A mum-blog by a live music lover who doesn't go to gigs.
Potential to be the biggest waste of blogspace ever.
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By Karen Dorrat • Apr 27th, 2012 • Category: gigs
A day to celebrate record stores and all their delightful wares and in Edinburgh’s case, their unwavering support of Scottish bands, signed and unsigned.
Having got into Edinburgh with about four hours to spare, I still somehow managed to miss most of the afternoon entertainment. Such is the time lapse that often occurs in this city. So I reached Stockbridge while it still had the lingering air of sets by Meursault and PAWS, Pennycook’s mighty vocals and PAWS’ feedback no doubt reverberating round the cobble streets even now. VoxBox was bustling with punters laden with shiny vinyl and the buffet table complete with cupcakes and beer was somewhat depleted. A nice touch.
Onto Electric Circus for the headline show where we would be treated to The Last Battle singing their way through a stripped back set of their stripped back folk pop. A special treat in honour of the covers theme was thrown in with a rather unique performance of none other than Warren G & Nate Dogg’s ‘Regulate’.
Turns out it wasn’t to be the only strange choice of cover as Emily Scott would later present AC/DC by ukulele in the form of ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna RocknRoll’. Emily benefited more than the openers in terms of a quiet listening crowd, captivated by her soft Irish lilt and vintage tone. She courageously presented a number of new songs, all well received. Proudly promoting the benefits of RSD, Emily reassured the crowd that had they missed out on spending money on records so far there was one last record shop open inside her handbag. Good saleswomanship!
And so to the apt choice of headliners in Star Wheel Press, the tweed-clad americana heroes of Avalanche record sales. Singer Ryan Hannigan must secretly rue the day he decided to hand print covers and sleeves for their outstanding debut album ‘Life Cycle of a Falling Bird.’ Even the hardiest supporters could not have foreseen the extensive sales this album has achieved over the past year from just one independent record store. Now having to turn his hand and printing press to designing covers for a vinyl edition, one wonders how much longer supply can keep up with demand as the band begin to pick up speed and celebrity fans to boot.
Live, Hannigan goes to his own world, likely to be somewhere between the hills of Perthshire, the little piece of heaven that is County Down and the shores of the Mississippi. Eyes closed, going with the flow, beautifully supported by the female vocal harmonies and an extremely tight set of musicians, Ryan’s enthusiasm for his carefully crafted songs is evident and the crowd love it. Opening with delicate new song and superbly titled ‘Being Michael Jackson’s Son’ the band seemed right at home yet ready for more. Obviously nothing but an Elvis cover would suffice for this band, so a charming version of ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ it was then! Album classic tracks like ‘Railway Lines’ and ‘Turning Black’ were perfected live and more experimental versions of ‘Falling Bird’ and ‘Lay the Baby Down’ were a breath of fresh air. Their tongue in cheek lyrics and laidback casual sway should not be taken lightly, these guys mean business and they show that with flair in their ‘encore’ of gospel stomp ‘Hey Lord (An Existential Inquiry)’.
Star Wheel Press perfectly demonstrate the value and the art of creating an entire album, vinyl or otherwise, that will endure, and are a treasure in modern times.
Anyone who likes a cowbell or two will be delighted to spend time dancing to Not Squares and having recently ever so generously given their album away for free for one day, they have now got this tremendous new synthy single, perfect for dancefloors the world over. ‘Fall Far’ will be released through ‘selected blogs’ on May 7th - maybe I’ll even get a wee link if I ask nicely??
You should check it out here as the opening track on the mighty Phily Taggart’s BBC Introducing NI show
Whilst on the subject of Mr P Taggart - you should really consider voting for him to become the Sony DAB ‘Rising Star’ Award as he is indeed a ‘radio star of the future’ championing all those fine NIrish artists with his passionate flair and enthusiasm for music.
If you happen to be on the other side of the Irish Sea you might want to make the most of the weekend ahead (saturday 21st) by celebrating all things vinyl. Skip updating your itunes and spotify playlists and head out to a real life record store near you. Browse through categories you may never have heard of, casually admire corridors of scruffy posters advertising local gigs, stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow music lovers who might be into that very same obscure band you like and most importantly try and bag a limited edition specially released for RSD2012.
In case shoppings not really your bag, there will be live music to entertain the consumers and a plentiful supply of local businesses wanting to feed you and of course provide refreshments.
My recommended itinerary would be:
Breakfast at Hula Juicebar
watch Ryan from STAR WHEEL PRESS demonstrate how those beautiful album covers are made using Letterpress and Woodcuts
run across town
VOXBOX Edinburgh 4pm PAWS
walk slowly back to the Bow Bar on Victoria St for a specially released RSD pint
ELECTRIC CIRCUS 7pm Emily Scott, The Last Battle and headliners STAR WHEEL PRESS