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  • Writer's pictureDanny C

Roseanne Reid, Summerhall, Edinburgh 04-04-24

My second seated gig of the week but one at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from last night seeing Underworld (which pleased my knackered old knees just fine) and suited the evening of music perfectly too. As the last of our gang to arrive the OAW Crowd ("One A Week" music fans collective; including DJ Gez, OAW Music-Maestro Stevie and the Lowe Brothers) had kept me a seat with them for a bit of blether and catching up ahead of the support, Tom Webber.

I haven’t heard Tom’s music before this gig and I am impressed. He slipped onstage without much intro (none in fact!) and got straight down to business, just him and his guitar and launched into his first number. His songs are upbeat, but melancholic and immensely catchy. His music has a familiarity that I can’t put my finger on and at the same time has a freshness that makes it instantly enjoyable. Once he got into his stride his chat in between songs covered quite a variety of topics, including his enjoyment of Edinburgh (we’re spoiled with this city, we know!), wondering how adverse weather can affect guitar tuning so much, and before one of his tunes even asked the audience who in the crowd had done the Walk Of Shame before! As I said, I haven’t heard him before, but I’ve since listened to his music quite a bit and would recommend you check him out both live and recorded. An excellent singer, musician and songwriter – a perfect opener for what was to follow and I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s headlining his own tours and back to Edinburgh soon, I hope.

With Tom setting the tone Roseanne came on to a very warm welcome from the (larger than she expected) crowd, accompanied by David McFarlane who produced her latest album, the fantastic Lawside. Within the space of the first few songs, Dave had already played guitar, violin and banjo, proving his worth as an outstanding musician alongside his role behind the scenes. While there’s a lot to like about Roseanne’s’ music; the tunes and melodies, the deep & thoughtful lyrics (one of our crowd commented specifically on the high quality of her song-writing) not to mention her guitar-playing, but what stands out for me is her voice. It’s sweet, gravelly, powerful and raw all at the same time – I can’t think of anyone who sings like Roseanne and the way she uses this to deliver such heartfelt touching music is quite unique.

As part of her first round of headline shows the joy of this gig for her was pretty obvious. Not only evident in the easy-going style of playing that she has, coasting through the set but also her explanations of songs in between was great to hear. From the background to writing them, her family, life in general and how this all comes together for her, Roseanne Reid beams from the stage as one of the happiest, most content performers I’ve seen in a long time. That said, it’s not all upside - she did forget to bring the t-shirts and other merch with her (thank you for signing my cd though, Roseanne!). As with Tom Webber there was a fair bit of tuning from song to song – nowhere near Brian Jonestown Massacre levels of pre & post-song noodling, but as with the previous evenings show at Oran Mor, explanations of weather, venue temperature and playing alongside David rather than solo, had something to do with that. No complaints from us though as it did give us the chance to hear more from Rosanne. almost 'in conversation'.

Her set was a balanced mix of older and new material – a lot from her albums, Lawside and Trails (personal highlights for me were Daisy Chain, Mona Lisa and Made Just For You) but also some new material commissioned for an upcoming film and Couldn’t Wish More For You, which actress Mayim Bialik used in her semi-autobiographical film As They Made Us. A testament of how much Roseanne’s music is being recognised, as was her nomination for UK Americana Album of the Year for Lawside.

All in all, a great evening of music from extremely talented musicians and while I often sign off blogs with “Go see them live!” sadly for us I don’t think either Roseanne or Tom have any live shows lined up in the coming months, except for a couple of festival appearances. Do check out their material though and keep an eye out for more live shows being announced. Superb.

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