Last night was the Houdini Box CD Launch event at the Left Bank, with William Douglas’s band The Wheel, Confushian and your humble correspondent. (We’re told the entire show will be on the web today at http://www.leftbanklive.com). We’d made a special effort to overcome the ‘curse of the late gig’ which is a malady by no means unique to the Left Bank, but which I discovered annoys a lot of people, not just me (last night for example I overheard ‘I’m just going to have to miss them, I’ve got work in the morning’). What was galling last night was that the Left Bank team and Confushian were there early enough but I was still driving around Edinburgh picking up people and objects for the Box, mainly due to a bus strike; I felt rather embarrassed at my ‘early start’ demands. I discovered later that Madame had even left work in the middle of a case, leaving one of her co-workers to pick up the pieces, so that I would have the car.
Anyway we got there and it started at 9.30 rather than 9, a quite acceptable delay, with an excellent set by William Douglas and the Wheel. What an accomplished songwriter, gems scattered through every verse. His band were quiet, understated and very capable.
I had been planning to open the show with WaveForms – abstract instrumentals. Now that I was following William I thought that would put a dampener on the evening, but as I went up and set up my pedalboard I had very little idea what I was going to do. I could have just borrowed an acoustic and done songs, but I wanted just to do WaveForms. So in the end it was songs, some of them accompanied by loops; once I got my courage, I picked songs I’d never or rarely played before: Dorothy’s Book, Empty, If You Had Said, plus full-on multitracking versions of Hungry Ghosts and Nicole. The equipment worked a treat and the set went down well. The Houdini Box set was great, too, as we were joined by Peter Michael Rowan on violin and Susanna MacDonald on harmonies, and managed to cut the between-songs faffing to a minimum. Alex, the new drummer, had really got to grips with the changes and it was a pleasure to be part of the flow of the songs. Finally Confushian took to the stage after some Confusion (the sound man didn’t know they were playing) with a warm and relaxed Latin vibe, the perfect end to the evening; I had to do my ferryman bit so left just after a beautiful Waterfall which opened out into a semi-improvised meander which didn’t overstay its welcome by a single second.
The web stream isn’t active yet, but I hope it will be later – interestingly I’m described as an ‘experimental DJ’ ?