Gig review: Aberfeldy/Donna Maciocia

Gig review: Aberfeldy/Donna Maciocia

Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms, December 21 2007

Support act tonight is Donna Maciocia from Amplifico, who plays a solo set on her own, with support from assorted members of the Feldy (the other Amplifico members are in Australia and Canada, apparently). I was wowed by Amplifico the last time I saw them (which was also supporting Aberfeldy) but tonight Donna leaves me delightfully stunned. Songs like ‘You Could Be My Muse’ ‘This stuff Cuts Like Thorns’ and ‘Baby Baby’ are just gorgeous. As is her cover of Bjork’s Who Is It? (from Medulla). For ‘The comedy stops Here’ she is joined by Chris and Vicky from Aberfeldy. Aberfedly’s Murray joins on sleigh bells for her cover of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ which beats Mariah Carey’s version hands down. and I bet Mariah can’t play the ukelele either, nor loop her voice at the end for the coda. I can’t wait for Amplifico’s album, due out in March.

Aberfeldy are on fire tonight. It’s the ninth time I’ve seen them and they are amazing. Both tonight and the previous night are sell out gigs, and deservedly so. They are greeted warmly when they come on, and open with two new songs, ‘In Denial’ and ‘Malcolm,’ the latter which features a delightful array of fish puns (yes, you did read that right). These two songs have a country feel to them. As well as the fish puns, part of the fun lies in spotting the songs that are referenced (I count Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s ‘Our House’, the Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For My Man,’ The Beatles’ ‘Nowhere Man’ and Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’). Donna comes onstage to join them on xylophone for a countryish take on ‘A Friend Like You.’ We get ‘Uptight’ and ‘1970s’ from Do Whatever Turns You On, perhaps the most underrated album of the decade, and ‘Love Is An Arrow.’ We then get three new songs ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ ‘Talk Me Round’ and ‘Somewhere To Jump From.’ It’s testament to just how great Aberfeldy are now that they can play three new songs in a row and the crowd still love them, as playing new stuff – which by definition most people won’t have heard, and thus takes people outside their comfort zones – can be hugely risky. ‘Something I Must Tell You’ and ‘Do Whatever Turns You On’ remind us of just what pearls the back catalogue contains, as if we could be foolish enough to forget. Next single ‘Claire’ (Rough Trade mshould be kicking themselves for letting Aberfeldy go) is followed by gorgeous versions of ‘Hypnotised’ and debut single ‘Vegetarian Restaurant’ and the sixth new song ‘Wendys When I’m Wasted.’ They finish with a storming version of ‘Heliopolis By Night’ complete with the Radio GaGa-style handclaps.

I worked out that this is the 26th gig I’ve been to this year, including instores, and frankly, by far and away the best gig I’ve seen this year. There’s lots of new releases I’m looking forward to in 2008, including Foals, Sons & daughters and British Sea Power. But at the top of that list is the third album from Aberfeldy.


Aberfeldy’s MySpace is here

Amplifico’s MySpace is here

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