The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, September 30.
So…there I am. I’m driving through Edinburgh at night with my friends Jared and Ken, the latter the bass player from Aberfeldy. Unusually for us these days, Radio 1 is on. Even more unusually, David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ comes on. It sounds amazing. In a scene like something from Wayne’s World Ken insists we wind the windows down, cold as it is, crank the music up and sing at the top of our voices. ‘Tremble like a …FLOWERRRR!’ It’s the end to a rather fantastic night…
…rewind to a few hours earlier…
Emily Scott cuts an unusual figure on the stage. Armed with her double bass and accompanied by guitarist Damon Thompson she opens with ‘Watching Them’ the opening cut on her debut album, Longshore Drift. Currently promoting her new album abcdefg, she has a gorgeous voice that makes you want to investigate her music more. I’ve been enjoying her debut and will definitely be checking out her latest release.
Tonight is the official album launch for Blueflint’s album High Bright Morning, at the official scottish launch, as the morning after the gig they are heading down to London for the English launch, with Aberfeldy bassist Ken MacIntosh in tow. The album is simply stunning and will be sitting very near the top of my albums of the year list when December comes around. The album contains a gorgeous mix of folk and bluegrass, with the banjo duo of Deborah Arnott and Clare-Louise Neilson demonstarting why their reputation has been growing so much in Scotland and further afield.
Live the songs work just as well, and they open with ‘Skittin’ Skattin’ ‘ This is quite an upbeat track from the album – which also contains the ‘High Bright morning’ story about being lowered into the grave and ‘What Lies beneath’ based on a William Faulkner tale. But whether it’s murder ballads or lovesongs (and are the two always separate?), there’s a real genuine warmth that comes from these songs played live. There’s also a fantastic song called ‘P.45’ not on the album which is about revenge.
The band are deservedly called on for an encore and it’s only fair to particularly single out the stunning fiddle playing of roddy neilson which punctuates the whole evening. But important contributions come from Hugh Kelly on double bass, Andy Pennycook on harmonica, Gavin Taylor on slide guitar. As we head out into the night, the warmth takes over even as the night draw in and even as a teetotaller, I’m drunk and high on the atmosphere.
The car, David Bowie and loud singing beckon.
Which is where we came in…
High Bright Morning is released on October 5.
These three tracks are given away free on their webpage.
Blueflint webpage/Blueflint myspace
Blueflint -‘Takes More Than a Little Time.’ mp3
Blueflint -‘High bright Morning.’ mp3
Blueflint -‘Skippin’ Skattin.’ mp3
Blueflint’s website/Blueflint myspace
Emily Scott myspace