Posted: 22-Sep-2012 00:26
With the critics' praises for her new album still ringing in her ears, Karine Polwart was faced with a dilemma on this prelude to her autumn tour: how to translate Traces' delicate studio settings for the live stage?
The answer was to expand her trio (brother Steven on guitar; Inge Thomson on accordion) into a seven-piece band which embraced woodwind, keyboards and percussion.
Each live arrangement did the original more than justice, with percussionist Iain Sandilands giving the new songs added backbone. In the end, nine of the album's 10 tracks were played; such is the quality of Polwart's writing at the moment that only a scattering of oldies – Daisy, Sorry, an encore of Follow The Heron – were required to round out the set."
The sole comment so far suggests all was not as well as the above review.
"I was interested to read Alan's review above and would like to share my different experience of the same gig. I've been lucky enough to have seen the KP trio live a couple of times, the first of which was in Tunbridge Wells in 2006 the same night England were losing to Portugal on penalties in the World Cup. Despite understandable local gloom, it was a memorable night in Trinity church.
Then again last year in Langholm. These guys are stunning live. It was beyond brilliant both times and we decided to hoof up to Glasgow from Dumfries to catch the Oran Mor show. The new album's wonderful, we were both very much looking forward to the evening and to say we were disappointed is an understatement. The sound was truly grim, so by mutual agreement my companion and I left after suffering through a dreadfully distorted and over-amplified first set. I could hardly understand what was being said between songs and often only recognised the songs themselves from reading the set list taped to the sound desk, having chosen seats in this location in the (mistaken) expectation that it would be a good place to listen. The young sound technician was busy at his work adjusting sliders, but to little effect.
It's a small hall upstairs at Oran Mor, 500 capacity or so, and clearly suffers from the fact that while church interiors are usually well designed for voice and acoustic instruments, they don't work well with a PA. Maybe..."
Posted: 22-Sep-2012 11:01
Without doubt, this is a contender for album of the year, however one might want to categorise genres, pigeon-holes or any other means of description. I am a very hard-to-please punter as songwriting goes, but this album is an absolute joy.
I have also had the pleasure of hearing the 4tet in the most unprobable of settings (a yurt with nae PA and a lot of noise outside) and they were simply stunning.
I am very happy to hear/read robust analysis of music and musicians, but I smell troll here.
...But on thinking about this again, I'll be generous and think that this is an analysis of the venue, which is awful for performers and listeners alike. It's a church upstairs and a box downstairs - can't really do much about either,
Posted: 22-Sep-2012 16:47
"It's a church upstairs and a box downstairs - can't really do much about either, "
Nobody is forced to used these premises and, maybe, it might be a good idea for artists and promoters to avoid organising gigs in such an unsuitable venue.
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