Just last week Constant Follower played a three song set at the Scottish Album of the Year awards on their home turf of Stirling. However, despite host Vic Galloway’s plea to the crowd to stop talking, the chattering started after about a song and a half (it was to be fair an excitable crowd).
There are no such problems at The Glad, where (mostly) audiences are respectful of the fact that (most) people are here for the music and not to overhear some strangers’ stupid “banter”.
Before the headliners we got Andy Aquarius (not necessarily his real name) who is a harp-playing native of Berlin. He gave the packed and seated venue a selection of tunes from his current album, some instrumental but some with soft vocals. The delicacy and tone of this instrument is incredible to behold and he plays it so beautifully, the notes fairly rippling and dancing around, that several people said afterwards they were getting quite emotional.
Aquarius apparently also plays in a German “rock” band so presumably lives a life of extremes. It appears that he hooked up with Constant Follower online after realising their albums were releasing the same day, and the harpmeister has been supporting his new-found musical pals around Scotland of late – a lovely start to any evening.
Constant Follower’s album ‘Neither is, Nor Ever Was’ has been out for a while now and this is the second time the band have played selections from it at this venue. It has however lost none of its gently mesmerising effect on this listener, and by the reaction, the capacity audience here as well.
Led by songwriter/acoustic guitarist/vocalist McAll, the band comprises Andrew (slide guitar), Dave (bass), Gareth (keys) and newest recruit Olivia (vocals). With a superb mix by soundman Derek, the music was allowed to breathe freely, the guitar string-picking and deep slide washes interacting to give a deep resonance and a quiet majesty.
The lyrics cover themes of yearning, regret and also wonder at the natural world. Two key tracks, ‘Weave of the World’ and ‘Merry Dancers on TV’ cover weather and landscape-related themes reminiscent of more Americana-orientated bands such as Lambchop and even England’s own Mike Oldfield in his ‘Hergest Ridge’ mid-70s folk period, but when all is said and done CF are a fairly unique proposition. Who knows what they will do next but we are very lucky to have them!