Have Mercy Las Vegas – St Peter’s Blues EP, 21 October 2016 review Stephen Watt
St Peter’s Blues – review Stephen Watt
Contemporary folk music does not generally arrive in a better package than the compositions produced by Have Mercy Las Vegas, and on 21 October 2016 the West Dunbartonshire favourites release new EP ‘St Peter’s Blues’, a day after the EP launch at Cottiers Theatre.
Despite a somewhat sparse output since debut album “That’s Life”, the band’s new single (exactly two years and two months after the LP) is a potential chef-d’oeuvre in Celtic roots and folk sounds, stirring their recognised harmonies with slow/fast, fucking-turbulent riptides of fiddle and banjo. In a paean to a tortured soul meeting their maker (“I am here in my hospital bed/am I dead?”), vocalist Eilidh Trotter’s opening lines lend more weight following the passing of rock icons such as David Bowie and Prince this year.
Less vociferation and more polyphonic benevolence, the harmonies between Trotter and co-vocalist Crispin McAlpine wash over you (“I was found in a river with my body soaked to my soul”), easing the listener towards that light of St Peter’s gates where a voice questions “How do you think you lived your life?”. At this point, Vegas crank it up with “a final sin/a cheeky grin”, allowing the band to rattle those gates like an afterlife ASBO-in waiting. Drummer Phil Plunkett’s erratic beat is a defibrillator supplying an electric shock to the heart, but if you can out-dance that rhythm section, there’s a good chance you’ll be revisiting those pearly gates sooner rather than later. If the quality of the writing and musicianship demonstrated in this single is a mark of what is to come, then surely “That’s Death” has to be the title of the next album, in the most ‘heavenly’ way, of course. Let it haunt you.
19 September, 2016
This section: Gig Guide, Stephen Watt, Poet.
- The Tennessee Hotshots at Websters Playhouse
- The Big West End Festival Closing Party Cottiers
- Big Choir Concert at Cottiers
- Some Distant Day with Cheeky Besom Productions
- Glasgow Roma Traveller Celebration CCA
- Da Capo Alba guitar and mandolin orchestra Cottiers
- Nekkuro Hana, Kundalini Genie + Pelican Tusk, The Hug and Pint
- Album Launch: The Kundalini Genie ‘It’s All In Your Head’
- Rab Noakes, Websters 2
- Cottiers – Bar, Restaurant, Theatre, Glasgow West End
- Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival
- Electric Honey Records Showcase – OranMor
- Carnival of the Dark Arts
- Sid Griffin and Peter Case Doublet Bar
- Bone Idle Bros, Starry Skies and Slipper Elm The Britannica Panopticon
- West End Festival: The Luthiers’ Concert Websters Theatre
- André Krengel & Roland Krause, Websters Theatre
- West End Festival: Songbird: Ellyn Oliver Sings Eva Cassidy
- Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, Cottiers
- Hayes Carll plus Travis Linnvale, Cottiers