Aberfeldy Festival - Various venues, Aberfeldy Fri 1–Sun 3 Nov 2013
- Harris Brine
- 13 November 2013
King Creosote, James Yorkston, Stanley Odd and Aidan Moffat among the music festival highlights
‘Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day/ It’s too hot to sleep/ Time is running away’.
At the end of a dark, damp Saturday night in Aberfeldy, as the idyllic burgh's annual festival winds down, Bob Dylan's 16-year-old lyrics to 'Not Dark Yet' echo around the Town Hall from King Creosote's mouth.
Although November's drastic plummet in temperature ensures the ‘hot’ part from Dylan's lyrics is far from accurate, the other three lines are more than apt. His set, decorated with a backing band and FOUND's Lomond Campbell, is the climatic end to a day soaked in markets, music, whisky-fuelled merriment and a not-so-gentle mizzle.
Saturday’s performances are bookened by two days of diverse creativity: Friday saw Aberfeldy folk-pop band Star Wheel Press – fronted by the festival's creator Ryan Hannigan – eccentrically stop their performance mid-set to conduct some onstage press printing, while sore-headed Sunday festival-goers witnessed hip hop from Stanley Odd and an award-winning Indian sarangi player team up with Fife's James Yorkston.
Even Creosote and Campbell's intriguing collaboration was the culmination of an experiment funded by the festival's sponsor Dewar's, which has since spawned a collective tour for Yorkston, Suhail Yusuf Khan and jazz bassist Jon Thorne, as well as the exceptionally diverse release, Experimental Batch No. 26.
'Future Wives' and 'Future Divorces', both songs from the album, let Creosote and the FOUND member bindfolk and electronica, amplifying and playing off each other's musical leanings.
In Dewar's nearby distillery, Aidan Moffat served up a own morning blend of spoken-word and drawl melodies, a few hours before the bustle of a Gin In Teacups-curated market.
Creosote may have got the last word, with his words from Dylan's languid number, but other highlights of the Saturday line-up included the haunting wolf-howls of Meursault's Neil Pennycook; the quirky, internal depths of Dan Willson in his Withered Hand guise, and the enchanting and powerful distillation of the Phantom Band's Rick Redbeard, as he pulled everyone into the dark backwoods of his debut album No Selfish Heart.
The line-up was a bit like the whisky that flowed freely all weekend; warming, soothing and at points incredibly potent.