There’s a song that’s been going round our house. You probably know it – especially if your listened to our show last week. Really I can’t get it out of my head. It’s Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Last Wednesday at the Hydro it was performed by Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham as a duet quietly and beautifully to an audience that were in the palms of their hands. It was great. I went home to listen again and, as well as listening to the Dixie Chicks version I listened to that 1975 original version once more again and again. It’s the slight crack in Stevie’s voice that does it for me. Is it the note or the emotional truth? I’m not sure. She know longer has the same voice and though she does a great performance I there is something about the original that haunts me.
It was one of a night of individual moments that really proved the opposite to the old saying that the whole, in this case, is not bigger than the sum of the parts. In The Mac’s case this is simply due to egos that are stranger and bigger than most we would hope to encounter in any part of life as we normally know it. But, in their defence, it is also because they are a band which seem to delight in showcasing individual talents. The other ‘moment’ for me was Lindsay Buckingham’s quite breathtaking version of Looking Out For Love which, despite being a song which would have worked with the entire band, was a tour de force of individual guitar playing prowess.
It was interesting to compare and contrast all of this with the altogether more humble surroundings of The Barn at ‘Solas’ where I had the joy of seeing Blue Rose Code and Honeyblood play on Saturday evening. Having only seen BRC within the confines of the BBC sessions he’s done for the show it was great to see him surrounded by a sound band delivering an enchanting set. Shortly afterwards we experienced Honeyblood live too. Again a great set with two people making a big, warm beautiful noise from two instruments. Safe to say, I really did enjoy the focussed drive of these sets more than the high-end pomposity of Fleetwood Mac a few evenings before. Check them in a town near you soon if you can.
I should also add that ‘Solas’ is the most perfect summer festival you might hope to encounter. From their point of view a few more people would help hugely to make sense of the economics of the thing. But at the moment it creates, in a beautiful setting, a lovely meeting place for all ages to think about society, faith, culture and celebrate it all with music, poetry and art. In my book that’s really as good as it gets. Well done people you are curators of a Scottish gem.
This Tuesday we’re going down to our special place in Studio 1 where we’ll welcome back old friends, Woodenbox for a live set to celebrate the release of their new LP ‘Foreign Organ’ which came out this month. We think we’ll have the biggest number of musicians yet to play a session and by the time I join them in the room there will be ten of us there! It’s going to be a great big sound, some fine new songs and a great cover too. Join us on Tuesday evening from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland if you can.
I’ll be speaking to the UK’s most decorated paralympic medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson. We’ll be talking to talking to Christine Toomey, the author of a new book, The Saffron Road: A Journey with Buddah’s daughters. We will also cast a cold eye on Syria as a group of experts gathers in St Andrews to look beyond the headlines at what is happening int hat country.
We’ll have some great music ranging from Teenage Fanclub to Lauren Hill. It all starts this Sunday from five past ten on BBC Radio Scotland.