John – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – 11 Oct 2021

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John are John Newton (drums and vocals) and Johnny Healey (guitar), makes sense then! And their brutal, punky, thrashy, rifftastic noise blew our ears out, and we all loved it!

Attended by George, Andy, Douglas

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Laura Marling – Queens Hall, Edinburgh – 8 Oct 2021

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Two nights in a row (long story) but great to see Laura in Edinburgh again (after last night in Glasgow) and especially with Davie. We’ve seen her 4 times together, some magical evenings I’ll always treasure. In fact this was my 12th Laura Marling gig now. She’s a bit special to me and to Davie!

‘Special’ in a different, and not so good way, was the fire alarm interrupting her 3rd song, and the evacuation that saw us 45 mins outside. She graciously did not cut her set much shorter when we returned and was on top form yet again. I’ve included video below for a lovely new song ‘Your Girl’. So many brilliant songs and they just keep coming! Can’t wait for next album and next time live. A fun packed night rounded of by lots more beer and great folk music at the Royal Oak. Well from what I can remember!

Attended by George & Davie

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/laura-marling/2021/the-queens-hall-edinburgh-scotland-6b8d32aa.html

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Laura Marling – SWG3, Glasgow – 7 Oct 2021

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I never miss Laura when she comes to Scotland. And it was great to bring Chris along since he has just got into her music. Lucky man … I think he was just as entranced as I was. I prefer her solo performances to those with a band so for me this was yet again perfect.

Highlight song for me was ‘Daisy’, a non-album song and never my favourite before, but this solo version perfectly showed off her superb playing, moving lyrics and beautiful singing. Stunning! I also hadn’t spent much time listening to her latest album ‘Song For Our Daughter’ but songs from that sounded marvellous, so I will now. Tremendous as always Laura.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/laura-marling/2021/swg3-galvanizers-glasgow-scotland-2b8d3032.html

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Ane Brun – St Luke’s, Glasgow – 5 Oct 2021

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Ane inspired me to get back into live music when I first discovered her beautiful songs and saw her first back in 2009. This was the 9th show of hers I’ve been to since!

In times of pandemic I might have expected a more stripped back and simplified production, but far from it, this was big set, 6 piece band, new light show .. The works!

Though I love Ane’s singing and older material, her latest albums haven’t really struck a chord, and she started the set with lots of her newer ‘adult pop’ style songs that don’t do much for me. A smattering of older and well know songs lifted the set and built to a rousing finish and encores.

Attended by George & Karen

Setlist – next night – https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ane-brun/2021/manchester-academy-2-university-of-manchester-students-union-manchester-england-338dc0b5.html

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Sofar Sounds – Under The Arches, Edinburgh – 30 Sept 2021

  • Imogen Stirling
  • Flew The Arrow
  • Fiyin Fakunle
  • Imogen Stirling

As they put it – ‘Sofar Sounds is reimagining the live event experience through curated, intimate performances in 325 cities around the world.’ I had seen some videos from other cities and bought a ticket for the latest Edinburgh event … 18 months ago! So it was exciting finally getting along to what turned out to be a joyful, inspiring evening.

In effect these are ‘secret’ gigs where you are not told the exact venue or who the performers will be until close to the time. Kind of pot luck, but always good artists. Under The Arches is a cool corner cafe on Leith Walk. And intimate the occasion certainly was. Beautifully organised with a small, appreciative crowd and a supportive, communal spirit.

First artist up was Fiyin Fakunle who gave us a few of her songs. Very new to performing and quite musically naive but very charming and passionate. Flew The Arrow finished the evening, being the music project of Neil McGilvray and the contrasting expertise and polish was clear. I always appreciate great fingerpicking and alternate tunings. Very good indeed.

But the artist who made the biggest impression on me was Imogen Stirling, a writer and spoken poetry performer from Glasgow. And her love of the city was clear from her rousing poem ‘Glasgow’. I can find spoken performance poetry a bit embarrassing, but her passion, intelligence and humour won me over and after a few more pieces, including teasers from her upcoming theatre show ‘Love The Sinner’, we were all entranced. Stunning. You will be hearing her name in future!

Attended by George

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black midi – QMU, Glasgow – 27 Sept 2021

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black midi can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned! I know their obtuse, complex approach and never settling musical direction winds some people up. But for me they succeed in a fine balancing act between ever changing chaotic noise, muscular rock, avant garde jazz, proggy psychedelia … and more. Even when I sometimes struggle to follow what the hell they are up to at any one time, I love that they do that to me and that’s all part of the magic!

And a packed crowd of young gig goers, many with little idea about the band’s predecessors and influences, lap it all up too. A bit more energetically than me though as I was rapidly ejected from the front row to the back through an uncontrollable, but good natured, sea of moshing.

