Tired of the 601? Been to every ball? Looking for something different? The Saint brings you the highlights from St Andrews’ weirdest and most wonderful events.
Saints Sizzle, the pride of St Andrews’ fast food circuit, has united the holy trinity of hamburgers, fries, and live music. Burger-making ace and founder of Saints Sizzle James Mace began holding gigs at his establishment last semester when Downstem played a headline set. Sizzles has since become a pillar of the student music scene, hosting a night of jazz as part of On the Rocks and, on the night of my visit, student bands The Slick and Brine!.
I arrived at St Andrews’ cathedral of ground beef, located next to the aquarium, in time for a pre-match burger. A sucker for a gherkin, I wolfed down the ‘Fried-Onion Cheeseburger with Fresh Pickles & Mustard’ with all the style and finesse of former leader of the opposition Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. The burger was undeniably delicious and certainly lived up to its ‘highly rated’ status on Deliveroo.
St Andrews’ premier ‘improvisational psychedelic rock group’ Brine! kicked the evening off with their typical avant-garde smorgasbord of fifteen-minute improvised jams and fifteen-minute improvised covers. Their rendition of Khruangbin’s ‘Maria También’ lives rent-free in my head.
The band is made up of a rotating roster of musicians. On this occasion, the salty water enthusiasts opted for a line-up of guitarist, drummer, two bassists (naturally) and a saxophonist. Having seen them on several occasions now in their various forms, I consider myself a linchpin of the ‘Brine! Barmy Army’.
After a short post-Brine! interlude, The Slick took to the stage led by frontman Xander Mohan, sporting an eye-catching pink jacket and matching Fender Stratocaster. According to the band’s Spotify bio, ‘The Slick brings a classic British sound back from the nineties.’ As a fan of your Blurs and your Pulps of this world, this sounded right up my proverbial alley.
The four-piece made up of third years eased us in with the tender ‘Get a Few Drinks’. Keyboardist Matthew Torkington tickled the ivories with all the panache of a concert pianist. The rhythm section comprising Pearce Hopkins (bass) and Oscar Cooper (drums) slowly joined the party.
A ‘slick’ (sorry) transition soon led us into a cover of ‘Supersonic’, Oasis’ tribute to the fizzy anti-inflammatory Alka-Seltzer. The Slick’s assortment of original tunes was equally effervescent. The crowd even found their voices for the band’s rendition of debut single ‘On the line’. I always admire a band that’s not afraid to strut their own material rather than lean on overplayed covers. Having said that, a stray cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ was thrown into the mix, but I’ll let them off.
A native of God’s own county of Essex, I was particularly endeared by ‘The Colchester Blues’, an ode to one of East Anglia’s finest towns. For any Americans reading this, Essex is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of this humble island. I can only recommend a visit. I’ve heard Basildon is very nice at this time of year.
As the set drew to a close with a cover of timeless classic ‘Hey Jude’, I took a moment to reflect on the unique venue. If you ignore the slightly sulphuric smell of decomposing phytoplankton, Saints Sizzle is a fantastic setting for a gig. There aren’t many places you can simultaneously listen to live music, eat chips, and pensively gaze out over the North Sea. A trip to Saints Sizzle is well worth your time.
Visit saintssizzle.co.uk for further information on the restaurant.
Follow @theslickband on Instagram for gig and music updates.
Image: Saint Sizzle via Facebook