Thursday, 12 May 2011

Edinburgh Unplugged

So, there I was, bozoing away at Edinburgh Unplugged last night, despite the fact that I really couldn't remember who was on the bill.  Why the hell was I going then?  As I knew I could trust Calum Carlyle to not put on shit, that's why.  Same way that I can trust Jimbers at Secret CD's.  

Anyhoo, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Man Gone Missing turned out to be Simon Kempston playing solo in a somewhat more bluesy vein than I'd been accustomed to of late.  I thought that his voice was sounding rather good.  Maturing like a fine wine, and all that.  The guitar sounded nice, but I couldn't help thinking that I expected it to be louder, it being a metallic resonator and all.  Some typically fine guitar playing though, which I enjoyed very much.  Some fine chat too - opening remark, "I'm Simon, I'm from Dundee, and I play the delta blues - The Tay delta, that is".

Colin Milne is a true original, an older gentleman who makes and plays his own guitars (a classical, in this case).  Not only that, he plays some rather beautiful, creative and heartfelt songs, all dashed with a sense of humour and pathos.  "Eye Candy" was a hilarious and unexpected opening song, and showed the man's sheer nerve.  Although you'd never describe Colin as a strong singer, there were a couple of occasions which damn near brought a tear to my eye, a sentiment which was echoed by the girl sitting next to me.

The Forget-Me-Nots
 The Forget-Me-Nots sounded like they'd be a crap indie band who were a friend of The Pastels back in the day, but instead they turned out to be an all-girl acapella barbershop quartet.  Now, I don't know if I'd ever choose to listen to that at home, but on the night it proved damned entertaining, the girls really acting out the songs with great movement and expressions, and with very strong voices and interesting arrangements too.  It had the potential to be awful; instead it was GREAT.  I believe they're playing in the Festival.  You heard it hear first, folks.

That left the last band with a tricky act to follow.  Happily, Conscious Route rose to the challenge, playing a storming hip hop set, complete with some great female backing vocals from Hannah Werdmuller, and another vocalist.  Some great audience participation going on, the MC encouraging us to clap and wave hands, etc.  I liked the lyrics too.  I left feeling energised and with a smile on my face.  In fact, I got a CD for free, which is damned nice of them, I shall have to fish it out of my jacket and give it a spin.

So, all of the above conspired to keep the Bozo out past his usual time of retiring.  No matter.  He went to work tired and slightly drunk, and was none the worse for it.

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