Trying to make good on my promise of the occasional bonus posting up featuring newly released (or soon-to-be released) music that I’m enjoying. Only thing is, this isn’t exactly new but it has just come to my attention.
Every January, my home city plays host to a three-week long musical extravaganza called Celtic Connections. Two nights ago, on Monday 18 January, I was lucky enough to come out in a ballot for two free tickets at which Mercury-nominated C Duncan was performing for a live BBC Radio Scotland broadcast.
He is someone who Jacques the Kipper has been raving about for quite some time and whose debut album Architect was highly quoted in many end of year reviews. The performance was a very pleasant surprise, not least for the fact it featured a four-piece band who had obviously been carefully hand-picked not just for their abilities on keyboards and bass guitar but for the fact that they have an uncanny ability to harmonise perfectly with the main man’s vocal delivery. C Duncan, on the basis of what I heard at this live gig, deserves all the plaudits that have come his way – the music was a rich mixture of influences and I could hear The Divine Comedy, Associates and Cocteau Twins among others. I’ll be buying the album soon and will return to him again in the near future.
There were two support acts on the bill, one of which was Trembling Bells for whom I have no great love thanks to their over reliance on prog within their songs; the other was a duo I had never heard of but who, in just short of 30 hugely entertaining minutes, had grabbed my attention completely and made me want to find out more. So here’s the gen on JR Green.
They are two brothers from Strontian, which is away up in the far north-west of Scotland. Jacob Green plays accordion and sings while Rory Green sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar. They play a blend of music that brings to mind the best of Frightened Rabbit, King Creosote and,despite not having an electrical instrument between them, a range of early 21st Century indie-guitar bands such as The Cribs, The Libertines and The Strokes. The boys – and this is where it is worth mentioning that Jacob is 21 and Rory is 19 – were clearly brought up on and learned to play via the traditional folk music that is best associated with where they grew up but what they have done is fuse the sort of songs and subject matters that they were listening to as teenagers to make something that is hugely entertaining and enjoyable with the best use of an accordian in a music setting since Wix did his stuff alongside Matt Johnson on This Is The Day…..
They released a debut EP entitled Bring The Witch Doctor in October 2015. As Rory has said elsewhere on t’internet:-
The four songs were all written in our shared attic-room in the remote Scottish Highlands, barely big enough for two beds, let alone two 6ft muppets and a bloody squeeze box. We wrote these four songs when I was still in school and each one will always serve as a time capsule for me no matter how many times we perform them. We hope you can take pleasure in listening to them, they mean an awful and equal amount to us and having them officially released is something we find extremely exciting.
The morning after seeing them, I sent off for a copy of the EP and while I’m eagerly awaiting on the postman doing his stuff I have been able to listen thanks to also receiving digital copies of the tunes. I’d normally of course put up an mp3 but these boys are just starting out and so if you want the music you can click here and buy it. In the meantime, here’s a link to their performance the other night (but I fear will only be available to UK viewers due to licensing arrangements)
The final song they played was Nigerian Princess the lead song from the EP. Rory messed it up slightly – he explained afterwards in an interview with compere Vic Galloway that this was by far the biggest audience they had ever played in front of and it was a combination of nerves and the fact his hand had cramped up while playing.
The BBC folk have obviously decided to spare the young man his blushes, although he quite honestly had nothing to be ashamed of, and have edited it out of the footage they have made available. There is a promo kicking around and here it is-