And with more published material behind and in front of them, the set allowed a tour through songs covering all of the above styles and sections. Never shy to debut plenty of new songs, we still got many of our favourites from their 2 albums. Opening with ‘Speedway’ and including ‘Near DT, MI’ my fave from ‘Schlagenheim’. Featuring ‘John L’ and the stunning ‘Slow’ from ‘Cavalcade’. New songs sounding really juicy and next album can’t be far away. What a band. So young, but superb performers and daring composers. Love them!

Attended by George

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/black-midi/2021/queen-margaret-union-glasgow-scotland-538d8b49.html

 

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Steve Hackett – Playhouse, Edinburgh – 25 Sept 2021

  • Steve Hackett
  • Steve Hackett
  • Steve Hackett
  • Steve Hackett
  • Steve Hackett
  • Steve Hackett

I’m a big fan of (early) Genesis and I saw Steve play with them in this very venue way back in 1977 ! I had seen him twice in recent years, but the chance to see him reprise one of my favourite ever albums, the live Genesis double LP ‘Seconds Out’, was far too good to miss. And what an enjoyable trip down memory lane this was.

With only one original band member this was never going to be as good as the real thing, but at least better (a bit) than a tribute band. And his band did a very good job. Steve though is the focus of the night, allowed to let his unique guitar lines take centre stage. I was less interested in his short set of solo material before the end-to-end Seconds Out. Never did much for me. But to sing along with all the Genesis songs like a teenager again was a treat.

Attended by George & Andy

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/steve-hackett/2021/edinburgh-playhouse-edinburgh-scotland-138dad15.html

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Rosalie Cunningham – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – 20 Sept 2021 

  • Rosalie Cunningham
  • Rosalie Cunningham
  • Rosalie Cunningham
  • Rosalie Cunningham
  • Rosalie Cunningham
  • Tuppenny Bunters

Over the moon to finally get back to the best place in the world for my first gig there since Feb 2020. And wow, wow, wow, what a fantastic show too from the wonderful Rosalie Cunningham and her amazing band! I had bought a ticket for this over 18 months ago and liked her recordings I had heard, but was not prepared to be as ‘blown away’ by such a marvellous set. What a joyous occasion for me and the lucky attendees including gig pals.

First up though were two piece piano and drums combo Tuppenny Bunters. I’m a big fan of Quasi and with the same kind of setup and infectious (must stop using that word) punky attitude, with great tunes, I was really happy about the music of Fi and Dave. ’The Carpenters on a terrifying acid trip’! Will keep an eye out and see them again soon. The Tuppenny Bunters soon re-appeared on stage again as part of Rosalie’s band! 

And what a band! Rosalie writes and sings dramatic, passionate songs while playing a mean guitar. I loved her recorded songs and the sounds are mostly classic bluesy rock. But live they take even more varied and interesting detours into proggy psychedelia with some complex ideas and structures. One song 14 minutes long … I love all that! But such a stellar backing band take all this to the highest level with brilliant playing and feel. All with cool 60s retro clothes and gear … Rosalie and band rocked that look as well as sounding spectacular. Running out of superlatives here!  Go and see for yourself as soon as you get the chance.  

Attended by George

https://www.jacemedia.co.uk/rosalie-cunningham—live-review—nice-n-sleasy

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Open Matches – Magiscroft – Aug/Sept 2021

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Really enjoyed 3 Wednesday’s in a row on Magiscroft Island Pond. Great fishing, but more importantly great company and a lot of laughs. A first and two seconds with 51lb, 47lb and 41lb … a lot of fish, mainly Ide, but nearly all at 16m! Too old for that now … completely knackered, so time to give match fishing a bit of a rest ‘til next June! Cheers.

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Crack Cloud – Bongo Club, Edinburgh – 1 Sept 2021

  • Crack Cloud
  • Crack Cloud
  • Crack Cloud

Crack Cloud from Vancouver played tiny Sneaky Pete’s in May 2019, and everyone raved about how amazing they were. So after an enforced long layoff it made sense for Nick to book them back at a larger room at the Bongo Club. Unfortunately the club being less than half full was pretty disappointing and I’m sure a reflection of peoples Covid reticence rather than the quality of the band.  

4 members of Crack Cloud took the stage as their own support band ‘Military Genius’! Laid back and low key, nice, but the intensity trebled when the rest of the 7 piece Crack Cloud crammed onto the stage. Riff, groove, riff, grooooove, riff, grooooooooooooove … that’s how I remember their music! Not so much songs as extended, repetitive, danceable anthems. Infectious (pardon the pun), and once they get going, no-one wants them to stop while bopping around to the groove, so they don’t!

Attended by George & Andy

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