Skip to main content

Aberfeldy

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
4 stars
When Aberfeldy front-man Riley Briggs lost both a record label and some crucial members of his band following two albums of classically crafted grown-up pop, some thought the group would implode completely. Eighteen months on, Briggs hasn’t so much reinvented Aberfeldy as reinvigorated the band’s existing template. There’s a new duo of female multi-instrumentalist vocal foils playing keyboards that still sound lifted from a 1970s science programme. There’s also Chris Bradley adding weight on acoustic guitar, which allows Briggs to go a little bit Peter Frampton if he chooses.

What’s clear most of all through tonight’s selections of material old and new is that Briggs’ commercial sensibilities and way with a lyric should by rights see him hailed as one of the country’s cleverest song-writers. New single Claire, a homage to a complaining neighbour, is up there with the Difford and Tilbrook back catalogue, Denial may be the best break-up song since Prefab Sprout’s When Love Breaks Down, while Malcolm, co-written “with the daughter of the saxophonist from Van der Graaf Generator,” is a knowingly odd love story set to an oriental country twang.

Elsewhere, Uptight is a dead ringer for Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long, while an irony free take on Chris De Burgh’s A Spaceman Came Travelling sits neatly next to Briggs’ own extra-terrestrial hymn, Heliopolis By Night, the opening of which tonight threatens to lurch into Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. With support band The Gillyflowers, led by the wonderful Kirsten Adamson on Maria McKee-like vocals, joining in on a rousing version of Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas, Everyone, Aberfeldy are clearly back in the saddle and should be taken very seriously indeed.

The Herald, December 26th 2008

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

David Bates – La Clique Noel, The Famous Spiegeltent and Edinburgh's Christmas

Less than a year ago, David Bates thought he might well be done with Edinburgh. The owner and producer of the Famous Spiegeltent, who had transformed a ninety-seven year old construction into a global brand which in part had come to define the spirit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, had been told that the site the Famous Spiegeltent had operated out of in St Andrew Square since 2014 was no longer available. Essential Edinburgh, who manage the site, said they wanted the Gardens to return to a “relaxation space,” although the short notice of their decision left the Famous Spiegeltent without a home for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.   All this created a bit of a kerfuffle, exacerbated somewhat by Edinburgh International Festival using St Andrew Square for this year's Standard Life sponsored opening event, the light-based spectacular, Bloom. Ten months on, Bates is back in Edinburgh even if the Famous Spiegeltent as a physical entity isn't. A different spiegeltent is here, howeve