William Douglas (4 stars)

Waterloo Function Suite, Edinburgh, Sat 26 Aug


Betwixt a straggly mop and pair of white trainers, something indeterminably wicked stirs in the soul of William Douglas. Despite his performing only a short set tonight, sans The Wheel (his trio of like-minded blues troopers), this was the perfect opportunity to realise just how fully fledged a conundrum this particular vagabond is.

Wrapping the cold imagery of Leonard Cohen in a raggedy Dylan palate (with just a touch of gentle wit à la Jonathan Richman thrown in for good measure), Douglas prowls, picks and pines like the best of trodden blues men, hitching unthinking stoner thrum to some deeply sophisticated guitar work.

‘Circle in a Square’ is a confounding ball of fingers and thumbs; ‘When You’re in Love’ a lonesome ditty to die for. Wheels on or off, this train’s away on a dastardly journey; the destination might as yet be unknown, but the finding out should make for one thrilling ride.

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