A review of Admiral Fallow at the Ironworks, Inverness on the 26th of April, 2012 by Toby Stainton. Photographs by Thomas Bisset.
A dreich windy and generally vile day in Inverness seemed like the perfect excuse to hide away in the Ironworks with a pint and some good music. Admiral Fallow are a band I’d been keen to see for a while after hearing good things about them , I’d also been told to get there early for the Whisky River Band as they already have a reputation of putting on a strong live performance.
I got to the Ironworks just in time for the Whisky River Band’s opening song who quickly impressed me with their upbeat blend of rock and folk and ran through a half hour set where they barely paused for breath. They’ve clearly got a strong local following, although the chorus of ‘I love you’s’ was apparently from singer and guitarist Kris Douglas’ wife rather than an over-enthusiastic fan! Their debut album will be launched on June 23rd up at Bogbain (with support from Megan Blyth) but before then you can catch them at the Market Bar on May 11th which they then follow with a slot at the prestigious Cavern Club in Liverpool on May 20th and 21st.
Addressing the audience as ‘you sexy people of Inverness’ Admiral Fallow started their set with ‘Old Balloons’ from their debut album ‘Boots Meet My Face’ and continued with ‘Subbuteo’ before moving on to songs from their upcoming album ‘Tree Bursts in Snow’ – ‘Beetle in the Box’, ‘Paper Trench’ and ‘Old Fools’. The first two already familiar to fans of the band as they’ve been released as singles in recent months.
There was an equal mix of new and old songs and although the newer material was not as familiar to the Ironworks audience it seemed to go down reasonably well. With the venue not even close to capacity the atmosphere was at times a bit flat, with a group of drunks apparently determined to spoil the evening. However a bit of gentle piss-taking from lead singer Louis seemed to shut them up, he even humoured them a little with a few bars of ‘Ace of Spades’ in response to repeated calls for the tune from said drunken dafties.
There was a sing-along for new track ‘Isn’t this World Enough’ where Louis Abbot laid down the gauntlet by challenging us to better than those ‘Aviemore f@~’##’ and of course, we duly obliged. Although he did add that he wouldn’t like to say we were worse in case he got his head kicked in by angry Invernessians!
The set continued with an equal mix of new and old material, with multi-instrumentalist singer Sarah Hayes’ clear and at times haunting vocals complementing Louis’ voice brilliantly. I’m not the biggest fan of jazz and the evidence of a clarinet on stage had me dreading long squeaky ‘jazz… yeah… cool’ clarinet solo’s. However Kevin Brolly put my fears to rest and I felt that if anything it added a bit of depth to some of the slower songs. Nice…
Stand out tracks included ‘Guest of the Government’, referred to as being ‘absolutely not political in any way’, a definite single in the making with a distinctly heavier feel than some of the other songs, ‘Brother’ – written from the perspective of being an older brother and the final track off the new album ‘Oh Oscar’.
As mentioned above, the audience was at times a touch lethargic but they came to life for the final song of the night, ‘Squealing Pigs’ and even the drunks managed to stomp about for a few minutes of drunken pogo-ing before collapsing in a heap.
As the lights came up and I headed out into that dark dreich night, I reflected that it was indeed a good show but it was let down by an occasionally disinterested crowd. Not sure that I can entirely blame Admiral Fallow for that, or is ultimately their job to get them up on their feet? I think I’ll leave that discussion to the Face Bookers and Twitterers.
Not at the gig? you get a chance to see Admiral Fallow again fairly soon, at Rockness 2012. And yes Whisky River Band dates as above.
Oh and additional photos from the gig can be seen here.