Drever, McCusker and Woomble
Tolbooth, Stirling, Tue 30 Sep; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Fri 3 Oct; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 5 Oct
There comes a time in most rock musicians’ careers when they long to swap the frenetic rock’n’roll lifestyle for something more sedate. After a decade of touring the world with Idlewild, Roddy Woomble’s inclination of late has been towards folk music. After his impressive 2006 solo debut My Secret is My Silence, he has now teamed up with fellow folkies Kris Drever and John McCusker on Before the Ruin.
It’s a comfortable collaboration, and unsurprising given this mini folk supergroup move in the same circles. My Secret is My Silence was produced by McCusker, the fiddle virtuoso once married to Kate Rusby, who Woomble has also performed with. Drever, whose 2006 debut Black Water earned him a BBC Folk Awards’ best newcomer gong, has also been produced by McCusker.
They admit they rattled out the dreamy Before the Ruin, featuring cameos from Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake and Capercaillie’s Donald Shaw, in a matter of weeks. ‘It was amazingly quick,’ says Drever. ‘We had a target number of songs we wanted to record, and we really didn’t discard many. A lot stayed quite stripped-down, keeping that rawness.’
The trio share writing credits – Drever and Woomble for vocals, while McCusker’s masterful production holds it all together. In many ways it’s exactly the record one might expect this trio to make – honest, raw and a little bit bruised. Drever hopes the songs will speak for themselves. ‘I don’t know what everyone’s preconceived ideas of the album will be,’ says Drever. ‘Statistically some people would have to be surprised. Hopefully the experience will be a pleasant one.’