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imp: James Yorkston + Pictish Trail w/ Rozi Plain + Lazy Sheepdog @ Carmelite Hotel


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interesting music promotions present


Thursday 27th November 2008

The Carmelite Hotel, Stirling Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6JU. Phone 01224 589101

Doors 8.00pm

Tickets 10+bf in advance / 12 on door

Available from One-Up Records, Belmont Street, Aberdeen. Phone (01224) 642662 or http://www.ticketweb.co.uk





With the understated power of a gentle giant, James Yorkston returns with his 4th studio album on Domino Records. When the Haar Rolls In proves once again why he is one of the most essential songwriters of our time. Returning with his trusty Athletes, along with some legendary English folk names - Norma Waterson, Mike Waterson, Marry Gilhooly, Olly Knight, there is much to mine for Yorkston fans of old and new, all the ambition, beauty and pathos of his previous albums is sweeping through with the soothing, lush arrangements of all sorts: the timpani, clarinets, violins, vibraphone, concertinas, bull bass, prepared pianos, mandolins, bouzoukis, banjos and wine glasses.

What is Haar? you may ask. Its the sea fog that rolls in off the North Sea. Mist. Its pretty common in the East Neuk of Fife and plays havoc with drying the washing, apparently. There are more celebrations of human frailty and tales of waking up drunk in unfamiliar surroundings, throwing rocks at magpies, dogs chasing ghosts, stubborn sea winds, regrets and joys and smiles and peace and quiet and love and hate and more love. Better than that though, its a beautiful, honest album.

For me, listening to James Yorkstons music is like coming across the interesting-looking person on the fringes of a party. Before you know it, youve spent the evening listening to their compelling tale. In this record, I get a real sense that he has found his true voice. Theres a quiet confidence in his craft; his singing, the words and instrumentation, all blend seamlessly to produce a really affecting record. (Philip Selway, Radiohead)




Back by popular demand, The Pictish Trail ambles north again with Rozi Plain in tow. With a recent UK solo acoustic tour behind them, these two Fence heavyweights will now join forces to become the ultimate hypnotic-folk-drone-electro-psych-rock tag team youve ever seen!

There will be some PT songs, some RP songs, some collaborations, some solos, some keyboard odysseys, acoustic neo-folk rumblings and all manner of undeniable oddball noises fused with springboard dropkicks, reverse piledrivers and swinging fisherman neckbreakers.

Get ready grapple fans!





Just what is Lazy Sheepdog going to charm us with next? Acoustic jingles? Quivering poetics? Charanga mantras? Squeezbox hypnosis? Mr Yorkston asked for the sheepdog personally. Were not going to argue with him.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a live review by The Guardian from earlier this year, wondering why he's not playing larger venues. And he'll be playing the hundred odd capacity Carmelite in a couple of weeks time!



Maddy Costa

The Guardian,

The Roundhouse, Tuesday August 19th 2008

Even though it has been transformed into a supper club for the night, with tables and red curtains making the cavernous interior feel almost cramped, the Roundhouse is an absurdly large venue for a singer as hushed and intimate as James Yorkston. Played on a stereo, his songs seem unassuming and fragile, sidling out of the speakers almost shyly.

Live, though, they pulse with strength. Yorkston opens with two tracks from an album not released until next month. A risky move, but he gets away with it because his stories are so absorbing and, although he sings softly, it is with such clarity that you do not miss a word. Whether his subject is lost love, wistful love, or a quiet but fierce love that tramps about in boggy fields and gets drenched in storms, he constantly surprises you with an unexpected image or attention-grabbing detail. I carry your memory like a bag full of feathers, he tells a woman he has not seen for 10 years in When the Haar Rolls In.

Shipwreckers, meanwhile, is as much a masterclass in lighting a fire as a tale of beating hearts. The music, too, is full of ornate flourishes, although the sound is never busy and, despite Yorkstons protestations to the contrary, he and his band exude relaxed ease. In Heron, the six musicians seem to be playing a different song, but it somehow melds beautifully; in The Brussels Rambler, violinist Emma Smith scrapes her fingers across the strings, heightening the sense of emotional turmoil in the lyrics. On an assured cover of folk singer Lal Watersons Midnight Feast, they achieve something akin to a Velvet Underground meltdown. Add Yorkstons genial and often surreal banter between songs, and you start to wonder why he is not playing bigger venues.

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Here's another JY live review.

May 24th 2007, Union Chapel, London

Pete Paphides

A few hours earlier at the Grosvenor Hotel the music industry had gathered to toast the art of the songwriter. As the Ivor Novello Awards reached their conclusion, the unnominated James Yorkston was on a train from the previous nights show in Manchester to his biggest London show to date. Quite what criteria the Ivors steering committee use to ascertain a decent song is unclear and watching Yorkston dispense his gentle Caledonian burr before a church of devotees brings you no closer to solving that conundrum.

Accompanied initially by the accordionist Reuben Taylor and double-bassist Doogie Paul, the ursine 35-year-old picked up his guitar and began with two folksongs Thar She Blows, followed by an abused wifes lament entitled Mickeys Warning before lurching into a beautifully bleary treatment of his own Banjo #1.

Without a pause between any of these songs, there was no applause to sever the hushed intensity of the performances. When he briefly abated, Yorkston seemed almost abashed by the small gale of affection that came from the pews. It was an affection that he drily deprecated when he was able to find the words, pointing out that it was about now that he should tell a funny story about something that had happened on this tour Sadly, weve just done two dates and the only funny thing that has happened is when Reuben slipped on some jam.

Augmented by female violin and clarinet players, the ensemble converged with an unshowy, almost psychic, attunement around Yorkstons conversational meter on 5 am a crumpled meditation mined from that exact point when drunkenness becomes the morning after.

Yorkstons best creations swell like a waxing tide in a heavy mist, lifting the listener with them. Two cases in point were a breathlessly epiphanic Shipwreckers and The Brussels Rambler, which was lent a frisson of portent by the scrape of fingers across violin strings.

Then, on the bone-dry soliloquising of Woozy with Cider, Yorkston surmised, The world isnt going to be leaping out of its bed to make me rich/ Using my songs in adverts for oranges, lemons and Kerrygold butter. Maybe so, but the longer he played, the more you realised that there had been only one truly life-affirming celebration of great songwriting in London that day. And it didnt happen at the Grosvenor.

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Ticket sales ticking along quite nicely for this. Makes a change for us! :up:

Get them while still available from One Up and Ticketweb.

In the meantime check out out the lovely wee JY film on the Playlist Maker on Domino's website. It's all about the creative process behind the new album.


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