Crooked Fingers - The Art School, Glasgow, Mon 10 Dec 2012
Lush, beautiful finger-picking from erstwhile Arches of Loaf man Eric Bachmann
The recent Archers of Loaf reunion has been frustratingly absent from Scotland, but getting Eric Bachmann’s ‘solo’ project, Crooked Fingers, to Glasgow Art School is more than a fair compromise. Accompanied by long-time collaborator Liz Durrett, Bachmann cuts a hulking figure on the tiny stage, but musically, he’s as delicate and honest as ever. Durrett’s musical; contributions to Bachmann’s lush, intricate finger-picking consist of merely a few scattered drones on her own guitar but her vocals, and in particular, her harmonies are beautiful.
Focusing largely on last year’s Breaks in the Armor, the set is a mesmerising lesson in warmth and light in the face of the bitter cold dark, both figuratively and literally as a small pack of awestruck spectators, layered to the gigs this frosty December night, practically huddling round the duo as if they were a log fire. From newer songs like 'Your Apocalypse' to older pieces such as 'Sleep All Summer', there is a unifying sense of comfort that comes from hearing these songs in close confines, as if we’re all in this together, however hard, awkward or overwhelming modern life and relationships can be.
The small pockets of smiling, swaying attendees are loyal throughout but their patience and suppression of Archers of Loaf requests is rewarded with an impromptu encore version of ‘Web in Front’ which is met with a sea of triumphant bellows, and leaves Bachmann with a rare mile-wide grin.