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.
Fri 3 Sep 2004
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