This weekend was one jam packed with music. I have been struggling to get to nearly as many gigs as I used to since Roddy was born. An inevitable result of being a parent I suppose. Something that I am also more than happy with. I guess it makes the gigs that I do get to that little bit more special and important to me. This weekend I was at 3 shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
First up was my good friend Andy Tucker’s album launch night. Tucker and the Scattered Family, as his assortment of musicians are known, have just released a record called ‘Twelve Tall Tales’, which I have reviewed previously on this site and recommend you check out. It’s always nice to be at a friends album launch night but even more enjoyable when the performance is something special and Andy and his cohorts did not fail to deliver on Friday night. A set packed with new tunes, sprinkled with Dead Beat Club album numbers and topped with the sublime ‘Circa 1985’ really was the perfect way to start the weekend. As one of my friends pointed out, it’s hard to understand why Andy isn’t better known in the Edinburgh “scene” as simply put, if you like King Creosote it’s hard to understand why you would not like Andy. Music snobbery to the fore perhaps? I don’t know. What I do know though is that this was a great performance by a great performer and you should all check him out here.
After the drunkeness of Friday night, Saturday’s gig was all about staying sober. I even took the car just to ensure the Meursault album launch didn’t turn messy, which surely it would have had I not driven. It was a pretty sweet start to the night as mini50 signings Conquering Animal Sound were first up. I don’t want to go on and on about them too much as they are part signed to my label and it’s not cool to constantly write about your own bands – I have a mini50 page for that – but I thought their performance was excellent and started the night of perfectly. I have to say, I was pretty proud of them. They’re going to do so well.
Meursault were just awesome. I’m not planning on reviewing their new record. I am good friends with Phil and Neil, so I think I’ll let others do the talking about the record. I wouldn’t expect any bad reviews though, lets put it that way. Anyways, the set was basically the album from start to finish and in the live arena the songs take on a whole new energy. Set closer ‘A Fair Exchange’ is just stunning. On record, clocking in at just 1 minute and 52 seconds that song simply takes my breath away every time. It was a beautiful way to finish a stunning set from a band set for big things this year. Of that I’m sure.
And so to Sunday. Without a shadow of a doubt Sunday was my favourite show. I have never ever seen anyone as good on piano as Nils Frahm. I sat in the Captain’s Rest in Glasgow in stunned silence as this young man from Germany captivated the audience with some of the most beautiful and technically challenging pieces. Just sublime. For anyone who loves piano you MUST check out Nils here. One of my favourite gig moments ever was during his second last number when Rob Lowe of Balmorhea sat down at the piano half way through the number and Nils and him played out a duet. This was a stunning piece of piano playing from both men. Just sensational. It reminded me of when my brother and I had to do similar things. Except 100 million times more impressive! Just jaw droppingly brilliant.
Balmorhea were not a band I’d ever heard before. I’d heard the name but not their music. I will now be buying everything they have ever done. That was a sensational set. There music is strange in a way. Almost like modern classical music that is deeply rooted in the south of the United States and spun out via some straight up prog rock. Beautiful piano motifs complimented by sublime strings then all of a sudden mad guitar, pounding drums and banjo all crash in. I’ll need to buy their music on record to really get to grips with them but their performance was nothing short of outstanding and I will without doubt be buying their stuff. And you should too. Check them out here. Buy it here.
All in all I had a great weekend of music. It really was special. All 3 shows. This week looks like being dull in comparison. But I feel inspired. I’m off work and can feel a couple of days of songwriting on the cards. With the notes still in my ears from the weekend I can’t help but want to play music. Anyways, check out the artists above. And enjoy.