean feat given the fact that Henry’s Cellar Bar has the proportions of a shoe box! At that point the venue had reached fever pitch and the crowd yelled for more. And more they got when Coma Cats played another fab Cramps tribute – namely the suitably swampy ‘Human Fly’. Now that’s what I call a fookin show!
Final act of the night was Newcastle-based, French punk-pop duo The Noise and the Naïve (Anne and Pauline respectively) who’ll shortly leave Ole Blighty for Canada. The night was young and for those who felt like staying on both DJ Helena and DJ Blancus provided ample opportunity to groove until the wee hours.