One of the unfortunate problems during the busy Fringe period is that the festival takes over the city of Edinburgh and pushes out some of the regular events that go on during the other eleven months of the year. Nothing Ever Happens Here is a series of gigs at Summerhall that occur on a regular basis. Thankfully the shows are continuing over the Festival and tonight is the turn of Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat.
Support this evening is from Kathryn Joseph. She performs haunting love songs whilst sat at her piano. She has one of those voices that pulls the heart strings and soars across the room. Kathryn is joined by a percussionist who gives her songs a natural lift with slight rhythms and effective and understated beats. The set goes down well with the packed out audience who came down early to see the recent SAY Award winner (for the album bones you have thrown me and blood I’ve spilled).
Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat released their second album together (The Most Important Place in The World) earlier this year. Their 2012 debut Everything’s Getting Older, was a massive success (also winning a SAY Award) and the follow up is the focus of attention this evening. The pair are joined onstage by a three piece band who skillfully bring out the jazz elements of the songs. Aidan Moffat likes to sing about sex, love and relationships. His lyrics are honest, brutal and straight to the point. Songs such as ‘Ballad of The Bastard‘ follow a bleak yet comedic narrative where storytelling is the focus.
Spoken Word is very much part of the set. On occasion Moffat delivers the vocals as poetry while Bill Wells accompanies his voice with only a piano. Despite the quiet and pensive nature of the songs, the audience is transfixed. Too often live music in a busy venue can be drowned out with chatter and voices from the audience. This never happens tonight as the crowd looked on in admiration of the songs and performance.
With so much comedy and theatre on offer in Edinburgh during August and the demise of the T On the Fringe and the Edge music festivals, live music can feel a but sidelined during the Fringe. The sell out crowd at Summerhall this evening definitely made the correct decision on how to spend their time when there was a lot of other options. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat played a blinder of a set. The songs were great, crowd attentive and the performance thoroughly engaging.