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Woodpigeon + Eagleowl + Rob St John [UNPLUGGED] @ Peacock Visual Arts, 25 June

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interesting music promotions and vocoustics present No More Soundchecks - the latest in a series of unplugged shows featuring...


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Peacock Visual Arts, 21 Castle Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BQ. Phone 01224 639539

Doors 8pm

Entry 6 on door




WOODPIGEON - is more than just the most beautiful word in the English language, although thats precisely why it was chosen by songwriter Mark Hamilton as the moniker for his pretty-pretty-pop project. Encompassing a kind of ersatz collective orchestra, dispersed across a couple continents, rising and falling in number with the demands of song life and real life, Woodpigeon creates music much the same way a bowerbird crafts a lovenest: the right space is chosen and the bower goes up twig by twig, berry by berry, embellishing a basic construction thats already sound and lovely.

Occasionally, when all goes well, a mate is attracted.

Woodpigeons preferred habitat is slightly spooky places (friendly ghosts only) with natural reverb, with nearby vintage mellotrons and echoing stairwells, and perhaps a gaggle of singing children when feeling maudlin. They rock out on harpsichords and wrench tears out of guitars before playing them damp. Bells, whistles, handclaps all the aural tchotchkes are enlisted to serve the song, wherever they can brighten a melody or limn a mournful line. Girlish voices become instruments, while Marks lonely choirboy vocals somehow, impossibly, lodged in a lumberjack-ish bear of a man sound uncannily like theyre being sung directly into your ear. You can almost feel his warm minty breath.

Mark mostly sings about the Unbearable Mark-ness of Being: secret love ninjas, imaginary segregated private schools, stolen kisses, confounded passion, windy days and city streets, thoughtful walking, the kind of longing that is wonderful, and the kind of longing that is sorrowful. He pushes aside the fabric of reality to create a fantastic musical realm where truth is found in fiction, and fiction is found in song.

Long live music. Long live Woodpigeon.



EAGLEOWL are a lo-fi post-folk ensemble from Edinburgh. The Scotsman said they sound like "the soundtrack to the saddest, most beautiful art-house film you've never seen." The List once described them as "simply beautiful". Song, By Toad described them as being "torturously slow" which they regard as a huge compliment, as they believe in doing things right, rather than doing things fast.

Described as sounding like Hood, the Dirty Three, Spiritualized, Neil Young, Red House Painters, Tindersticks, John Cale, Sigur Ros, Sparklehorse, Mogwai, Graham Coxon, Low, "The White Stripes without the tits", "like the Jesus and Mary Chain had wandered into a folk club", "proof that you can cross Nirvana with the Proclaimers", "70s bastard grandchildren of doom" and "really atmospheric. Like Braveheart".



ROB ST JOHN - is an awesome chap, according to Song, by Toad Records. And with his debut album due to drop later this year on the Edinburgh-based label, who are we to disagree?

As well as playing with eagleowl, Rob has recently joined Meursault and describes his sound as folk-based songs using interesting and unusual acoustic instruments (saw, harmonium, autoharp etc), highly influenced by minimalist, ambient and post-rock music, citing his musical influences as Bill Callahan, Will Oldham and Leonard Cohen, as well as the orchestration of Nina Nastasias records and the minimalism of Steve Reich, Boards of Canada or Amiina, though I couldnt ever claim we get anywhere near any of that!



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