Admiral Fallow have been taking their distinctive brand of Scottish music around Europe, and have now returned to their native Scotland for a nationwide tour. Since their beginnings in Glasgow in 2007, their fresh indie-folk sound has both invigorated the Scottish music scene, and been refreshed and influenced by it. The band members are keen collaborators with other Scottish musical heavyweights; most notably their recent contribution to King Creosote’s live accompaniment to the EIF’s summer screening of “From Scotland with Love”. Sarah Hayes’ imminent debut album “Woven” is a collaboration with a wealth of Scottish folk talent, bringing new melodies to well kent Scottish songs.
Such exchange of ideas and talent results in a fertile environment, allowing innovation to flourish. This is not run–of-the-mill folk rock, nor is it disposable pop music. With their emotive lyrics, these are songs to hang your emotional hat on. These songs will become part of the fabric of your life. These songs will resonate in twenty years’ time and bring back that breakup, that first love, that first child, with as much emotional connection as the day you experienced it.
Admiral Fallow’s appearance at Inverness venue Hootananny was a delightfully intimate gig. As always, Admiral Fallow gave us a multi-layered musical experience, ranging from finely balanced musical complexity to breathtakingly, hauntingly, simple melodies.
Louis Abbot’s fine tenor voice soared to the rafters, and harmonised beautifully with Sarah Hayes pure tones of flute and voice. Kevin Brolly’s clarinet provided their signature sound, while Joe Rattray, Tom Stearn and Philip Hauge added their talents to the rich texture of the music.
The show included favourites from 2010’s release “Boots met my Face”, the not-so-difficult second Album “Tree bursts in Snow”, and of course their latest offering “Tiny Rewards” released May 2015.
Now with an extensive back catalogue to call on, there is something for everyone, as the show was at times poignant and moving, at times joyful and uplifting. A particular highlight was the shimmering, melodic “Broughty Ferry”, a bonus Track from Tiny Rewards.
“Dead Against Smoking” received an extra cheer as Abbot ruefully admitted to forgetting the words to this song at an early gig on the tour. “The sucker punch was when someone had to google it for me, because no-one could remember them” he says with characteristic dry humour.
The crowd’s loudest reaction is reserved for the wonderfully energetic “Squealing Pigs”. The delighted, dancing crowd are raucous in their appreciation. So much so that it takes some time to restore sufficient calm to continue with the entwined harmonies of all five for the divinely beautiful “Four Bulbs”
A joyful evening for all concerned, finishing with the anthemic “Old Balloons” in fine style.
Admiral Fallow’s tour continues around Scotland, playing La Belle Angele in Edinburgh 19th November.