It has been two years since Meursault last said goodbye to their many fans in Edinburgh. The band was the musical project of song writer Neil Pennycook. After releasing several albums and singles on Song, By Toad Records, the musician decided to retire the project and move on under the name of Supermoon. However, time has come for a new album and Pennycook has decided to bring Meursault back to life with a gig in the Dissection Room of Summerhall. The show is part of the Nothing Ever Happens Here series of gigs and continues the theme of championing great live music in Scotland’s capital.
The opening act is also no stranger to the live music scene in Edinburgh. Withered Hand has shared the stage many times with Meursault and the musician is very much a welcome opener. Dan Wilson occasionally performs with a band to back him up, but tonight he takes the stage solo, with only an acoustic guitar for accompaniment. The set is mainly made up of tracks from his first two albums, but he throws in a few new songs for good measure. It has been several years since the well received New Gods, so the new material is very much appreciated and receives a receptive response. The performance is delivered in hushed tones and even the more upbeat numbers feel a quiet in their delivery. This goes down well with the audience, who remain silenced throughout. The songs have a haunting quality and Withered Hand makes the subtle performance feel intimate and special.
Meursault are due to release a new album in 2017 and new material is the focal point of the set this evening. The new tracks sound epic in scale, with the distinctive vocals of the lead singer driving the noise and the distinct power that is indicative in the songs. Before their hiatus Meursault released the ambitious album Something for the Weakened. This marked an obvious progression in the sound of the band and further progression can be clearly heard through the vast soundscapes, witty lyrics and the evocative imagery contained in the new tracks.
The show ends with Neil Pennycook taking to the stage and performing a solo rendition of A Small Stretch Of Land from debut album Pissing on Bonfires / Kissing With Tongues. This marked a nostalgic conclusion to a fantastic gig and only increased the anticipation for more live shows in the future and the release of new album I Will Kill Again in early 2017.