Positive Space – Broken Chanter / Jill Lorean live

Broken Chanter / Jill Lorean – The Glad Café, Glasgow – Saturday 26th January 2019

Our Celtic Connections weekend kicked off at the Glad Café last Saturday with the first headline show by Broken Chanter. As at the Baubles, this show featured a four piece line-up with David and Jill joined by Gav Prentice and Audrey Tate.

It was already my sixth BC show (the restraining order is surely imminent) but it’s been fascinating how the shows have all been different. Compared to the Summerhall show, this one was a little less intense but every bit as enjoyable.

The majority of the set was familiar from the previous outings but two more songs from the album were given their live debuts. ‘Sheeran In The Distance’* is the touching tale of watching a stadium gig from the back of the stands at Hampden whilst the beautiful ‘Mionagadanan’ was sung by guest vocalist Kim Carnie. Unfortunately , some of Kim’s vocals were lost beneath the drums at times – the only real disappointment of the evening.

The competition for my favourite BC song though remains between ‘Beside Ourselves’ (with another star turn from Jill) and the closing ‘Free Psalm’, which is amongst the very best songs David has been involved with.

Although David had performed a couple of Kid C songs before at solo BC shows, the band took on a couple of re-imagined Canaveral numbers, a skeletal take on ‘First We Take Dumbarton’ (shorn of the electronics and complete with an actual ending) and a restrained take on ‘A Compromise’, which replaced the walls of guitars with Jill’s keening violin. The extra songs fleshed the performance out to a satisfying length for a headline set without any dip in quality. It was probably the best Chanter show I’ve seen to date.

With the different support slots and the radio session, there already seems to be some momentum behind the Chanter and more dates are promised in support of debut single ‘Wholesale’, due out in May. The album is scheduled for September on Olive Grove / Last Night From Glasgow.

* It’s not really called that! (see setlist below)

If the Broken Chanter sets I’ve seen have all been different then Jill Lorean’s have been transformed since the house gig in September.

I talked about how much more confident her performance was on stage with lights rather than at the house show but,both these shows had been solo performances whilst this time Jill was backed by bass and drums.

Unsurprisingly, given the line-up, the set was reminiscent  of Sparrow and the Workshop and as a consequence the performance cast the songs in a whole different light. ‘Strawberry Moon’, which has quickly established itself as a personal favourite,  was first up  but, if anything, ‘The Bird’ was even better, not only replacing ‘Moon’ as the set’s drinking song, but achieving a scope that a solo performance just can’t match.

I’ve no idea when there might be a Jill Lorean record but the graduation from solo performance to full band does suggest that the solo career is gathering pace. However whenever a record does appear, anyone who’s seen Jill perform recently will attest that it’s going to be well worth the wait.

Broken Chanter played:

1/ Wholesale 2/ Should We Be Dancing 3/ Don’t Move To Denmark 4/ Cheering In The Distance 5/ First We Take Dumbarton 6/ A Compromise  7/ Mionagadanan 8/ Occupy My Hours 9/ Beside Ourselves 10/ Free Psalm

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