Monday, March 12, 2012
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF GIGS : WEEK 10 (Part 1) : I WON'T GET THIS CLOSE TO THE PERFORMERS EVER AGAIN...
REVIEW OF LOCH LOMOND/CHASING OWLS - CAPTAIN'S REST, GLASGOW - FRIDAY 9 MARCH
This was one I was really looking forward to. Sadly, regular sidekick Aldo was otherwise engaged but I did have MG his brother and his sister-in-law as excellent company.
Loch Lomond, despite their name, are from Portland, Oregon. They've long been championed by Matthew from Song By Toad and more recently have been signed for UK and European purposes by Chemikal Underground Records - and that alone says it all as far as I'm concerned.
Support on the night came from Chasing Owls, a four-piece alt-folk band from Edinburgh who have been getting a fair bit of attention across blogworld and the mainstream media in recent months. They made a pleasant enough sound, but they weren't unique enough to really excite me. But hey...as I've said before....that's just an opinion and in no way fact. I know they make music that a fair number of you will more than appreciate, so I am happy to ask you to give them a listen via this jolly wee promo (see....the sun sometimes does shine in Scotland!!!):-
And there's a few more things like that available at this webpage.
The headline act began life as a solo project of Ritchie Young in 2003. It wasn't until 2007 that they got a settled line-up and the following year they found themselves supporting The Decemberists (a band who I sometimes find hugely enjoyable while at other times I find them awfully tedious).
Since then, they've released a handful of albums which were full of excellent alt-indie-folk tunes way before it came back into fashion this past couple of years. The current tour, which came to an end with this Glasgow gig and one the following night in Edinburgh, was to promote the latest LP Little Me Will Start A Storm, d now thanks to the link with Chemikal Underground (whose boss Stewart Henderson was among a packed audience in Glasgow) a brand new EP called White Dresses.
I won't disagree with the promo words on the Chemikal website.
"This LP is a beguilingly subtle piece of work which showcases not only the writing talents of predominantly Ritchie Young, but the assured arrangements of a tremendously gifted group of musicians. Loch Lomond’s strength very often lies in their restraint, their ability to know when to do less rather than more, a skill perfectly highlighted with the close harmonies of ‘Egg Song’ and the languidly shimmering instrumental ‘Water Bells’. It would be impossible however to appraise this album without making special mention of Ritchie Young’s extraordinary voice: one minute a strident tenor (Blood Bank), the next a gossamer-light falsetto (Earth Has Moved Again), his vocals add an extra dimension to proceedings and help elevate the collection of songs to an altogether more satisfying level."
Richie Young is a special singer. He won't be to everyone's taste....but if you're a fan of Jonathan Donahue, the lead singer of Mercury Rev, then you will love Richie's vocals. On the night of this gig, he was in tremendous voice, but so too were the entire band. The six-part harmonies were a joy to listen to...but so too was the playing. It always seemed to be just the right mood and tempo.
The really magical moment came at the encore. The band, as a few others have done over the years, left the stage and came down into the heart of the audience to perform without any amplification. Richie was at the front....and he came to a halt right by my side. And as the audience he hushed he began to strum his acoustic guitar and sing. The other five band members, who were by now in a tight circle and none of them further than 3 feet away, joined in. Genuine hairs on the back of the neck stuff to be so close to something so lovely.
mp3 : Loch Lomond - Kicking With Your Feet
The mp3 is taken from the new EP which can be obtained here. Please support the band and record label by making a purchase.....