Album review Scottish albums


Peter Kelly, the man known as Beerjacket, has carved out a fine reputation on Glasgow’s live scene through the years and released seven increasingly well-received albums in the process. It’s true that he wears influences such as Elliot Smith on his sleeve, but that doesn’t take away from the honesty and heartfelt emotion of his songwriting. While juggling his musical escapades with his teaching day-job he has won a loyal following who will no doubt warmly welcome ‘Darling Darkness’, his second studio-recorded album (the five previous were home-recorded).
The album’s opening line “Put your hands on my head to make antlers” is apparently about placing his children on his shoulders. It poignantly reflects the album’s theme of fatherhood and family life, with one half of the songs were written about one of his children, the other half about the other. ‘Dog Day Star’ is a stand-out, and ‘Cape’ conjures up playful, heroic images of ‘racing through the skies/lasers shooting from my eyes’.
There’s a natural, unforced feel to the songs, which are beautifully augmented by backing vocals from Julia Doogan (from Julia and the Doogans) and Louise Connell (Reverieme). Kelly has suggested in interviews that ‘Darling Darkness’ could be his last album, and if it really is ‘last orders’ for Beerjacket he’ll be bowing out on a high.