What a fitting way to celebrate my 1000th post as the Steinberg Principle, with one of my all time favourite artists.
As the 6 years of running the blog have passed I have become less focused on writing reviews – who am I to critique music – and more focused on sharing the things I love. There are not many artists I love more than Micah P Hinson. Since the first time I saw him at the Bongo Club and fell instantly in love with his music I have religiously bought his music – one of the few artists I still buy beofre I try. ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ is one of my all time favourite songs and Micah has soundtracked much of my adult life with his wonderful songs and quite incredible voice. And the weird thing is that album to album nothing really changes. There are never any shocking changes in direction or experimental changes in approach. No, Micah is Micah and the changes are subtle and delcious and perfect. And there is nothing new about this album. More fragile. More heart breaking. The voice more impressive than ever. But not a massive change in direction by any respect. And it’s just fantastic. I could soak this mans music up for ever and a day. Thank goodness he recovered from the car accident and got the use of his arms back. The world without Micah would be a tragic place.
Shield Patterns are Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox. Last night at Sneaky Pete’s I caught them live along with mini50 artists Now Wakes the Sea and Hiva Oa. I’ve known Rich for years now since the first time Glissando came to Edinburgh and I have watched his various musical adventures with great interest from Glissando, through A-Sun Amissa to Rustle of the Stars and now Shield Patterns. It was odd seeing him without a guitar and standing up whilst playing but nonetheless I would say this is one of his most exciting ventures to date. Whilst I adore Rustle of the Stars, there is something much more mainstream and potentially appealing about Shield Patterns that I have never encountered with Gizeh before. That’s not to say that their artists do not have the potential to gain wider mainstream attention but there is just something about Shield Patterns that this bigger things are around the corner. They remind me of Conquering Animal Sound, in their early days with that raw, freshness of a duo finding their feet, not limited by expectation and playing with a freedom and love that is simply awesome to watch and be part of. Last night was just perfect in many ways. Now Wakes the Sea was simply magnificent in a way only he could be. Hiva Oa continue to look more and more like the finished article with the expectation for album two growing with every show I see them play. The most interesting, diverse and experimental acts in Scotland all on one stage and then Shield Patterns. Great night of music and now I am very eager to get my hands on that Shield Patterns album. I have to wait until June but I am pretty sure it will be worth the wait. They are on tour in the UK until 11 March. Don’t miss them:
03.03.14 – Glasgow – The Old Hairdressers
04.03.14 – Sheffield – Rude Shipyard
07.03.14 – Cambridge – Leper Chapel
09.03.14 – London – The Old Blue Last
11.04.14 – Coventry – The Tin
27.04.14 – York – Basement