Within minutes of opening, this show became one that makes a critic’s heart sink…
Not because of the music – it was simply fabulous, performed by a 10-strong band of hugely talented musicians, many of whom sang and played a variety of instruments.
But because King Creosote aka Fife musician and composer, Kenny Anderson, was so relaxed he only gave a couple of the musicians in the band a name check –one of them being Mairearad Green.
Mairearad is herself regarded as one of Scotland’s top traditional music composers, and a fine singer, accordion player and bagpiper to boot, so that give you some idea of the high standard.
Joking that they couldn’t afford a support act so were their own warm-up band, the band played half a dozen numbers, all of them different in style, ranging from haunting and melodic to other-worldy rock as played by bands such as Tangerine Dream.
The only number King announced was, Star of Hope by Mairearad – a wonderful tune that built up to a rousing climax.
After a 30 minute break the band return to the stage, this time to play in full King’s album, From Scotland with Love while the film of the same name was shown on a large screen behind the band.
The film, directed by Virginia Heath was originally commissioned as part of the Cultural Festival accompanying the 2015 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.
This current tour is the first time since then it has been screened while the music to accompany it is played live by King and the band.
It was a wonderful, submersive experience.
The 75-minute film opened a door which let us see what everyday life was like for ordinary Scottish people, some of whom will be long since dead.
A wonderful way to spark 100 different conversations, it showed everything from gangs of wee kids playing on the streets; to men working down the mines and in smoked-filled pubs; families enjoying days out, folk letting their hair down at the dancing, and people working together to bring in the harvest.
What’s clear is that our ancestors, even recent ones, had very tough lives compared to how we live nowadays, yet still found time to smile for the camera when it was pointed at them.
The music was sublime, carefully reflecting the mood of what you were watching on the big screen.
At the end of the performance, the band was greeted by sustained, thunderous applause – one of the longest encores I’ve witnessed at Eden Court.
The film and concert can next be seen on Monday, March 9, in Aberdeen’s Music Hall.