Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sun 24 May
You can tell that Phil Campbell’s a songwriter’s songwriter by the company he keeps: members of Edinburgh’s Aberfeldy and The Gillyflowers have sung around for his set, and they seem to be enjoying what they hear. But then the currently Glasgow-based Campbell has lived one variation of the dream, at least. He’s worked and lived in London, been in various bands, had more than one solo deal with EMI and even made it to the dizzy heights of Later … with Jools Holland over the last decade and a bit.
So this intimate two-piece set in the smaller of the Voodoo Rooms’ spaces might be a step down, but it was still a rare treat. Campbell possesses the kind of gravelly bluesman’s voice which has really lived, and an easy manner that sits somewhere between world-weariness and devotional contentment to his music. Autobiography seems to be writ large over tracks from his forthcoming album Daddy’s Table – he dedicates one tender lullaby to his son and then names ‘Gone’ as being for his ex-wife. ‘While the River Runs’, meanwhile, demonstrates some dynamic blues guitar playing.