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Music review

Gavin Marwick Journeyman Spectacular

Gavin Marwick Journeyman Spectacular

Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Rob Adams

There's a This Is Your Life element about fiddler Gavin Marwick's Journeyman Spectacular. No man with a big red book ever actually appears onstage but with a 10-piece band that involves representatives of key bands Marwick has played with in his 25-year career, there are musical memories and a few anecdotes that mark out the stages of his journey.

It's a journey that has taken Marwick to many countries and fed his musical imagination and what came over most clearly and most pleasingly here was his ability to capture a sense of place in both his compositions and playing. A slow air, for example, played with the sweetest of touches, left as deep an impression of the hills around Loch Moidart as the more rugged suite dedicated to Aberdeen's Blue Lamp did of that characterful hostelry.

Eastern and Northern Europe figured strongly as Marwick's Bellevue Rendezvous - featuring fiddle, nickelharpa and cittern - tackled tricky meters with vim and vigour and although there was quite a lot of coming and going as musicians dropped out and returned, instrumentally the music flowed with a series of well-tempered ensembles comprising at various points flute, pipes, saxophone, whistles, keyboard, bass guitar, percussion, and jaw harp.

If the songs and singing were of a more workaday quality, they did allow Marwick to cover bases such as his involvement with Old Blind Dogs and highlight his ability to fashion fiddle accompaniments in sympathy with the narratives of The Twa Corbies and The Bonnie Earl O' Moray. His journey continues at Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (April 19); Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye (April 25); and An Lanntair, Stornoway (April 26).

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