Adrian Crowley, Doogie Paul and Rob St John (5 stars)

Tracer Trails @ Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 9 Nov


A rare Edinburgh appearance from Irish singer songwriter Adrian Crowley always promised to be special, particularly in combination with an even rarer (if slightly chilly) choice of venue and a pair of fine local supports.

Rob St John was first to take to the Bedlam stage. Well spoken with a tousled mop, Nick Drake comparisons are inevitable, although his soft, searching folk expels any notion of the predictable - he’s definitely one to keep an eye on. Up next was Doogie Paul, best known as upright bass player for James Yorkston’s Athletes, but a mean banjo player and songsmith in his own right. Despite having broken his shoulder (while skateboarding, of all things), his tunes are as raw as a skinned knee and utterly compelling for it.

Crowley’s set was a thing of truly singular beauty: shimmering electric guitar and a deep, haunting vocal thrum, complemented perfectly by acoustic guitar and backing vocals from the aforementioned Mr Yorkston. Special, right enough.

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