Rodent Emporium is an alternative punk band from Scotland that uses comedy and parodies to prick the pretentious bubble and excesses of those with too much self importance. Its pop punk that could be the result of Half Man Half Biscuit having a night out with Weird Al Yankovic. The band formed in 2005, but they didn’t start to get serious until 2007. They released their debut ‘Music Without Fear Of Reprimand’ in 2008 and followed it up with ‘Sports’ (2009) and ‘Kigo’ (2011). Besides performing on their home turf in Edinburgh and Glasgow, they have also made several appearances at the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois.
They launch into their set with the headcharging traditional punk of ‘Ramshackle’ and the gang vocal sing-along ‘Let’s Go Mental’ led by Stuart Gilmour, a man who looks like he has just drunk twelve redbulls in a row. He also has a mad glint in his eye as he introduces the bizarre ‘Bum Trench’ and follows on with the melodic feel-good anthem ‘Summer Sun’. There is a dig at aspiring sports stars that just crave winning and the associated fame in ‘Sports’. The awkward teenage angst can be felt in ‘Model Airplanes’ as a young man tries to repress his feelings following the break up of his relationship by building model airplanes.
Then they pull out one of my favourite tracks, ‘Snake Patrol’, with its off the wall lyrics. “Boa, boa, boa, boa constrictor / Adder, adder, adder in the green grass / What am I supposed to do / I’m surrounded by rattlesnake poo / Open up the telephone book / find the number that I want / pick up the telephone and Shout / Snake patrol, snake patrol / catch the snakes, catch the snakes”. There is another down and dirty old school punk song in ‘Hunting For The Rhode Island Sasquatch’. They finish off with ‘Colin’, about an alternative childhood game where the lego hero gets nuked repeatedly whilst trying to stop a nuclear reactor from going into meltdown. Great showmanship and a tight performance made for a brilliant show.
Photo by Dean Stead
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby