Gig Review: Emma Pollock/Broken Records
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, August 10, 2007
This was Emma Pollock’s second visit to Cabaret Voltaire in three months (read my review of the previous gig here. This time the venue seemed a little fuller and she seemed just as relaxed and assured as before.
Last time, she had been supported by the wonderful Katie Sutherland and Popup; this time she was supported by Edinburgh seven-piece Broken Records (OK, the cellist is from Germany). Broken Records could be described as being folk-rock, in the sense of folk meaning ‘music of the people’ and involving instruments like the violin and mandolin, rather than any ‘hey nonny nonny no!’ with people sticking fingers in their ears. They recently appeared at T in the Park on the T-Break stage, and look set to build upon this. Despite their singer’s nerves (he really doesn’t have to worry), they sound accomplished, which gigging is clearly adding to. They are unsigned and as yet, unmanaged, but if there is any justice in the world, this shouldn’t remain the case for long. They remind me of the Waterboys circa ‘A Pagan Place’ and my mate Mark reckons the singer reminds him of Lloyd Cole. The potential to be another Jeff Buckley is clearly there too. ‘If the news makes you sad, don’t watch it’ should be a single.
The last time I saw Emma Pollock, she seemed to have thrown off any ghosts that might have lingered from her previous band. She is even more confident than before, but doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has a great sense of banter with the audience, able to laugh and enjoy herself. As I mentioed last time, she deserves to be seen as being up there with not just the other famous front women of new label 4AD (Kim, Tanya and Kirstin), but also British mould breakers like PJ Harvey. ‘Adrenaline’ produces just that, the keyboard riff that should be as familiar as anything else you’ll hear on the radio by the end of the year. B-side ‘A Glorious Day’ delights live as well. ‘Limbs’ the free mp3 that has been doing the rounds for several months remains just her and her guitar, with the keyboard player, and gets lovelier with each listen. New single ‘Acid Test’ is more guitar driven than ‘Adrenaline,’ and also deserves to be high up there on end of year lists.
She encores with ‘The Optimist’ and once again, I go out into the night, my heart warmed, friends beside me converted, and waiting for her debut, Watch the Fireworks. The queen of the Scottish indie scene, who acts like one of the people.
Broken Records’ Myspace site is here, including 4 mp3s that can be downloaded. Go along and say hi to them all.
Emma Pollock -‘Limbs.’ mp3