Withered Hand (solo) / Randolph’s Leap / The Pictish Trail – Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh – 30th June 2012

This could have been something of a disaster. With David Canaveral laid low, what was supposed to be an extensive preview of the second Kid Canaveral album turned into a rather more impromptu affair. But when you can call on the likes of the Pictish Trail and Withered Hand as late stand-ins, then it was pretty certain that everything would turn out ok.

And so it proved. Pictish was promoted from his advertised role of DJ to open the show and was thoroughly entertaining over the course of half an hour. Concluding with a cover of the Canaverals’ ‘Her Hair Hangs Down’ then coaxing the three Canaverals still standing on stage for a final number was certainly a crowd pleasing finale.

PT and 3 Canaverals

Randolph’s Leap were next on stage. Whilst I enjoyed them at the Kid C SXSW show in Glasgow last year, last night they were just on a different level. Now expanded to an 8 piece, I’m tempted to describe them as a joyful racket. But that would undersell them because whilst they’re certainly joyful but they are anything but a racket.

No, instead their exuberance shines through but it always remains focussed. There were a couple of quieter numbers, once when Adam was joined slowly by the strings and then one completely solo. And these provide nice contrasts but I think I prefer them in full flow. Did I say joyful?

Randolph’s Leap

Late headliner Withered Hand wasn’t even in the building when RL finished but his short seven songs set (the majority of which were new songs) was rapturously received. With the ‘hits’ from the first LP receiving significant audience backing, the solo performance emphasised how affecting these songs can be.

The new songs (at least they are to me) all sounded excellent and Dan even mentioned at one point the prospect of recording a second album.

So, yes, everything turned out in the end, not least the fact that David is apparently now home and on the road to recovery. And the Kid C show will be rescheduled. So all’s well that ends well.

Last minute preparations

Withered Hand plays a full band show at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on Saturday 4th August.