Edinburgh International Festival music review: Alexi Murdoch at The Hub, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock
Born in London to a Greek father and a Scottish mother, raised in Athens and near Elgin in Moray, and resident in America and elsewhere abroad for more than two decades, Alexi Murdoch is a Scottish musician with no ties which bind him to the tightly-connected Scots music scene. He does have one or two very well connected friends of his own, however.
His support at this late night show came from Parisian singer Mina Tindle, a gossamer performer in brightly-dyed trousers and top, who appeared here playing guitar and singing in the most understatedly delightful indie chanteuse voice. The set was very much about her, but it was hard not to be distracted by the fact that the man alongside her on the miniature guitar was Bryce Dessner. A composer, Dessner is very much at home on an Edinburgh International Festival stage, although many might find him more recognisable as one of the guitarists in hugely popular American alternative rock group The National.
Murdoch had some star power in his band too, with sometime The National collaborator and long-time Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Parry on double bass. Again, though, the big names didn’t overshadow the headliner. Playing the early sections of the set with he and his bandmates barely picked out in spotlights which gradually rose in intensity over the course of the show, Murdoch has a folksy, acoustic sensibility, and a voice worthy of comparison to Nick Drake.
Here, the presentation was intensely stylised, not just with the nocturnal lighting, but the way the dreamlike sonic intensity of the songs gradually, hypnotically developed through favourites like Someday Soon and Orange Sky.
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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