Tagged: king tuts wah wah hut

Cairn String Quartet

Cairn pic 1[2]

I’m not all that knowledgeable about classical or orchestral music but I’ve dabbled in some listening and I’ve got composers I like and different musical periods I prefer to others. String music is a particular preference of mine and indeed this crosses over to the the taste in music you’d probably expect from someone writing on this blog. Many people think it’s crazy that Sufjan Stevens’ ‘The BQE’ is one of my favourite pieces of his work.

It is to my liking then, that I hear of the Cairn String Quartet and their take on the popular music of Scotland. Their recent release ‘quartet quickies‘ features tracks from Kid Canaveral, Chvrches and Camera Obscura, however the pick of the bunch is their take on ‘Leslie’ by King Creosote. It’s a nice arrangement which the vocals of Kenny Anderson would fit on top of perfectly.

Tonight (27th June), the Cairn String Quartet take to the King Tuts stage, apparently as the first act of their musical ilk to do so. They will be ‘backed up’ on vocals with various special guests including the aforementioned Kid Canaveral and Fat Goth. I believe there are still a couple of tickets available which are £6.

Also, as part of the Scottish Album of the Year awards, the Cairn String Quartet recorded a version of each of the ten shortlisted musicians songs. You can view Django Django’s, ‘Introduction’ and the eventual SAY Award winner, RM Hubbert’s ‘We Radioed’ below or go and watch all ten over on the SAY Award youtube page.

Tom McRae at King Tuts – 22/02/2010

In last weeks gig round up Kim wasn’t backwards at going forward that we quite like Tom McRae around Elba way, therefore, as he was in Glasgow for a couple of rescheduled shows at the ‘birthday boy’ King Tuts, it would have been rude not to battle through the snow to see him.

I have tried to write this review/post for a couple of weeks now. I felt the day after that I was on such a ‘high’ from the gig that it would probably be a mess of oohs and ahs that I delayed it a couple of days but never quite got it right. Indeed, even during the gig I already wanted to come back and see the show all over again the night after, it was such a homely atmosphere, packed into King Tuts with a crowd not afraid to holler out and have banter with Tom. Two weeks on and if someone said to me, Tom McRae is playing Glasgow tonight, I’d be there in a shot. He has a certain charm about him which sucks you in and he performs in such a passionate way that 90 mins pass and you realise your mouth has been wide open catching flies for the most part.

So to the gig…

I’ve become a little slack at catching support acts over the last year but I managed to get in to see Brian Wright and I’m glad I did. I’m not sure how I’d describe his music other than saying it’s what I imagine the southern states of America to sound like. He had a lot of country and blues elements in his music and is well worth having a look at. I picked up his CD, ‘House on Fire, which is a little gem. Maria Sugarcane is a personal favourite track. It didn’t take Brian long to re-appear on stage after finishing his set but this time it was as part of Tom McRae’s band.

The set begun with some tracks from new album ‘The Alphabet of Hurricanes’ and exploded into life with End of The World News from his eponymous Mercury-nominated debut album. A song which drew a hefty sing along from the crowd. An addition to the band which was not unappreciated by McRae who had apologised because his voice sounded sexier than usual. Oral thrush will do that to you apparently. One thing I love about McRae, other than his songwriting, is his deadpan wit and humour. When called out for why he cancelled the last show a dry reply of ‘couldn’t be fucked’, was all that was needed. We all knew he was lying though! The setlist spanned all eras of McRae and other set highlights were the upbeat One Mississippi, Walking To Hawaii (played on just guitar and cello) and Silent Boulevard. Although for me it was ‘Still Love You’ which stole the show. It is a lovely little song which opens the new album played on a ukelele. You could also buy a tea towel with the lyrics on it (see pic above). In fact, full marks on the merch stall. You could arm yourself for the Glasgow weather with a Tom-brella.

McRae is certainly an artist who has been around for a long time and whilst I wouldn’t say his time had gone, I don’t ever see him being as well known as he deserves. However, if he can continue touring and selling out venues with audiences showing as much adoration as they did at King Tuts, it will surely put a smile on even Tom McRae’s face.

Setlist (I think…):

Alphabet of Hurricanes
Me and Stetson
The Summer of John Wayne
The End of the World News
American Spirit
A+B song
Please
One Mississippi
Walking to Hawaii
I Still Love You
Silent Boulevard

Bloodless
Vampire Heart

The Boy with the Bubblegun