Alasdair Roberts' new self-titled album made it's way into the world just last week, moving with a sense of humility, of gravity and of confidence, which is where the best music comes from; naturally, instinctively and as needed. Evident upon listening is the sound of fulfillment in the Scottish singer's performance, his ability to create striking songs with the concise plucking of strings and very little else. The world is not always right, fate may not often be kind, but Alasdair is full command of his writer's ability to parse out differences, and equally expert in the subtle shades within the songs to be illustrated with spare, always lyrical, instrumentation.
So, new album last week - is that all the news that's fit? Un-so! For every new week, in every phase of the moon, a new action - and under the clapboard of director Joseph Briffa, Alasdair's delivered a striking video for Alasdair Roberts highlight, "In Dispraise of Hunger"! There's a fitting feel to the wintery nighttime design of the film, with Alasdair's shadowy silhouette is on full display and the open hills beyond him as he addresses a famine in the land. But fear's not for our lad, Alasdair and kin will not go hungry. The act of doing is a comfort, the presence of community is a salvation and "in times of want, we'll travel south." Better to do what a man can do than complain! The addition of vocal group The Crying Lion and bass clarinetist Alex South in song and video evidence the collaborative nature of "In Dispraise of Hunger", bringing a natural warmth to the sparse arrangements, as it is throughout Alasdair Roberts. Rendered in black-and-white to contrast the icy hand of circumstance with a man's capacity to take the world on his back, "In Dispraise of Hunger" is a quiet, yet triumphant audio and visual performance. While there are many miles yet to go in Alasdair's journeys, we can at least take this moment to bask in the celebration of a satisfied belly and a fulfilled soul!
Speaking of journeys, Alasdair embarks on a tour of across all of the UK later this month! We're certainly not gonna sing in dispraise of that. Still-United Kingdom, you lucky ducks!
2/26/15 - Kitchen Garden Cafe @ Birmingham, United Kingdom
2/27/15-Cecil Sharp House @ London, United Kingdom
2/28/15-Warwick Arts Centre @ Coventry, United Kingdom
3/2/15-Traverse Theatre @ Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3/5/15-The Lemon Tree @ Aberdeen, United Kingdom
3/6/15-The Glad Cafe @ Glasgow, United Kingdom
3/7/15-The Frigate Unicorn @ Dundee, United Kingdom
3/12/15-Heart @ Leeds, United Kingdom
3/13/15-The Electric Theatre @ Guilford, United Kingdom
3/14/15-The Hope @ Brighton, United Kingdom
3/15/15-B-Bar @ Plymouth, United Kingdom
3/16/15-The Lexington @ London, United Kingdom
3/21/15-The Maltings Theatre and Cinema @ Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom
3/23/15-Band On The Wall @ Manchester, United Kingdom
3/27/15-Bridgwater Arts Centre @ Bridgwater, United Kingdom