Calum MacCrimmon – Man’s Ruin , The Arches, Jan 22nd, (act #05)
I’m not exactly a great fan of bands exhorting their audience to clap and sing along; which is exactly the scene that confronted us when we turned up, albeit slightly late, to this one, after being locked in a car park! My heart sank as we were immediately marshalled through one of those ‘Okay,when I sing XXX then you lot sing YYY!’ My, how we both laughed and made a beeline immediately barwards!
However, as the set moved along, I slightly warmed to their very different styles. Indeed the designated driver remarked to me that the final tune was somewhat reminiscent of Uncle Meat, while I thought the preceding tune had more than just a KC ‘Islands era’ flavour about it.
Having given the thumbs up to this venue when seeing Faust last year, I was disappointed to be presented by yet another configuration of The Arches complex. Only time I’ve seen it set up in this configuration was, Tinariwen, a couple of years back. Perhaps it’s the projected attendance that decides these things. Yet again, like the earlier Fruitmarket show, there couldn’t have been more than three hundred at this show and questions arise about how much subsidy Celtic Connections accrues and spends.It just don’t add up!
A strange and intriguing collection of instruments were paraded by this sextet, Two flutes, acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, bagipes, bass (six string no less) and drums. I wasn’t completely convinced by the frontman Calum though. with a forehead that could have stepped straight out of a TEFAL TV commercial, he came on like a Martyn Bennett Wannabee, as far as I could determine; desperate to change instrument(s) at least once per tune. What the cognoscenti in them here parts call “a tosser”.
He must have missed the soundcheck and assumed the following act was Krautrock as his parting shot was ‘can’t wait to see Yah Wobble’
Calum Gilhooley MacCrimmon.