Alright on the Night

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A review of Bite Night and support at Hootananny on the 12th of September, 2014.

Hootananny was busy, well it was Friday night, when I arrived just as Bring Back VHS’s Fraser Gallacher was drawing his set to a conclusion and he appeared to have held his own in front of the packed bar. This is what made Bite Night’s EP launch interesting. Picking a Friday night in a well frequented pub did not guarantee a partisan audience but at Hootananny it did provide for a very noisy and at times, at the front, a playfully boisterous atmosphere.

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Next up were The Ragazzi who took advantage of the situation following on from a couple of fans who asked me to take a ‘selfie’ of themselves with the bands guitarist, James Macleod. Not technically a selfie but they, along with others, weren’t really interested in such technicalities on a night like this.

The Ragazzi produce songs that are short, snappy and straight to the point. It’s punky but in a very together way, and has more than glance to The Vaccines especially in the delivery of frontman Dean Morrison; ‘Whatever I Want’ being a prime example.

No sooner had The Ragazzi packed up and Bite Night were getting ready to play. Double denim is the name of the game with Bite Night and although to many this would be a fashion crime Bite Night turn it into a positive; a quirky nuance to set them apart from the others.

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“the width in their set is also delivered in the very danceable and countryfied Dire Straits’ fused ‘K9’”

Double denim though has been noted in various guises from the early days of rock ‘n’ roll through to the likes of B*witched in the 90s and bands beyond. In many ways this reflects the spectrum of influences that Bite Night draw from, and I should point out that I don’t include the aforementioned Irish girl band within those influences. Just thought I would clear that one up.

As well as the EP they threw in a couple of covers which encompass this range; those being the blues rock of ‘Pride and Joy’ and Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’. The width in their set is also delivered in the very danceable and countryfied Dire Straits’ fused ‘K9’ through the raw edges of ‘Arms Dealer’ and the terrace chant of ‘Worlds Apart’.

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“For an EP launch it ticked all the boxes and you couldn’t ask for more”

But it’s this accessibility that that makes Bite Night what they are. As well as Ben Zebrowski confidently fronting the band it is the other Ben, on guitar that gives them their signature, that undoubtedly Bite Night feel as his classic rock guitar ripples through everything the band play.

As for the EP itself ‘City Pins’ certainly caught the attention tonight with its bounceability and trademark lead guitar. Also early on ‘Neon Nights’ as required set the pace from the start. ‘Beers To Tears’ rounded off the night on the right note or it should have done before the crowd asked for one more song delivered in the shape of ‘Pride and Joy’ once again.

For an EP launch it ticked all the boxes and you couldn’t ask for more. Ok, maybe just one more song.

A notefrom the editor

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Frank Finlayson
Frank Finlayson
Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy. A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre. Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy. You can contact Frank direct via

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