Gig review: Roddy Woomble/Snowgoose

Roddy Woomble/Snowgoose
Edinburgh Electric Circus, March 24

Glasgow’s Snowgoose are a five-piece, but tonight it’s singer Anna Sheard and guitarist Jim McCulloch who are here, representing the band. Despite the usual handful of people who won’t shut up (for God’s sake!), their gorgeous sound wins over the crowd. Ms Sheard has a voice comparable to the late Sandy Denny, and the guitar-picking of Jim McCulloch is a perfect foil and accompaniment for her. Yes, it’s folky, and it’s warm and lovely.

The band released their debut album Harmony Springs last year and tonight’s set is drawn from both it and the new record they are working on. Songs like ‘Fox On the Tracks’ ‘Shifting Sands’ and the album’s title track are simply bewitching. If we don’t hear more from these guys, then something’s wrong with the world.

I have to confess to not being terribly enamoured with Roddy Woomble’s latest solo effort, Listen To Keep, but live, he and his band deliver a fantastic set. Opening with ‘A New Day Has Begun’ from his 2011 album The Impossible Song & Other Songs, the crowd receive him with warmth, which he returns. ‘We have a new album out,’ he quips.’ You can either buy it at what record shops remain or download it illegally.’ He’s got a great sense of humour, and it’s quite clear that the crowd adore him.

It’s a pretty diverse crowd here, and sure there’s people who would love him to bring Idlewild back, but there’s a lot of singing along with the increasing back catalogue of solo material. ‘Waverly Steps’ from his solo debut My Secret Is My Silence and new songs like ‘Treacle and Tobacco’ stand strong together, and the encore is inevitably the real treat.

He bring’s on Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones for a version of ‘My Secret Is My Silence’ and then they do Idlewild’s biggest hit ‘You Held The World the World In Your Arms Tonight.’ It’s fantastic – and whatever paths Roddy Woomble and his erstwhile bandmates go down, I want to follow…

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