Gig

Mal­colm Mid­dle­ton Nov 27, The Caves, Ed­in­burgh; tour­ing

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Preview -

“I don’t think I flicked a switch and turned into Era­sure or some­thing,” says Mal­colm Mid­dle­ton.

The mu­si­cian is talk­ing about the more elec­tronic in­flu­enced work he’s re­leased over the past decade, twice un­der the name Hu­man Don’t Be An­gry.

Mid­dle­ton has used el­e­ments of elec­tron­ica at least since his first sin­gle with Aidan Mof­fat as Arab Strap, 1996’s loop­ing, clat­ter­ing First Big Week­end.

Still, new al­bum Ba­nanas is his first to be based around a more tra­di­tional gui­tar, bass and drums set-up since 2009’s Wax­ing Gib­bous, a record he then de­scribed as “OK but I’ve just lis­tened to Hys­te­ria by Def Lep­pard and that’s much bet­ter.”

Rather than au­di­tion­ing as a back-up player to Andy Bell and Vince Clarke, Mid­dle­ton says the elec­tronic setup was more suited to his new sur­rounds in An­struther, Fife, where he moved in 2011.

“The elec­tronic stuff had al­ways come nat­u­rally,” he says. “When I moved to Fife, I was quite far away from a record­ing stu­dio and recorded alone at home where ev­ery­thing was at hand. Be­fore that, I hadn’t re­ally known there was a Fife; com­ing from Falkirk, it would just get missed out on the way to Dundee.”

He seems to have set­tled down in his adopted home, en­list­ing lo­cal Kenny An­der­son aka King Cre­osote to fea­ture on the al­bum along­side long-term col­lab­o­ra­tor Jenny Reeve of Strike The Colours and Dan Wil­son aka With­ered Hand whis­pered Ed­in­burgh folk mu­si­cian.

Fea­tur­ing an image that may be fa­mil­iar to fans of The Vel­vet Un­der­ground, Ba­nanas is out on heavy­weight vinyl on Tri­as­sic Tusk Records, the la­bel run by Stephen Mar­shall, who lives just down the road from Mid­dle­ton.

These gigs in Ed­in­burgh (27), Glas­gow (28) and Aberdeen (29), will fea­ture drum­mer David Jeans, dou­ble bassist Ste­vie Jones and pi­anist Graeme Smil­lie; the trio who recorded Ba­nanas live with Mid­dle­ton at Chem19 ear­lier this year.

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