Photo by Alison H (more at flickr)
“I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member” Groucho Marx
Even though hipster’s fave Bon Iver is appearing up the road at
the Queen’s Hall, there are lengthy queues outside The Caves for
tonight’s Fence Club and a few unlucky souls are turned away due to a
last-minute sell-out. The subterranean den is absolutely rammed both
with the Fence faithful and a large contingent of curious newbies. It’s
a spacious venue, but unfortunately the layout makes it difficult for
everyone present to get a clear view of the stage.
performances and friendly atmosphere though, more than make up for the
squeeze. Things kick off with alarming speed with a tantalisingly
brief joint set by The Pictish Trail and Rozi Plain and a well-received
guest spot from fence affiliate Malcolm Middleton. The main event
though is undoubtedly James Yorkston and the Athletes. Something about
the quiet confidence of Yorkston’s voice is enough to send a hush
throughout the venue for at least a few moments, before the drunken
rabble who can’t get close to the stage drift back into conversation.
But those of us who continue to pay attention are rewarded with
luscious live versions of tracks from his new album such as Tortoise
Regrets Hare and the title track When the Haar Rolls In plus some well
chosen gems from his back catalogue including the gorgeous I Awoke. The
set highlight was probably his epic cover of Lal Waterson’s Midnight
Feast, with trusty henchmen King Creosote and The Pictish Trail giving
it laldy on backing vocals.
Creosote then tied things up
with an eclectic DJ set that made a pleasant backdrop to some last
minute boozing and bonding, before he and Yorkston drove off into the
night in a car held together with some sticky tape. And with an exclusive piece of vinyl on the way out, this is one club that
even Groucho Marx would have wanted to be a member of.