November saw a quiet month for Modhan but a busy month for bands we love passing through Edinburgh and Glasgow. We thought we would give a quick summary of who we’ve been going to see to give a little insight into some of the musicians and bands that influence our own sounds.
First up was Lau touring their latest release Race the Loser. Having seen the band before we were very excited as to the direction of their new sounds. The new material sees a slight shift towards more electronic influences, particularly from accordionist extraordinaire Martin Green. The result is an even more eclectic mix of tumbling soundscapes, marrying beautiful fiddle lines with epic guitar patterns and symphonic accordion. Of particular highlight was new track “Torsa”, embodying the direction of the sound in which Lau appear to be headed. Old favourites appeared throughout the night, finishing up with bits of my personal favourite “The Lang Set” before a somewhat amusing double en core. In short, Lau provided a thoroughly entertaining concert and show no signs of letting up their frightening pace and persona as one of Scotland’s must see acts right now.
Next up was the The Punch Brothers, a progressive American bluegrass super group led by mandolin genius Chris Thile, this was their first time in Edinburgh and the gig we were probably most looking forward to. The reputation of these guys clearly precedes them wherever they go, and we were soon to see why. The performance from Chris Thile et al was virtually flawless, and provided an astonishing treat for the auditory senses in every way. Unbelievable energy fused with enviable musicality bombarded the audience from all areas of the stage, the result was mind-blowing. A better band and performance I have rarely seen, Punch Brothers were superb!
The following week we went to Glasgow for a gig featuring New York’s Brooklyn-based funk fusion outfit Snarky Puppy, brilliantly supported by hot Glasgow based funk powerhouse Federation of the Disco Pimp. FOTDP kicked off the night with their trademark chunky rhythms, tight grooves and fluctuating brass and woodwind lines all masterfully bound together by band leader Marko’s all-encompassing keys. Snarky Puppy took to the stage with no fewer than 9 members, and embarked on a non-stop journey of high-tempo yet intricate and engaging funk. This band had a bit of everything – soaring brass and woodwind, pitched supremely well and not overdone while both guitars complimented the keys and each other in a very nice balance. Bassist Michael League fronted the band while also directing his two extremely talented percussionists to form a potently powerful rhythm section that could snap, crackle and pop. In short, a must see band.
All three gigs were of very varied styles but all had sublime musicianship on show, if you haven’t listened to these bands before we highly recommend that you check them out. We will hopefully see you next weekend at Soundhouse in Edinburgh and Slouch in Glasgow for some festive Modhan grooves and tunes.