Saturday, 11 October 2014

Olive Grove Label Showcase - The Pleasance Sessions

Olive Grove Label Showcase

11th October 2014 - The Pleasance, Edinburgh

 On the bill were: Call To Mind; Skinny Dipper; The Moth & The Mirror; Woodenbox

In the courtyard of the Pleasance Theatre they were holding the Och!toberfest Beer Festival - a lovely candelabra lit marquee offering liquid delights from a diverse selection of brewers. One of Stewarts and one of Dusty Moose, plus a generous helping of haggis, neeps and tatties, left us in a good mood and ready for anything.
Och!toberfest Marquee
Organised by Lloyd Meredith and his team, Olive Grove Records showcase main aim is "is to release good music and not lose too much money". Lloyd was wandering about in his natty "I Can't Dance To This Music" baseball cap, enjoying the ambience.
The theatre was barely half full when we arrived, so we plumped for some near-front seats and relaxed, listening to the eclectic mix of tunes the DJ/sound guy was playing. 

The stage

Call To Mind 

..were up first, and I was really looking forward to their set - in fact they were the main reason I was there. I'd seen them once before in Glasgow as part of a fund-raising event for the Cairn String Quartet and had followed their progress ever since, and purchasing their debut LP The Winter Is White some months ago. The album is full of beautifully crafted tunes and I'd recommend listening to it here.
Normally the lineup consists of brothers Martin Ross (vocals, keyboards and guitar) and Jamie Ross (guitar, vocals) with Andrew Masson (bass), Joe Smillie (drums), Steven Gribbin (guitar, vocals). Unfortunately they were without a keyboard player on this occasion. 
Call To Mind
This meant that as a 4-piece, the beautiful swirling sounds (described by one critic as "how Joy Division would sound covering Dark Side Of The Moon") I'd hoped to hear were marred by excessive guitar feedback, and too-loud guitar loops. I seldom recognised much of what they played.  

The one exception was "Untitled" which started off really well, then the overbearing guitar kicked in and it was lost.

I was really disappointed, and my gig-buddy was even more vocal in dislike. Such a shame as I really do think they've got great potential, but it didn't show here.

--- Setlist probably included ---

A Family Sketch 
Over The Machair 

Skinny Dipper

This was the second time I'd seen the Skinnies and they didn't fail to impress again.

Skinny Dipper
Skinny Dipper are made up of members from an array of Scottish talent including: singer Alex Kenzel (blochestra), bass player Vicki Cole (Randolph’s Leap) violinist Heather Thikey (Randolph’s Leap, Kill The Waves), trumpet player Ali Hendry (Randolph’s Leap), keyboardist and vocalist Gillian Higgins, violinist Cat Calton (Aerial’s Up), Ruth Campbell (Aerial’s Up, Quickbeam), Monika Gromek (Quickbeam) and Iain Symes-Marshall (Trapped In Kansas).
Higgins and Kenzel took it in turns to provide lead vocals and the whole ensemble joined in to provide a gorgeous wall-of-sound on Hospital Bed.

Great set!

---Setlist included ---
Hospital Bed

The Kids Are Moving On 
Son Of A Mitch

The Moth & The Mirror

The Moth & The Mirror

The Moth & The Mirror have been proclaimed as a Scottish supergroup, comprising of members taken from an array of Scottish talent including: Stacey Sievwright from The Reindeer Section and Arab Strap (vocals/guitar), Gordon Skene from Frightened Rabbit (guitar/vocals), Louis Abbott from Admiral Fallow and Song of Return (guitar/vocals) Kevin McCarvel (bass), Iain Sandilands (percussion) and Peter Murch (drums).

Entertaining set, with a couple of fun moments - one where there was a 10-15 second pause before the song continued. Explained afterwards as a "special version" due to forgotten words, currently not available on the new album Honestly, This World.

Sievewright's vocals were strong and she and Skene are definitely the frontmen, working off each other and enjoyable to hear.

-- Setlist included --

Everyone I Know
Beautiful Creature 

Honestly, This World 
Hope Is An Anchor 
Oceans & Waves 


Some may know the band as Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, but the 6-piece have decided to shorten it down to the humble Woodenbox. Now signed to Olive Grove they have gained a reputation for great live gigs with a mariachi trumpet backing (3 of them).
I enjoyed their first few numbers, but was not able to stay for the full set. 
Highlights were Besides The Point and Hang The Noose.

Definitely worth another listen here 

-- Setlist included --
Besides The Point
Everyone Has a Price
Twisted Mile
Hang The Noose

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