Player Piano (3 stars)

Player Piano

The GRV, Edinburgh, Sat 23 May


Indiana boy Mr Piano (aka Jeremy Radway) pitched up at Homegame, Fence’s annual music fest in Anstruther, a few years ago, and was welcomed into the prolific collective of Fife musicians for whom folk is not a four-letter word.

At this gig for Fence royalty King Creosote, the multi-instrumentalist is on first support slot duty, attempting to bring what is expansive on record to life without his band. His current EP Into the Dark takes in orchestral scope, melodramatic vocals and a pop sensibility yet a bare bones stage presence of just his honeyed vocals, guitar and natural charm prove that his success doesn’t reside in the window dressing of production.

As the set progresses, the line-up is added to by his pseudonymous brethren Pictish Trail, OnTheFly and Uncle Beesly, to make a full-on Fence family affair that sets the mix’n’match tone of the rest of the evening. Unfortunately more is less, the full stage at times obscuring Radway’s strengths – affecting lyrics matched to tight melodies – and while nothing can hide the fact that on King C’s night, Player Piano is a strong contender for the crown.


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