Live review: Three Blind Wolves, Joe Black at Stereo, 11/2/12

If there is one thing that Three Blind Wolves cannot be called, it’s dilatory, since the last time these boys played in Stereo in 2010 they have released a highly acclaimed mini album, played in the BBC introducing stage at T in the Park and to top it all off have travelled stateside to tour.

 

They now come back to Stereo with a new, fuller sound and a new journey on the horizon.

This fundraiser for the SXSW festival marks a big step in this band’s career, for one it’s a celebration of the achievements they have made in the past few years, bringing old fans and new together to showcase their refined talents.

Also, it is a transition to greater things as many of the Scottish bands that have gone to SXSW have gained invaluable exposure and thus went on to great things.

The night begins with a solo performance from Washington Irving’s Joseph Black, who has played in the presence of Three Blind Wolves’ fans on many occasions.

The crowd seem very familiar with Black as they banter along for a while before he opens his set.

The set is everything you would expect from a solo performance from Black, it is at times reminiscent of his band’s sound but played with a more delicate, intimate and minimalist feel.

The sound Black creates goes beyond his years, it’s introspective and caring, worldly and knowing, not unlike that of Scottish folk traditionalist Alasdair Roberts.

Black is then joined on stage by Ross Clark, from tonight’s headliners, and they sing an a-capella rendition of a Scottish folk song, with immense passion and a few hints of humour along the way.

It’s a very moving and extremely fitting start to the event, a showcase, if you will, of the Scottish traditionalism that is still alive within the Scottish Indie scene.

A stranger to tonight’s line up would be in no doubts of who was headlining as Three Blind Wolves take to the stage.

The high ceilings of Stereo take a sonic barrage as cheers ring out for Clark and his talented musicians.

Clark uncharacteristically, almost looks embarrassed by the sheer volume of support being trashed in his direction.

The set is a mixture of old and new tracks, with some of the old favourites such as ‘Emily Rose’ bringing the crowd to howl along with the Wolves at full voice.

Some of the newer tracks are respectfully received and enjoyed by the crowd, with Clark working them as he has done many a time before, never allowing for there to be a lull in the set, even as unfamiliar songs are introduced.

Clark’s voice and the band’s strong song-writing are once again shown in full blossom, it really is a wonderful sight to see a band play with so much natural passion and joy, surely one of the reasons why Three Blind Wolves have become every ones new favourite local band.

A Frightened Rabbit style rise is surely a strong possibility for these lads when they return from SXSW and I can only hope that prophecy can be realised, for Three Blind Wolves truly deserve it.

Words: Alan Laidlaw
Photos: Allan Reid

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