Tuesday, 6 June 2017


3rd June 2017

Dundee Rep 

Around a quarter of a century or so ago, I found myself spending rather a lot of my time up in Dundee.  Three things, in particular, fascinated me about the city:

1. The lady I was seeing at the time,
2. The way, at night, the moonlight sparkled and danced off the headstones in the cemetery on Glamis Road.
3. The cryptic signpost which pointed to the inexpressibly exotic sounding (almost Tolkien-esque) destination of Sinderins.

I never found my way to Sinderins (at least I don't think I did), but I do recall thinking at the time: ”What an evocative word.  Indeed, what a great name it would be for a band”.

So there was perhaps a sense of inevitability to me perusing my latest copy of the Dundee Rep programme recently to discover a band by that very name appearing in the listings.  I claim no credit or even foresight here.  It was just a wonderful name sitting waiting to be claimed.

Further reading showed the band was not actually a new outfit, but was an overdue re-branding of Dundee based AMWWF (or Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher) to give them their even more cumbersome moniker.  I had been vaguely aware of the group under their original name, but had never investigated much.  This name change – which had actually taken place in 2015, I am ashamed to relate – forded me an ideal opportunity to catch up.  And I was really glad I had, for this a rare gem of a gig.

Anchored by a fine rhythm section of Billy Fisher and (now) Tom Barbour, Sinderins boasts, almost uniquely, three talented singer/songwriters who have effortlessly melded elements of rock, blues, R&B, trad.folk, alt.folk (whatever that is), and even lounge-jazz into a heady smorgasbord of musical shades and textures.  And great songs too.  

The trio (Anderson, McGinty and Webster) employed a remarkably democratic approach to sharing front man duties this evening, and I lost count of the number of instruments the chaps played - instruments which they appeared to swap around with a shameless promiscuity.  All presented with a light-hearted touch in humorous banter.

Stevie Anderson - Sinderins

Nick Cave lookalike Stevie Anderson opened and closed the show with a brace of quite beguiling tunes: For Every Road, A Traveler and (Might As Well) Trust in Me.  He possesses what I supposed could be termed the most conventional voice of the three, sounding not unlike Paul Simon at times.  I initially wondered if he was going to play the aloof, cool rock-star throughout -  until he picked up on a quirk in his copy of the printed set-list, and proved to be just as sharp and witty as his colleagues.

Dave Webster - Sinderins

And whilst Dave Webster's writing style (assuming the chaps sing their own songs) appears firmly rooted in traditional folk, his rather impressive vocal range enjoys a distinctly R&B flavour – resembling Roger Chapman in his pomp.  Webster's soaring work on the slightly challenging Fayre, really was breathtaking.  I could be wrong, but I would wager a fair few quid that least one Associates' album took pride of place in his teen-aged record collection.

Gavin McGinty - Sinderins

The Puckish Gavin McGinty clearly relished each of his transitions into front man, embellishing his performances with comedic gurnings and gesticulations, particularly so on the lyrical gymnastics of Button Pressing.  I enjoyed each of his contributions immensely.

Tom Barbour - Sinderins

Jings, even drummer Tom Barbour pitched in with his sonorous baritone, relating a surreal tale of lost love and pencils: the melody of this one perhaps owing a tad to the Willy Wonka's Pure Imagination.  But just a tad.

It really had been some time since I enjoyed a gig so much as this one, in part due, I acknowledge, to my having no preconceived notions of what to expect.  But this evening was just superb, my enthusiasm shared by a Rep Theatre chock to the brim with whooping and dancing Dundonians by the close.  Were there any fairness at all to such things these lads would be shifting the sort of units and playing to the same sized audiences as The 1975, say.  But we all know fairness plays no part here at all.   

I always attempt to avoid "All-Was-Wonderful" gig reviews, but the only criticism I could come up with here was that more – a lot more, actually – slide-guitar needs to be injected into Gimme Some Love.  For Stevie Anderson to present us with just those few bars, before putting down the slide thingy, was cruel in the extreme.

Set list

For Every Road, A Traveler
Oh Danna
How Long
Till the Walls Come Down
Button Pressing
A Bird That Flew
Ashes of Our Wings
Poor John
Gimme Some Love
All Join Hands
Neon Cherry Blossom
Absolutely Nothing
Love Is But a Child
The Devil Wears No Disguise
Michael's Temptress
Spanish Houses
Pigeon Song

50 Odd Assorted Artists Pencils
(Might as Well) Trust in Me

Billy Fisher

Sinderins - Dundee June 2017

Sinderins - Dundee June 2017

Sinderins - Dundee June 2017

Support for the evening was Ross Wilson from Blue Rose Code – although I think to all intents and purposes Ross Wilson is Blue Rose Code.  Accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar, whose strings he plucked and hammered mercilessly, he was funny and soul-baring by turns, as his songs had the audience rapt.  Silent Drums and Edina in particular both shone.
More investigations and more bloody homework to be done on my part, I feel.  There really is just too much talent out there for a simple soul like myself to be able to keep up.

Ross Wilson / Blue Rose Code - Dundee June 2017

Ross Wilson / Blue Rose Code - Dundee June 2017

Dundee Rep.

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