Reviews roundup – Runrig vs. Tim Williams vs. Ozone Mama vs. Tom Clay
It’s not the fault of Runrig that their music was hijacked by nationalists back in the day. Especially, when it turned out there was a surfeit of Blairites as well as nationalists, lurking in the pack. But it cast a pall for folks like me, which was a shame, because they’ve always been a really good band.
But here they are, knocking it on the head after a forty-year career, and it’s probably one of their best records. I always preferred the post Munro music, and Bruce Guthro (nee Guthrie) is in fine voice here. The opening, title track, is an absolute stoatir, and one of their finest.
Elsewhere, it’s the same mixture of folk rock and guitar led Celtic rock that they’ve always played, but with a wee edge to it, that makes for very enjoyable listening. They’ve managed to get the right amount of pathos into songs like ‘Rise and Fall’, and there are the requisite weepies which every true Scotchman yearns for.
It’s also out as a muckle box set if you fancy a flag, pen, notebook, autographs etc.
Tim Williams spends his days fronting the Electro Fires but on this solo album, he’s stripped the blues back as far as you can, with just him and a Gretsch Alligator Resonator guitar. And if you like your blues acoustic and traditional, then you should not miss this release.
In between some excellent original tunes, he turns his hand to songs by Mose Allison, Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Boy Fuller, amongst others, and it says a lot for his own tunes, that you wouldn’t be able to tell the old from the new.
From the opening Mose Allison number, ‘If You Live’, right through to the end, he doesn’t put a foot (or a finger) wrong, with his own Lightnin’ Hopkins homage, the best of the originals. It’s an absolute peach of a CD, and one that trad blues fans should ignore at their peril.
Fancy some scuzzy psych rock from Hungary? Of course you do. And here come Ozone Mama in all their sonic glory to satisfy your needs.
Of course, if I tell you they’ve supported Monster Magnet, The Darkness and Airbourne, then you’ll have a pretty good idea where they’re coming from. Add in an opening salvo of ‘Good Times Roll’ and ‘Backdoor Man’, and they’ve got the vibe and the attitude sorted.
They shoot their load early on, and things fade slightly towards the end, but if you fancy “Sonic Temple” meets “Powertrip” with some eighties rock guitars, then Ozone Mama are the band for you. A good one.
Apparently, Flight Brigade have been hailed as ‘astonishing’ by BBC Radio 2. And Tom Clay is their bass player. Nope, me neither. Turns out that at one point, he was in the American colonies trying to make it as an actor, leading to a breakout role as a hand double for Robert Carlyle in the film, “28 Weeks Later”.
He’s been round the blocks as a solo performer before, but then took a lengthy hiatus from music for personal reasons. But now he’s back with a new single, and it’s rather enjoyable.
It’s that singer / songwriter, Laurel Canyon, quasi-folk thing that so many have a bash at, but at least Mr Clay knows how to write a tune. Hopefully he’ll have a few more up his sleeve come album time, but you can check him out at http://www.tomclay.co.uk/
‘THE STORY’ FEBRUARY 2016 UK TOUR
SHOWS IN SCOTLAND
BOOK ONLINE: www.ticketmaster.co.uk
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 844 0444
SHOWS IN ENGLAND
BOOK ONLINE: www.bookingsdirect.com
24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 0844 338 0000
START TIME ON ALL SHOWS: 7:30 PM
ABERDEEN MUSIC HALL
Wednesday 10th February
Tickets: £28.50 / Box Office: 01224 641122
Union St, Aberdeen AB10 1QS
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
Thursday 11th February
Tickets: £28.50 / Box Office: 0141 353 8000
2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3NY
DUNDEE CAIRD HALL
Friday 12th February
Tickets: £28.50 / Box Office: 01382 434 940
City Square, Dundee DD1 3BB
EDINBURGH USHER HALL
Saturday 13th February
Tickets: £28.50/ Box Office: 0131 228 1155
Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA
NOTTINGHAM ROYAL CONCERT HALL
Tuesday 16th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0115 989 5555
Theatre Square, Nottingham NG1 5ND
GATESHEAD THE SAGE
Wednesday 17th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0191 443 4661
St Mary’s Square, Gateshead NE8 2JR
BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL
Thursday 18th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0121 345 0602
Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EA
Friday 19th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0844 847 2362
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth PO1 2AB
IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE
Saturday 20th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 01473 433 100
St Helen’s St, Ipswich IP4 1HE
MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO
Tuesday 23rd February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 08444 777 677
Stockport Road, Higher Ardwick, Manchester M12 6AP
BRISTOL COLSTON HALL
Wednesday 24th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0844 887 1500
Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5AR
SHEFFIELD CITY HALL
Thursday 25th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 0114 2789 789
Barkers Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA
LONDON O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE
Friday 26th February
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
Tickets: £30.00 / £32.00
Shepherd’s Bush Green, London W12 8TT
CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE
Saturday 27th February
Tickets: £28.00 / Box Office: 01223 357 851
Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB
SUMMER 2016 SCOTLAND DATES
THE HEBRIDEAN CELTIC FESTIVAL – STORNOWAY
Saturday 16th July 2016
EDINBURGH CASTLE – SCOTLAND
Saturday 23rd July 2016