Having the chance to grab a chat with Adam Ross, lead singer of Randolph’s Leap at their CCA “festival in a can,” event reaffirmed the amazing culture of music currently circulating in Glasgow.
Where else can you go to an all day gig crammed with great bands like Randolph’s Leap and Withered Hand amongst many others for the measly sum of fifteen quid? That doesn’t even pay a kid into a football game these days!
Ross explains that the original concept, this being the third incarnation of the gig, was developed in conjunction Lost Map Records as an opportunity to provide a cheap platform to showcase bands to the public without the expense of a promoter.
Fittingly the title track of the gig is firmly a fans favourite and has become somewhat of an anthem and the good news for Randolph’s Leap fans is that a new ten-track studio album has been recorded.
Ross tells us this will have a live energy feel to it and a recorded live mini album, Most Clunkey, will be released for record store day in April.
Anyway onto the gig; arriving at half past five I catch offensively funny comedian Richard Brown, who introduces eagleowl, a five-piece outfit boasting an impressive string section of violin, cello and double bass the Edinburgh band produce a lo-fi electric folk sound.
Beautifully layered their music is dramatic and theatrical with gentle harmonised vocals that breathe life in to melancholy lyrics.
The six song set flies by, with new song ‘Summer School’ being a highlight, this band are a delight with a down beat style and an infinite sadness about their music; perfectly suited to intimate venues and well worth searching out.
Comedian Josie Long compares the second half of the show and her well-received quirky observational humour and duo Henry and Fleetwood are next to take the stage, with an acoustic blend of guitar and, believe it or not, harp.
What follows can only be described as utterly compelling as the pair combine to produce a dream like floating sound, with gentle plucked harp providing melody and bass and clever loops giving a full band sound.
With a mixture of instrumental tracks and songs with impeccably harmonised vocals they weave a thread of flawless earthy folk that had the audience silently spell bound.
They could only improve for me by dropping the instrumentals and singing all their tracks.
Withered Hand follow and quickly and with power engage the audience; flipping between poignant and intense, while singing and comedic and irreverent between tunes, he compels the audience to drink in his performance.
And drink we do, lapping him up as we are left punch drunk at his sarcastic and wistful lyrics.
The anthemic sing-along ‘Horseshoe’ goes down a storm and other tracks from latest album New Gods further cement his growing reputation as one of the finest live folksters around.
And with that Randolph’s Leap cram their massive ensemble onto the stage with a rush of energy that can only come with a band at the top of their game.
Energy can be the only word used to describe their performance as they burst into ‘Isle of Love’ with Hammond organ, trumpet and trombone blaring and lead singer Ross dressed as a sea captain gleefully proclaiming to the audience that he looked like a, well a rude word for lady parts!
40-minutes of purposefully twee and camp Scottish front room party madness follows and it is perfectly clear who the majority of the audience are here to see.
With blaring trumpet intros providing octane like fuel to the audience and songs bubbling over with humour and charisma it is easy to slip into a few beers and loose once self in the moment.
A great combinations of bands and comedians provided a character filled cheap night entertainment and Lost Map and Randolph’s Leap should be applauded for providing it.
Words: Peter Dorrington
Photos: Bill Gray