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Indian trio Thermal And A Quarter arrive in Edinburgh on their Bangalore Rock tour to brighten up the Fringe with their impressive brand of funky rock music. Promising to play a different set every night of the festival, this lively group offer an entertaining show consisting of their own songs alongside some more well-known covers.

Lead singer and guitarist Bruce Lee Mani briefly thanked the crowd for coming before the band kicked into opening number ‘Bend The World’, which set the tone for most of their set with its odd time signatures and complex rhythmic patterns. As Mani acknowledged, whilst the band are appropriately billed as ‘non-Bollywood original music’, the influence of Indian styles is apparent in their preference for strange, syncopated rhythms.

As a result, many of their songs are remarkably intricate, allowing the trio’s respective talents to shine through. Some of Mani’s riffs and solos were extraordinary, all played with great aplomb. Unfortunately his vocals were somewhat drowned out by the music, meaning the majority of the lyrics were lost on the audience. Bassist Leslie Charles provided an excellent foil with his searching and groovy lines and clearly enjoyed a great understanding with drummer Rajeev Rajagopal, who gave the group their impetus and drive. Mani also proved to be a cordial host, thanking the audience repeatedly and making a few light-hearted comments on their ‘crazy’ experience of the festival so far.

Aside from their own tracks, the band played an unexpected yet brilliant cover of Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’. Amusingly referring to Kurt Cobain as a ‘composer’, the band’s version was a unique, almost psychedelic take on his song with a fittingly loud chorus. It would be interesting to hear what other songs from their vast amount of influences the group can turn their hand to.

The set was not without its flaws. A couple of their songs came across more like opportunities to show off their technical proficiency and as such felt slightly too similar. However, the band’s enthusiasm for their music was infectious and they performed a thoroughly eclectic and enjoyable late night show. If you’re looking for a rock music fix during the Fringe, Thermal and a Quarter will ably provide it and, as Mani (hopefully) joked, you’d be helping the boys get back to Bangalore.

Venue Number 278. Spotlites @ The Merchants' Hall, 22 Hanover Street,Edinburgh, EH2 2EP. 1-26 August 22:35 (45 minutes). Suitability: U.

The Blurb

Thermal And A Quarter play non-Bollywood original music from modern India. Our Yes meets The Beatles via The Police while out for curry vibe rocked the US, UK, China ... now spicing up the Fringe! 'Impossibly funky ... excellent!' ***** (Herald).

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Thermal And A Quarter

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