Youth, Charisma & genuine Talent were all present in abundance last night at the Oran Mor, for the showcase of the ‘Middle of Nowhere Records’ family. Sat together in a semi-circle, bantering freely & accompanying each other’s self-penned orphic hymns were Glasgow’s marvellous velvet-jacketed Roddy Hart, Stornaway’s soft-voiced Colin Macleod & elfin-minded Miss Irenie Rose, Mull’s shy but beautiful Sorren Maclean & of course Aviemore’s Rachel Sermanni, about whose divine vocals & remarkable fretswomanship the Record label was initially woven.
Rob Hicks, the boss of ‘Middle of Nowhere’ has an excrutiatingly annoying eye for talent – his charges are really that good. So happy with them I believe he is, that when he discovered that his one-off vinyl edition to accompany the show was still in transit from Germany (the weather apparently), he was still bloody grinning, so sure was he of his lovely team. He took orders on teh LP, by the way, & offered to pay postage for free!
The show was sold-out, packed to the rafters & really enjoying the hootenanny laid up on such a harmonious platter. It felt a bit like being sat in the Gaslight Cafe, Greenwich Village, 1959, with the young Bob & Dylan shaking the midwest dust from his feet – then in walks Joan Baez & the rest is history. For me, it seems like the natural genius of the folk music of the Highlands & Islands could well be instrumental in some kind of national revival. These guys are young, with the world at their feet, with many a beautiful song yet to be written, yet to be plucked from the glens & the streams, yet to be sung on the desolate hills.
I think the best way to finish this review is to simply let the kids do the talking for themselves, so here are a few you-tube clips, & a link to their record label, where I am sure you will soon be purchasing an album or three.