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EDWYN COLLINS/ ABERFELDY
THE VENUE, EDINBURGH


LAST night’s T on the Fringe show saw a rare performance on home turf for both support act and headliner. As you’d expect for a band who regressed to Elvis-era studio techniques in recording their Young Forever album live using one microphone, Aberfeldy’s playing as a group is note-perfect, and the songs fantastic.

There have been Belle and Sebastian comparisons aplenty, what with Riley Biggs’s gentle voice and the patented Glasgow lo-fi acoustic guitar/xylophone combo. But, with the close harmonies of the two girls’ vocals, it’s more like Abba or the Mamas and the Papas.

Similarly, Edwyn Collins has never been one to let modern technology stand in the way of a fine record, his expertise with a good tune and a room full of vintage equipment seeing him in demand as a producer for clients ranging from the Divine Comedy to the Proclaimers.

Unfortunately, he was not behind the desk at the Venue. His guitars cut in and out, he couldn’t hear what he was doing onstage and his baritone just didn’t cut through the PA.

Two acoustic guitars and a microphone does not seem too demanding a set-up to get right, especially given Aberfeldy’s complexity. Luckily, Collins has charm enough to get through these difficulties - though only so far. He played tracks from his string of solo albums, including Johnny Teardrop, Superficial Cat and A Girl Like You, and despite just having an acoustic guitar for accompaniment, the edgy pop-funk of Orange Juice tracks such as Consolation Prize, Felicity and What Presence?! survive being unplugged pretty well with a bit of imagination.

THE SCOTSMAN
S2 Friday
Fri 3 Sep 2004


http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/s2.html?id=1035642004

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