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Thursday 23 July 2009

Witchseason Weekend 4

This is the last of my follow-ups to the Incredible String Band themed concert at the Barbican on Sunday. Abnormal service will be resumed shortly.

Today we feature Trembling Bells, a young Scottish band I had never heard of before but whom I was sufficiently impressed with to go out and buy their album, "Carbeth". They have a line-up of bass player, guitarist, whizzo drummer who is apparently also the creative force, a tall girl on organ and vocals and - on stage but it appears not on the record - a tiny girl on flute and things. When I transferred the CD on to iTunes yesterday the genre came up as "unclassifiable", which I think they would take as a compliment.

The highlight of their contribution on Sunday was a great version of "Cold Days of February", a song I always felt deserved better treatment. The ISB only ever released a not terribly well mixed live version on their cobbled together final album, "Hard Rope And Silken Twine", but it is a moody organ-led anti-war masterpiece. Trembling Bells may be the people to do it justice at last.

I have only had the chance to listen to "Carbeth" once. First impressions are often deceptive but, while there were a couple of tracks that sounded like they were trying a bit too hard to be distinctive, I think I'm going to like it. The song that grabbed me most immediately was the near-title track "Willows of Carbeth", so that is what you are getting.

And here is a clip of them live in Leeds earlier in the year. Don't be confused by the piano player at the beginning. And there's no sign of the tiny flute girl anywhere.

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