Experimental folk of Richard Youngs set for Edinburgh date
Prolific collaborator behind myriad works of understated, unhurried wonder
Next time you’re in a Glasgow library, look out. Is the man who is stamping your books singing quietly? Does he have the air of an underground pop star; the aura of a man with a penchant for rustic minimalism and improvised folk? Then you may be in the presence of Richard Youngs.
A librarian by day and avant-garde landscaper by night, Youngs has created myriad works of understated, unhurried wonder over the past quarter century. The Cambridge-born, Glasgow-based experimentalist has hundreds of releases under his belt, many through US indie empire Jagjaguwar and via his own No Fans micro-label. He’s also a prolific collaborator whose alliances with Simon Wickham-Smith, Alex Neilson and Neil Campbell are worth hunting down.
Youngs’ fertile output is at odds with the scarcity of his live shows, but when Youngs appears, it tends to be with striking and far-reaching (indeed, mythological) consequences.
Take the time he played Instal at Glasgow’s Arches in 2004, at which he performed a pin-drop, exquisite solo show with an acoustic guitar, and then backed the first-ever live appearance from underground US icon Jandek.
Or when he toured New Zealand with dream-folk kingpins Damon and Naomi (Galaxie 500) and Damon returned the favour by playing drums on Youngs’ latest album, Amplifying Host. And more recently a scuzzed-out show at Glasgow’s 78 bar, as part of Music is the Music Language.
And now he’s set to play in Edinburgh – two back-to-back sets which will take place, at his request, in the Canon’s Gait. One set will be vocal-only; one will be with guitar. Both will likely blow your mind.
Canon’s Gait, Edinburgh, Sat 19 Nov