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Broken Records / RM Hubbert / The Douglas Firs

Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire (Tuesday, 6th December)

By • Dec 15th, 2011 • Category: Gig review

As something of a forgotten entity within the local Scottish scene, Broken Records’ home town show is observed by the packed out Cabaret Voltaire with a hushed reverence.
Having not long returned from a summertime American tour and showcasing a variety of new material, this recent batch of gig dates within their homeland may indicate something of a rebirth for the Auld Reekie six-piece.

Supported by indie-folk counterparts The Douglas Firs, an outfit who will regard the past year with fondness having themselves been propelled in to the limelight following their debut release ‘Happy as a Windless Flag’. A reoccurring feedback problem did not take detract from a what was a short but seamless set.

Completing the line-up is RM Hubbert, a solo performer armed with a guitar and mic which he utilises only for the purposes of introduction. Stylistically akin to Andy Mckee, Hubbert divulges the background and influences of each track in what is a commendably honest performance that comprises of subject matter such as death, divorce and depression. Although steeped in darkness, each track is beautifully crafted and despite the absence of vocals, RM Hubbert conveys each story brilliantly.

The opening tracks from Broken Records gives the impression that the gig is something of an experiment, foraying into tracks from their Out On The Water EP, the inclusion of which was not universally approved by the band, jokes frontman Jamie Sutherland. The sense of experimentation pays off in a show that showcases a number of new efforts signifying that the future of the band is promising and perhaps indicates an forthcoming addition to their back catalogue.
There is a strong feeling of nostalgia tonight and although the inclusion of new efforts are welcome, the audience react with a particular warmth to the bands older material. The slow fiddle over feedback build up of ‘Nearly Home’ reminds us why Broken Records were dubbed the Scottish answer to Arcade Fire while the wonderfully morose ‘Wolves’ spellbinds the audience. The highlight of the show however is unsurprisingly the outfit’s flagship number, ‘The Slow Parade’ comprising of subtle dynamics and a slow, nigh on euphoric build up that has the audience marching back out into the Edinburgh night.

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