There’s that moment of dread when someone you know gives you their music – particularly if you know it’s someone whose musical taste doesn’t necessarily significantly overlap with your own. And when it’s someone you work (almost literally) beside then you can surely understand the trepidation – at least if you’ve realised how much of a musical snob this blogger is.
Which should actually be something of an over-reaction in the case of Andrew C Ferguson as I’ve enjoyed his songwriting before in his main musical vehicle Tribute to Venus Carmichael even if it’s much closer to Mrs MPT’s tastes than my own.
With this context I want to tell you a little bit about his first solo E.P. ‘Autumn Fruit’.
Being totally honest my first impression was that I’d put the wrong CD in.
Not only did I not really recognise the vocalist (and the first track is spoken word!) but musically opening track ‘Scotland As An X-Box Game’ sounded nothing like I expected. Which is to say that it sounds a lot like a lost Malcolm Middleton outtake with its Caledonian tinged backing and some terrific words – a breathless summation of Scottish history in little over 200 seconds.
The final track ‘Hyde’s Last Words’ shares musical DNA with the opening track and lyrically is effectively Robert Louis Stevenson filtered through Aidan Moffat. The bonus here is a glorious acoustic and electric guitar coda featuring Kenny McKay . The song’s only flaw is that it’s a very scratchy live recording and I can’t help wishing that it had received a full studio treatment. (Which apparently it might). I’ll look forward to that.
‘Right Here With Me’ is the one on the E.P. for the Venus fans, a pretty ballad that wouldn’t be out of place in their set.
Otherwise the songs show a different and slightly darker side to Andrew’s songwriting including the Gothic acoustica of ‘Cavalcade’.
Here’s a chance to hear, for me, the E.P.’s highlight:
You can find out more about the E.P. (and listen to the rest of the songs) here. And if you ask Andrew nicely he might send you a free CD.