I never made it to Malcolm Middleton‘s ‘Long, Dark Night’ gig at the Oran Mor last year so disc 2 of the 2CD Malcolm Middleton live release, which features that show, is at least some compensation.
Now with a songwriter as good as Malcolm, you’re not going to be let down by the contents of any release. But this part of the package has a number of other selling points.
The first of these is that, unlike the ‘Bush Hall’ CD, a fair amount of the between song banter remains intact, whether it be berating the audience for their poor singalong on ‘Blue Plastic Bags’ or ‘Do you want to hear one more song?’ (You’ll have to buy the CD to hear the punchline.)
Secondly there are some surprising inclusions in the setlist. Without the electronic trappings, ‘Box and Knife’ actually lends itself well to the solo acoustic format very well, as it has to be said, does ‘No Modest Bear’., something I wouldn’t have wagered much on until I heard this version. Both these songs of course sound very different to the recorded versions but then the changing arrangements has always been an excellent reason for seeing Malcolm live.
Given that the Bush Hall CD isn’t that old, there’s very little overlap with first solo CD (just 3 songs) so between the two albums you can own almost 30 different acoustic Middleton songs. Oh and there’s a new, unreleased song on this one too – ‘Moments’ which kind of makes it significant for Middleton devotees. Who will want to own this in any case.
Taken together the 2 CDs really should be on the must buy list of any self respecting Scottish music fan.
A (distant!) audience recording of one of the songs from the Oran Mor show: