This gig marks a first for me – I confess to having only recently discovered Scott Matthews when I heard, almost by accident, the track ‘Elusive’ (which has won an Ivor Novello songwriting award) from his debut album – which, as it turns out, was released some 12 years ago.  That’s correct – 12 years!! – and I’ve been blissfully unaware!  It turns out that Scott’s been pretty busy in the intervening period, having penned a further five albums, including his recently released ‘The Great Untold’, from which a number of tracks are included in tonight’s set.

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They say that familiarity breeds contempt.  It would seem that unfamiliarity does likewise.   I’d mentioned to a few people over the last couple of weeks that I was going to see Josh Rouse; the response was invariably a variation on: “Never heard of him” and implicit in these statements was the conviction that if they hadn’t heard of him, he couldn’t be any good. More »

Nostalgia tours roll into town with rapid regularity.  Missed one Seventies or Eighties hit-maker?  There will be another along before you know it.  Nostalgia sells.  It’s less common though for someone who had their first number one in 1979 and their last top ten single in 1982 to come storming along with a set that draws heavily on their new album and yet delivers a credible, and relevant, performance. More »

I last saw Public Service Broadcasting three years ago, here in the Usher Hall, opening for the Kaiser Chiefs.  As much as I enjoyed their set, I struggled to imagine how they might sustain their mix of electronics and newsreel audio and video samples over any more than forty five minutes without running out of steam.  Tonight, I found out. More »

Edinburgh in March can be a cold, damp, miserable place.  So used are we to wet, windy weather that we even have a special adjective to describe it: Dreich.  If only there was a band who could bring a waft of warmth, a shaft of sunshine, a hint of hot African nights.  Step forward then, London Astrobeat Orchestra for a two night residency at The Voodoo Rooms. More »

Bryan’s back in town and the Ferry fans are out in force; it seems unlikely that a bleached blonde in a blingy black blouse will anywhere to be seen outside of the Usher Hall tonight.  And that’s as it should be; after all, septuagenarian sex symbols are in short supply and who knows when this one will pass this way again. More »

I’ve been a bit sniffy about tribute bands in the past, and deep in my bones I suspect I always might be; it’s the “it’s not really them” factor I suppose.  But having seen three of the best in the business: The Australian Pink Floyd, The Musical Box and Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac, I’ve learned to appreciate how seriously these bands take the work they do and how much their fans love it as well. More »

Texan singer Chrysta Bell first came to my notice when she played Agent Tammy Preston in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks:The Return.  CB, as she is known to her band mates, first met Lynch in 1999 and they have worked together on a number of musical projects including her debut solo album This Train and a 5 track EP Somewhere In The Nowhere, both of which were co-written and produced by Lynch. More »

Following their critically well-received slot as the opening act on Tubular Bells For Two’s UK tour last autumn, Gypsyfingers now embark on their first ever UK tour, with a brand new single, Half World, released to coincide with the dates. More »

It has been just over two years since the last time I saw Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac perform.  The hook for this current tour is a 40th anniversary celebration of the Rumours album, although we are actually now closer to the 41st anniversary.  The band has recently undergone a radical restructuring with original members Allan Cosgrove on drums and Dave Goldberg on keyboards, guitar and vocals being joined by two new female vocalists, and a new bassist and guitarist. More »

Support: IDestroy, Trillains, Newcastle13th March 2018. 

Arh man I hate days like this, sitting in front of the computer trying to compose a witty, yet informative review of a band that you know simply won’t do them justice. I mean they are certainly cornering a niche market here, punk/metal Victorian comedy anyone? And I know several if not all of those words will put some people off, but oh they are glorious to behold, especially live. More »

John Scott pops along to The Caves in Edinburgh to see Paul Draper.  More »

Having been suitably warmed up by support act Bright Light Bright Light, whose synth pop torch songs from his album Choreography are enthusiastically received by tonight’s sell out audience, there is a tangible thrill of anticipation as the lights dim and Erasure take to the stage. More »

London Astrobeat Orchestra are bringing their spectacular live show to venues across the UK over the next few months.  Band leader and bassist Edd Bateman has brought together West Africa’s finest session musicians to form a group that fuses rhythmic influences from Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Cameroon and Congo with the music of legendary new wave pioneers Talking Heads.

The band put their dizzying spin on Talking Heads classics from albums such as Remain In Light, Speaking In Tongues and Fear Of Music to produce a simply unforgettable live experience.

As Hifi Pig’s John Scott said in his review of last year’s Edinburgh show , if London  Astrobeat Orchestra are playing within a hundred miles of you, just go.

 

Dates announced so far:

 

1 March – The Prince Of Wales, Brixton, London

 

2 March – Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

 

15 and 16 March – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

 

14 April – Colston Hall, Bristol

 

11 May – Colchester Arts Centre

 

22 June – Oran Mor, Glasgow

Tonight’s support act is a guy called Thabo.  I assumed from his accent that he was American but when I checked out his website after the show I discovered that he was born in Zimbabwe and lives in…Huddersfield.  Thabo’s songs are intelligent, tuneful and incredibly engaging.  By the end of the first song he has the audience in the palm of his hand, much to his evident surprise and delight.  He explains that when he opens shows he is usually only singing to the sound man and the security, as everyone else is still in the bar.  Right now the hall is three quarters full and everyone here is giving him their full attention.  On the evidence of tonight’s show, Thabo is a man to watch out for and I hope the next time I see him he will be headlining in his own right. More »

In January 1977 John Scott paid £2.80 to see Genesis.  Tonight, nearly forty one years later, he’s paid £35 to see some Canadians pretend to be Genesis.   More »

Despite having penned the title song of Ireland’s biggest-selling album, A Woman’s Heart, and releasing more than a dozen albums over the last couple of decades, Eleanor McEvoy is still something of a well-kept secret. Over the last few years she has become increasingly appreciated in audiophile circles for the recording quality of her albums, with one hifi magazine awarding its Album Of The Year accolade to three of her releases. More »

St Cuthbert’s Parish Church has seen a few things in its time: infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare were regular visitors to its churchyard, the watchtower built to protect against them and other “resurrectionists” still stands; Sir Thomas De Quincy, author of Diary Of An Opium Eater, and John Napier, inventor of the logarithm, are just two of the notables interred in the churchyard; St Cuthbert’s was also where Agatha Christie married her second husband.  I’m willing to bet though, that in all of its considerable history, tonight is the first time it has witnessed a thirty three piece brass band and a young lady with an assemblage of synthesisers. More »

In 1980, the weekly music paper Melody Maker declared Talking Heads’ Remain In Light album to be its Album Of The Year, citing its innovative African rhythmic influences as a key part of the album’s appeal.  Two years later in the summer of 1982, rival paper NME was featuring four-page articles about African bands such as King Sunny Adé And His African Beats and Orchestra Makassy who were, quite rightly, causing a bit of a stir with their respective albums Juju Music and Agwaya.  Now, some 37 years after the release of Remain In Light, London Astrobeat Orchestra have taken  Talking Heads’ back catalogue and mixed it up with the musical styles of West Africa to produce something really extraordinary. More »

It’s not easy being a support act.  You have thirty minutes to make an impression.  On a good night, ninety five percent of the people in the room won’t know who you are, will have never heard any of your songs and have probably only turned up early to secure a decent seat for the main act.  Tonight, making an impression was something that Fraser Anderson only needed to worry about for around three minutes.  From that point in, spines were tingled and hearts were touched. More »

Bathed in blue stage lights, with the ageing pipes of an old church organ looming impressively over them, Cúla Búla towered over the crowd upstairs at The Quays on a stage built at least seven feet off the ground. More »

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