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De Rosa / Jill Lorean

Glasgow CCA (Saturday December 14th 2019)

By • Dec 16th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

This show was to celebrate De Rosa’s album no 2 ‘Prevention’, released 10 years ago.

BM likes the CCA (saw Suicide here in 2001) and likes it better without seats, as it was tonight.

A slightly thin audience at first as Jill Lorean, of Sparrow & the Workshop, Bdy_Prts and Broken Chanter (does she ever stop?) gave us some sublime solo tracks, the first one solo voice, the others with guitar, sometimes double tracked (and there was at least one cover, a Watersons’ one, BM thinks). There will be an EP in the new year, and BM looks forward very much to this. Jill’s voice and musical vision are quite something, and her banter between tracks (the meaning of Xmas etc) suggests a career in standup would be a viable alternative if the music thing blows over…

De Rosa are one of Scotland’s best bands functioning in 2019 and as they played their way through ‘Prevention’ they touched on themes of geography, family and common culture. Chief songwriter Martin John Henry leads us through the nine tracks of this album, plus a couple of newer and older tracks. There is joy, sadness and other emotions on the original recording and the current lineup (some original members, some relatively new starts) do their best to channel this, and do it very well indeed.

The highlights are, actually the entire album, and the now pretty numerous crowd get excited by ‘It Helps To See You Hurt’ which could be close cousins with some Malcolm Middleton / Twilight Sad songs in terms of Scottish miserabilism, but this crowd are dancing to it… This song stands up as one of De Rosa’s supreme achievements…

MJH takes some of these songs on electric, some on acoustic, and the next track ‘Pest’ is a masterpiece of confessional strumming, as the years pile up and these songs just resonate across time, 10 years now, will still be great many years from now.

This album introduced some more electronic tropes to the original sound of De Rosa, and these are apparent when actual drumming is replaced by drum machine and the occasional sample, and are all the better for it.

The rest of the album, including ‘Stillness’ and ‘Flight Recorder’, reference past disappointments but tonight they come across as a triumph of the underdog, and it is a pretty loud dog at that… thanks in part to CCA’s sound peoples, who did a great job…

Last song of the main set was ‘Tinto’, a land mass which casts a shadow over De Rosa’s home turf of Lanarkshire, and also very beloved of BM, and the song gives a sort of Lanarkshire homage to Solisbury Hill, and Hergest Ridge, but the lines about family are moving, and invoke a clan mentality, which has its pros and cons… what is BM wittering about, it is just a great song and a great emotion…

For an encore we got ‘Hattonrigg PitDisaster’, then newish song ‘Mystery Walk’ – closing with ‘Devils’ from album no 3 ‘Weem’, which ended in feedback squalls and takes us into new territory, maybe a full rendition of that great album in 2020, how aboot it?

BM has to say it is a while since she has enjoyed a band, playing their instruments, just lost in the moment, nothing to prove or no one to impress, and for that BM salutes De Rosa, and please don’t be strangers in future…

(and thanks to Manicpopthrills for the De Rosa tracklisting)

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