When you spot twelve artists on a line-up for an eve of entertainment in Aberdeen’s newly refurbished Music Hall, curiosity does kick in. However, once in and explained by the host, Radio Scotland’s suavely suited, Vic Galloway, it all made perfect sense. And we just knew we were in for a rich evening, with Scotland’s finest musicians performing Scotland’s finest back catalogue. All in all the formula for a perfectly tuned night of entertainment.
Last year Stephen Allen from the National Museum of Scotland curated the Rip It Up exhibition, which was complimented by Vic Galloway’s book of the same name. There was a festival in Summerhall, Edinburgh, outlining the talent that is present in this country today but tonight’s gig seems special, specifically curated for Aberdeen’s TrueNorth Music Festival.
First up was Honeyblood’s lead vocalist, Stina Tweeddale, performing the Orange Juice classic, Rip It Up, revving the night up a notch. Aztec Camera’s Somewhere In My Heart was next performed by Lost Map’s Martha Ffion, and then the East Neuk’s very own King Creosote did a classic cover of Altered Images track, I Could Be Happy, fusing it with The Aliens’ The Happy Song. The Rezillos then performed one of their own tracks, My Baby Does Good Sculptures, a punky oomph hitting the stage in a fashion that goes down like the beer on offer.
C Duncan performed a stunner of a Cocteau Twins’ cover, Pearly-dewdrops’ Drops, Kathryn Joseph took to the mic for Blue Nile’s The Downtown Lights and Savage Mansion’s Craig Angus came on stage last minute to fill in for Steve Mason’s cancellation slot, to do an almost flawless rendition of Dry The Rain. The musicians all looked to be having a great time on stage, as we voyeuristically watched them all do their karaoke pieces. Poor Clare Grogan’s voice had given up the ghost but her enthusiasm more than made up for the lack of vocals, as she well and truly gave it her all.
The second half saw the same musicians get up to perform, this time with Stina doing a marvellous Only Happy When It Rains, Clare Grogan performing Edwyn Collins’ A Girl Like You, King Creosote covering Simple Minds’ The American and Emma Pollock sweetening the county with her rendition of The Eurythmics’ Here Comes The Rain Again. Kathryn Joseph stunningly sang Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror, The Rezillos performed a Take Me Out that would blow Franz Ferdinand out of the water, Del Amitri’s Justin Currie did great justice to Paisley’s own Steeler’s Wheel’s Stuck In The Middle With You, and Fatherson’s Ross Leighton wondrously concluded the evening with his version of the classic, Don’t You Forget About Me, before they all got up on stage collectively to perform the expected, The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles.
Similarly to Karine Polwart there was a real showcase of the tracks from Scottish musicians that have lasted, those that will timelessly stay with us as we move down the generations, but watching these loons and quines take this to Aberdeen for a one-off night of sheer laughter and enjoyment made it a beautifully curated evening, one that will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon.