Summerhall, and more specifically, Nothing Ever Happens Here, for the month of August has quite the programme: eclectic, talented whilst also showcasing the fantastic talent that resides in this country, or in the case of this Withered Hand gig (which is also part of the Made in Scotland showcase) this very city. Along with his full band support, Withered Hand, Savage Mansion and the new collaborative force known as Iklan – which combines the talents of Law Holt, Young Fathers co-producer Timothy London and Leith Congregational Choir, performed in the unique Dissection Room. Together, they highlighted the varied degree of contemporary talent that resides in this country.
Withered Hand is the songwriting output of Dan Willson. A prominent figure in the Scottish music scene with a wonderful following since 2009, Dan has released two widely acclaimed albums, New Gods (2014) and Good News (2009) and several lo-fi EPs. Savage Mansion are newly signed to Lost Map Records. Made in Scotland is a curated showcase of Scottish performance on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, really exposing the significant talent that is present.
Withered Hand headlined, performing renowned tracks from their more recent and also historical back-catalogue, including Black Tambourine, Heart Heart and Fall Apart. Songs like California and No Cigarettes welcomed the additional strings, adding further depth to the rich reverie melancholy already inherent in Willson’s music. Religious Songs and Inbetweens predictably cuddle the room, and add a layer of togetherness that could only really be made more intense by an “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” chant or a collaboration with Kate Tempest. They unsurprisingly pull it off yet again, with an eclectic set that adds a glow to the faces of those looking back at them, and singing along.
Photos are courtesy of C. I. Campbell.
For more on Withered Hand and their live gigs click here.