Thursday, 2 May 2019

Findlay Napier and Megan Henwood

14th March 2019

The Polish Club, Kirkcaldy 

The Kirkcaldy Polish Ex-servicemen's Club may be found on the town's Bennochy Road, and hosts each Thursday, The Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club.   

Which is, I can attest, as their blurb states: “The Friendliest wee club in the world”.

I had two reasons to pitch up at the club for the first time, this evening.  Firstly, a former colleague whom I had not seen for some time helps to run the music club, and I was keen to catch up.  And secondly, I wished to catch Findlay Napier on the Story Song Scientists tour he is presently undertaking with Oxford based singer songwriter Megan Henwood.

The title of the jaunt made me wonder if we were going to be presented with profound insights into the arcane (or at least, arcane to the likes of me) art of magicking a song into existence from out of seemingly nothing.  But, in reality, the prime concession to any form of science here was the fact Finlay and Megan performed their joint set in laboratory white coats – although not Howie coats, I noted.  Oh, and one of their songs was about numbers.

This very minor disappointment aside, this really was an enjoyable evening, as each performer presented a short solo set before donning the aforementioned white coats and morphing into scientists.

"Long Live Poland"

The Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club

Findlay was up first, and I suppose his opening tune, Hedy Lamarr; relating as it does how the Hollywood actress came to invent the technology behind what would become Bluetooth, did have a scientific slant.  After the poignant Wireburners* from the Glasgow album, he moved into sing-along mode with The Man Who Sold New York, following this up with Hamish Imlach's tender love song Cod Liver Oil and The Orange Juice.  

*Check out the inspiration for Wireburners here: 

When Findlay asked the audience for requests, I couldn't quite pluck up the courage to shout out Angel Falls.  So instead he played one unfamiliar to me, and my opportunity was gone.  Knocking on the door of sixty years old, and I am still such a self-conscious wimp.
FN Set list

Hedy Lamarr
The Man Who Sold New York
Cod Liver Oil and The Orange Juice

Findlay Napier

Megan Henwood, I am a touch ashamed to relate, I knew nothing about beforehand.  Consequently, her songs were all new to me, but I really liked the opener The Dolly; the verses of which, put me in mind of the Travis song Side (no bad starting place).  Another high point was Fresh Water, which came across on first listening as a quite beautifully (indeed, one might say, scientifically) crafted love song.

MH Set list

The Dolly
Brexit Blues
Fresh Water

Megan Henwood

For the third “half” of the show, the white coats were donned, and Fin'n'Meg presented us with the whole of their Story Song Scientist's EP.  

Megan was an almost perfect foil for Findlay; the pair's voices harmonising seamlessly, and she sharing her musical partner's wicked sense of humour.  And the rousing final tune of the evening had me resolving never again to use another plastic straw in my life!

F'n'M Set list

Unnameable Radio
End of Numbers
North Pond Phantom
Wild, Wild Country
The Last Straw

Megan Henwood and Findlay Napier as...

...The Story Song Scientists

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