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Pictish Trowl

So, last night was a first – the first time I’ve ever been to a gig in the town of my birth. I mean, hwo could I have been to a show in Kirriemuir but not Kirkcaldy? Strange.

The all Fence bill at the Adam Smith Theatre was the occasion and, as well as the chance to catch up with a couple of acts I’ve seen several times, it was also an opportunity to finally see the Pictish Trail properly. Well, that was the theory at least.

First up was Adam from Randolph’s Leap, solo-ish with support from Leap keyboards player Gareth on, er,  drums. I love the full band Leap so it was interesting to see the scaled down show.

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Don’t lose the orange sticks!

The set drew largely on ‘Haunted Headphones’ and perhaps surprisingly for me was just as much fun as the full band shows with the charm ramshackle intact. Closing with a raucous ‘Hermit’, Adam doubtless made a few new friends on the night.

Next up were Eagleowl. With no records for a couple of years and only occasional gigs, they’ve slipped slightly off the MPT radar although it hasn’t escaped my notice that the long awaited debut LP is finally due out on Fence this year.

In fact it’s been more than two and a half years since I last saw the band, funnily enough also in Fife at a Tigerfest show in Dunfermline.

Just Bart and Clarissa that night, last night’s line-up was expanded to a six piece. Five all new songs (to these ears at least) which don’t fall far from past practice but were still hugely impressive. Soothing as much as anything but the last epic number fairly soars with the band drawn into a circle to play off each other for the last few minutes of blissful noise.

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Eagleowl circle the wagons

And so to Pictish Trail himself, backed by Eagelowl en masse. Unfortunately our enjoyment of his set was impaired early on by having the misfortune to be joined in the row behind us by a group of ladettes who were such big fans that they felt that they had to talk all the way through the songs. The couple next to us who got up and moved as soon as the group arrived definitely had  the right idea.

Not the ideal environment to enjoy the set then but there’s obviously a lot of good stuff in there and I’ll look forward to getting to know the new record.

Finally a word about the show itself. ON at Fife rarely seem to deal in new music (at least since Tigerfest bit the dust) so it was encouraging for the show to happen at all. It was leant a slightly surreal air by the fact that it was organised very much on theatre lines with intervals, ushers, warning bells and seats. But definitely something I’d hope would be repeated.

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