Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Let's Stop Here

Eva Dolan's running a series over at her blog in which assorted writers describe favourite literary crime fiction. My turn, this week. I outline a dark and noirish crime story about the lust for power, what it makes people do, and the inevitable descent into violence and tragedy. Plus it has witches and moving trees. Keith Brooke talks about Seven Things He Hates About E-Publishing, which he follows up by publishing an interview with me. Hmm.

I went off to one of my favourite buildings last night, to see Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells play the small Sage hall. Same venue I saw King Creosote and Jon Hopkins in back in January, and I really like the place. Is small, and intimate, perfect for this kind of gig.

The support act was RM Hubbert, who was new to me. It's one of the things I like about some gigs; finding someone I hadn't heard before, and I liked his percussive, sometimes flamenco, sometimes Celtic acoustic guitar mixed with diffident, amusing confessional interludes and an extended coughing solo. Most of the set was instrumental, but he ought to sing more, as when he did it was excellent. As a closer, Moffat came on to do the vocals on the terrific Car Song, from Hubbert's last album Thirteen Lost and Found (produced by Alex Kapranos, who also contributes to Car Song).

Everything's Getting Older was one of my three favourite albums in 2011. There simply isn't a better lyricist writing today than Aidan Moffat, and given the age I'm at, a lot of his preoccupations have real resonance. As well as insight though, he's scabrously funny.

They played as a four piece, Moffat singing and playing a couple of toms, a couple of cymbals, a harmonium and a transistor radio. Not all at once. Bill Wells stayed at the piano, Stevie James played double bass, and just about every track was lit up by Robert Henderson's muted trumpet. He added an additional hand to the piano on The Copper Top and held his trumpet in the other for a solo at the same time. Now that's multitasking.

The set was all of Everything's Getting Older, plus the Cruel Summer EP: yes, a cover of the Bananarama song of the same name, along with Box It Up and Man Of The Cloth, a typically Moffat story of dressing up as a priest for a fancy dress party, pulling Barbarella, and then flirting in Safeways with a shopper who thinks he's a real priest).

 Terrific stuff, and I hope the two of them are working on a second album.

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