The Modern Vikings have drummer Stephen Henderson at the fore, a Viking helmet placed strategically in front of him like some kind of crown.
This five-piece jazz band comprises Graeme Stephen on guitar, Konrad Wiszniewski on saxophone, Fergus McCreadie on piano and David Bowden on bass. A variation of this line-up with McCreadie at the fore won the 2023 Scottish Album of the Year Award.
They are incredible musicians. At various points each member played a solo, some of them bringing a round of applause from the audience – especially the long solo that Fergus McCreadie played. Watching his hands and fingers become a blur was mesmerising.
There were only about half a dozen songs in the set, but they’re all a bit longer and there are some slower tunes in there too. Which breaks up the set a bit. Scandinavian Jazz is the influence which is where the band name comes from, in case you were wondering.
(Shouldn’t this gig have been on Up Helly Aa? They missed it by a day).
Federation of the Disco Pimp are always a great fun live band to watch. I’ve seen them twice before – the first time at a fringe show for the MOBO awards that nobody knew about. The second time at the Celtic Connections festival club. The latter was one of the best things I’ve probably ever seen. The whole room became a huge messy mosh pit. Totally chaotic and loads of fun.
It’s a bit disappointing to see that this gig isn’t as crazy as that. But understandable considering it’s not one in the morning and the crowd are less well-oiled.
It is five years since the Federation last played and looking at the set list there are a lot of songs that I don’t recognise. There are some songs from ‘Inamorata’ and ‘More Than Dancing’. They’re still the finest proponents of funk you’ll find round these parts. They still have the same core membership. Or at least I think they do… it’s been a while and there was 10 of them on the stage. They had a full brass section complete with backing singers. Drums, guitar, bass and keys. I only really recognise Marco on keyboards.
This is a band that I will always recommend for you to go and see. It doesn’t matter if you’re into the genre. They’re just an amazing fun good time live band, guaranteed to get the feet tapping and the heads nodding.