Randolph’s Leap - The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Feb
Catchy and lighthearted set from the Leap, supported by Jo Mango and Snowgoose
‘Are you all prepared for the worst voice of the evening?’ comes the playful opening gambit from Randolph’s Leap singer Adam Ross, his seven bandmates settling into position behind him. It’s a point prudently made in light of the intimate evening’s early bill: blissful melodist Jo Mango and dusky 1960s folk-inspired act Snowgoose leaving an appreciative audience utterly rapt.
What Ross and his folk-pop cohorts may lack in stunning vocal fine tuning they replace with quirk, wit and a refreshing light-heartedness; from opener ‘Please Don’t Belong’ wry, affecting lyrics abound. The music is addictive and vibrant, a menagerie of instruments - brass section, violinist, maraca shaker/drummer - all commanding attention. Sound builds cleverly and a cacophony of catchy and melodic tunes come at an eager pace. On stage there’s the grooving guitarist with a broken wrist, banter about a Glasgow train station, recreating the ‘ambience’ of 2012 cassette release The Curse of the Haunted Headphones and being reviewed. ‘Counting Sheep’ and fleeting choral number ‘Deep Blue Sea’ are a reminder of the band’s mushrooming back catalogue and it would be impossible not to raise a smile at their ‘song about being twee’. ‘News’ and ‘Dying in my Sleep’ form a ‘rambunctious’ climax, seating arrangements broken for some superb dancing (quite literally) in the aisles.
As the bouncy, accomplished noisemakers end on a booming encore you have to wonder: who wouldn’t want to live in their merry world?