The Variety is a great bar but really only has a small corner space near the entrance that a PA system can be deployed with a few mikes, fair play to the sound guy tonight!
On a very rainy night when most punters were soaking, and soaking up Celtic Connections in Raintown, Crowded Flat put on this very interesting night at The Variety. Due to ill health one of the acts (Fionn from Kilgour) had to pull out (get well soon!) so Kieran from Arcade State stepped up to play a few songs, including some rarities (“band doesn’t play this one…”). His voice rose above the general chatter and clatter (and yes it was a free gig so not everyone was here for the music, some allowances have to be made but…) and he went on undeterred, again proving that these usually full band numbers stand alone as decent songs…
Next up was Dutch Wine’s frontman Calvin Smith, who gave us a selection of their tracks on acoustic guitar, again great vocals but slightly drowned out by the surrounding racket but undeterred… some good sounding songs, and B, having missed them a couple of times at festivals, will try to get to their CCA show in March.
Last up was Edinburgh origin story band Waverley (although they are not all Edinburgh-based now) who crammed into the corner of the bar and gave renditions of tracks mainly from their most recent EP ‘It Makes An Emptiness Of A Crowded Place’ – BM reviewed a track of theirs a while ago and it sounded ok but these newish ones are a major development, showcasing the interaction between multi-instrumentalists, two lead vocalists and a slightly Frabbits-influenced vibe which they make their own – a gig like this shows their willingness to adapt to whatever room or circumstances they are faced with, just to enjoy playing together to whoever wants to listen. BM resolves to catch this lot properly and is really enjoying that EP!
Crowded Flat are the latest in a line of ever-changing promoters, evolving at pace as new generations of musicians find their sound and place, and they are worthy of praise – big boys watch oot!