Willard Grant Conspiracy - Live in Edinburgh

Already back in the UK after less than a year's absence, Willard Grant Conspiracy bring their own brand of rock-folk to the Scottish capital for a constantly growing audience. Although the band has over 20 members, the current setup expands the usual guitar/bass/drums configuration with a classically-trained keyboardist (Yuko Murata) and a British violinist (Josh Hillman) who both add an extra layer of subtlety to the band's music.

The evening starts with a clutch of acoustic based songs mostly from their latest studio release, the brilliant Regard The End. Robert Fisher's voice - a deep and powerful baritone that has caused him many a favourable comparison with Nick Cave - fits in with the music perfectly, giving the lyrics both gravity and passion in equal measure. The band hit their stride playing River In The Pines and a rapid version of The Trials Of Harrison Hayes receiving a rapturous response from the audience - obviously, Regard The End has brought them a new set of fans as the older songs seem somewhat less familiar to the audience.

Fisher's humorous on-stage banter keeps the set from sounding overly pretentious - something that can occur quite easily when most of your songs deal with mortality, sin and depression. Soft Hand however deals with none of these but was rejected by BBC Radio as being "too suggestive" - it did however find its way into the Farrely's brothers latest release and the band give an excellent rendition of it tonight, much to the crowd's delight. Sensing an eager audience, the band try some softer tunes such as the excellent Twistification - complete with melodica and musical saw - and the piano-led Massachusetts. Eschewing the traditional encore ceremony ("We'll play as many songs as we can until curfew rather than waste time with all that" says Fisher), the Willards bring the show to an end with the shattering Sticky - a song that would have made Kurt Cobain green with envy.

Willard Grant Conspiracy are a hard live act to beat - be it for their sheer energy, versatility or quality of the songwriting. Catch them now - you will not be disappointed.

Featuring Robert Fisher - Vocals, acoustic guitar; Erik Van Loo - Fretless bass, double bass; Simon Alpin - Electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, backing vocals; Thomas King - Drums; Yuko Murata - Keyboards, melodica; Josh Hillman - Violin, viola, saw.

Remaining UK Tour Dates
Sun 25 Warwick Arts Centre b/o 024 7652 4524
Mon 26 Norwich Arts Centre b/o 01603 660352
Tue 27 London Bloomsbury Theatre b/o 020 7388 8822
Wed 28 London Bloomsbury Theatre b/o 020 7388 8822 (both London dates are co-headlining shows with w./ The Handsome Family)
Thur 29 Cardiff Barfly b/o 02920 396 589

May 2004
Sat 1 Ireland Kilkenny Festival b/o 056 90057
Sun 2 Ireland Kilkenny Festival b/o 056 90057
Mon 3 Bristol Bierkeller b/o 0870 444 4400

Check out WGC's Website

Last updated: 19/04/2018 13:29:40

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