Part of Celtic Connections 2016
The petite frame of Emma Pollock shakes with laughter, not for the first time tonight. ”This was supposed to be a sophisticated evening! Oh … dear”.
It is a little chaotic, admittedly. Armed with, not so much a supergroup as an indie Avengers Alliance, including RM Hubbert, BDY PRTS and Siobhan Wilson, Pollock is questioning the wisdom of around eleven people on stage. Band members wander off, and their mobiles go off, with Pollock quipping, ”Put that on Twitter”.
She needn’t have worried. It’s a triumph, with the majority of the material from third solo album since leaving The Delgados, In Search of Harperfield working beautifully- like an eclectic mix-tape.
Hubbert and Pollock’s gorgeous Monster In the Pack is a plaintive thing, augmented by Hubby’s superb finger-picking, and Intermission is a poignant string-soaked ballad, reminiscent of Michael Nyman. Pollock’s delivery is as warm and intimate as diary entries, her brandy butter voice gorgeous and effortless, even during the more go-ahead fuzzy pop of Parks and Recreation.
The sadness of loss which inspired the new album is thus transformed into hope and joy in this context. Pollock and co. are a mighty force, and the packed, sweaty Oran Mor concurs.
In Search of Harperfield is out now on Chemikal Underground