SCORCHIO! What a blazing hot mixture of melodies, harmonies, skins, strings and other things. Anyone who was anyone in Letham society knew better than to miss out on a ticket to Letham Nights Number 37 and, sure enough, it was a glamorous and rowdy bunch of hedonistic hardy perennials who scootled down to the hall for the rootsome riot that AMWWF and Seven Sons provided. And it wasn’t just the music that was cooking. Our old chums, Song Scones and The Doorstep Bakery were in the back dishing out some right toothsome fare. Rosemary & olive scones? Who’d a thunk it, ladies and gentleman?
Our support on this warm and wild Saturday evening were none other than Seven Sons. Ruth Alexander and Clayr Borthwick have played for us before of course as a duo but they were back tonight replete with backing band. To say Ruth and Clayr harmonise would be understatement akin to saying Isaac Newton was decent with his sums. You could search long, hard, high and low and still not find two voices so perfectly tuned to one another. And a not too shabby bunch of accompanists they were packing, too, utilising guitar, 5-string banjo and double bass to drive things along with a will. And don’t forget the ukes! The song selection was nigh on perfect with an ethereal selection of gospel, blues and mountain music with Elisabeth Cotton’s Freight Train and Canaan’s Land being particular highlights.
And then it was the turn of Dundee’s finest, Anderson, McGinty, Webster and Fisher (minus the recently departed Ward and with Tom Barbour ably stepping into the breach). These boys are no strangers to our creaking stage either, this being the third time they have graced our humble boards and, as such, the anticipation was immense. Could they live with the expectations of our sold-out wee hall. Oh boy, could they ever! From the opening strains of Dave Webster’s Little Brown Boy there was no doubt that the five headed trad funk rock n roll behemoth was about to rise up and breath aural fire on all who witnessed their majesty. The four part harmonies and effortless musicianship is just a part of their charm. The practised song-writing is another. What really excites about this band, though, is the dynamics. The changes of pace from Gavin McGinty’s cheeky Scottish flavoured numbers to Stevie Anderson’s telecaster-fuelled stomps and Webster himself who can turn on a dime from quiet, soulful introspection to colossal feats of wailing angst and emotion which set your hair on end. And not forgetting that powerhouse of beats, brass and balladeering that is Billy Fisher. Sinatra on drums, anyone? And who can resist a sing-a-long encore? Not many of us, on this evidence. A triumph of triumphs for one of Letham Nights’ favourites. May their rise continue to be astronomic.
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And catch up with Seven Sons here: www.facebook.com/sevensonsmusic