Perth Festival of the Arts

Perth Concert Hall

Wednesday 24th May

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With every passing season, Perth is cementing is steadily growing status as one of the top cultural hot-spots of Scotland. Right now its ‘Festival of the Arts’ is drawing performer & punter alike into its warm embrace, & a delightful experience it is to. For me, a wee drive to Perth is never too bad & so I chose last night’s gig in the Concert Hall for this year’s slice of the cake. Rachel Sermanni was up first, a young lassie from Carrbridge who appeared on stage with a Pictish ponytail & her ‘lovely band’ as she put it, for a low-key yet spiritually invigorating set. What Seth Lakeman is to the Celtic West Country, Sermanni is to the Celtic north & of her many gracefully sung tunes, the one in which she sang ‘This is where I lay my heart / All the people gathering pass round the Whiskey‘ was especially engaging. Next up was Adam Holmes, whose set in the large I missed on account of me having to find a garage to fill the car with petrol, else spend the night sleeping in it overnight in Perth with no duvet or anything. Still, I did catch the last couple of songs & thoroughly enjoyed this young man’s guitar work, his trance-inducing band & their collectively mellow vibrations.

Then it was time for the main event; the ridiculously entrancing, ingeniously-crafted, foot-stompingly hypnotic Treacherous Orchestra… Goth-Folk at its funkiest & epic best. Drawn from all over Scotland, this supergroup becomes something like Led Zeppelin at a ceilidh, using proper instruments, the orchestra kicking through their session like a bunch of bikers on the Stornaway ferry, & the crowd was up & dancing. This is what happens when magically modified heavy metal meets the mild-mannered middle classes, & the blend was some spectacle to watch & some audiofest to hear. An explosion of light & sound, for me this was my first Treacherous experience & they have burned something of an immemorial & indelible mark across my mind. Happy Days!

Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen

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