Thursday, 14 March 2013

RODDY WOOMBLE

Live Review

Glee Club, Birmingham

It's certainly flying in the face of general opinion but it's hard to see, certainly based on his performance in Birmingham, whether Roddy Woomble deserves the accolades which have been heaped on him.

Roddy Woomble
He is as Scottish as tartan, single malts and underachieving at international football so it's a mystery why he sings in a generic American accent.
Woomble's voice is good and has a solid range but nothing exceptional or distinctive and because it's hidden behind this countryfied US accent it's hard to tell how good it is and he is fortunate he surrounds himself with talented musicians who make up for his lack of stage presence.
The MOR/country fayre he indulges in is OK to start with but tends to become a little tedious after a while and there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm both from him and his gathered audience.Perhaps his fans are always this muted, but even Woomble commented on how quiet they were. Many of Woomble's songs have a mediocre quality although a New Day Has Begun was more upbeat and had a road song feel about it with a tempo change mid-stream. The harmonies with singer and fiddle player Seonaid Aitken didn't quite blend properly and their voices seemed to be competing rather than complementing.
There was more of a blue grass sound to Don't Trouble Your Door which was a good track with some excellent guitar picking from Sorren MacLean and fiddle playing from Aitken.
Every Line of the Moment, a song about looking across into the Atlantic Ocean was a softer ballad but as MOR as you can get.
It seems they had warmed up better in the two part set by the time he reached US folk song, Green Rocky Road as the harmonising was much better for the upbeat ballad.
Seonaid Aitken
Almost as a deviation Secret Silence had a 1960s feel about it with hints of Simon & Garfunkel and smatterings of the Mamas and Papas. This contrasted with The Universe is on my Side which showed Woomble does have a strong voice as he sang this Leonard Cohen-style offering.
It may seem strange to say but the highlight of the night was the opening instrumental of the second half of the set with Aitken and MacLean indulging in a Celtic/jazz medley.
Most of the second half of the set was pretty much the same MOR sound with Make Something Out of What It's Worth which, sadly, was a fairly dull almost rant-style song which again had that downbeat Cohen feel to it.
Last One of My Kind from the new album Listen To Keep started off promising with a Cajun sound but then moved into a fairly ordinary country sound.
I Came in from the Mountain was again a downbeat song which was quite bland.
Over all the set was quite flat and it can never be good for a singer when the instrumentalists are the real highlights of the night.