Malcolm Middleton (4 stars)

Malcolm Middleton

Welcome back, Malcolm Middleton. Now with added Jenny Reeve on guitar, violin and gorgeous, elfin vocals, and Johnny Lynch (the Fence Collective’s Pictish Trail) in charge of yet more guitar, harmonies and – we kid you not – rapping out the entire theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air during one instrumental break. At least he had the good manners to look embarrassed.

Lynch and Reeve are such large talents that you almost suspect that ‘Malcolm Middleton’ has become the name of a new Scots supergroup. But then, that doesn’t do justice to the talents of Middleton himself, who has quickly developed into a truly first-class songwriter, lyricist and a performer of quiet modesty. Evidence of this was abundant here, from ‘We’re All Going to Die’ (not really a Christmas song, so perfectly acceptable here) to the bittersweet ‘Speed on the M9’ and new album Waxing Gibbous’ lovely ‘Don’t Want to Sleep Tonight’. The entire audience were sworn to secrecy on his and Reeve’s closing duet, but let’s just say it involved a the words ‘to’, ‘Run’ and ‘You’.

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 28 Jun

Malcolm Middleton

Best known for his work in Arab Strap, Middleton released his fifth solo album in 2008. Described as a 'miserabilist', his songs tell of the emotions, struggles, excessive consumption of life presented in a powerful storytelling manner.

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