Monday, 27 February 2012

Norman Blake at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, 24/02/12

Last Friday I conveniently set up some meetings in Edinburgh so I could stay through after work and head along to the monthly arts event Neu Reekie.

Set up by Michael Pederson the night takes in film, literature and music. I've been meaning to go since the inception of the night over a year ago. As it is the last Friday of every month it always seems to clash with something in Glasgow, or with family commitments. This has resulted in me missing musical guests like Stevie Jackson and Duglas T Stewart.

After a few beers with friends from work I jumped an extremely expensive taxi up to the venue, down a wee lane off the Royal Mile.

After some outstanding beat poetry from New Yorker exiled in Edinburgh Lagh over some funky jazz and a crazy short film it was time for Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub.

A short 15-minute set was scheduled so Norman got cracking, starting with a gorgeous version of 'Dark and Lonely' from the last Teenage Fanclub album, the sublime 'Shadows'.

This was swiftly followed by the Jonny song 'You Was Me.'

Norman then played a cracking acoustic version of 'I Don't Want Control Of You' that brought a small tear to my eye as the song has really taken on a new meaning since I became a Dad last year.

Every day I look at a different face, this feelings getting stronger with every embrace

The usual Fanclub humour was evident when Norman played a one note guitar solo to a huge cheer.

Norman was joined by his friend Chloe on flute for one of my favourite songs 'Did I Say', forgetting the words half way through caused him to play the whole song again. No complaints as it is top class.

Norman ended with Chloe playing keyboards, Adam Stearns playing a little gadget and his great friend Duglas on kazoo with Norman getting one for the closing instrumental; a brilliant take on the Velvet Underground's 'What Goes On'.

A great night was had by all. I also got to speak to Norman and Duglas and things are sounding very promising for a new Fanclub album in record time (maybe I shouldn't hold my breath on that) and a Bandits album in the summer!

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