Sat here on this spring Sunday morning with my second illicit cup of coffee, my head is still swirling with the songs of Blue Rose Code from the night before, and most particularly Edina from The Ballads of Peckham Rye and tracks from the heart-stoppingly beautiful new album ‘And Lo! The Bird Is On The Wing’.
The Convent must be the perfect setting for these intimate songs with their searchlight illumination on those personal moments of joy and despair. Ross Wilson’s songs are so patently personal and confessional, so soul-baring and poignant.
Accompanied this time by three accomplished but restrained chaps on piano, guitar and bass; the songs were able to breath more deeply and lift that glorious and effortless Caledonian voice just a little higher.
Dressed in a black suit he looked a little like those dullard auditors that you have to deal with, but he sings with a truth and a tone like the very Rapture (should there be such a thing). I am a noted push over for anything approaching a Scots voice and with Blue Rose Code I get this and the heart-swelling emotion of Van Morrison at his best and most authentic.
As always the select band that is the Convent audience was respectful and appreciative, I just wish we were a bit more demonstrative sometimes. If I were capable of those fingers-in-mouth whistles I would have done it, and I did so in my head.
Many acts tell you how grateful they are of your attention and support but never more genuinely than Ross whose comments make you feel that it’s this support that keeps him going on occasion. Opening track Grateful from the new album puts that sentiment into song.
The album is a genuinely beautiful and affecting suite of songs, written around the time he moved from London to Bournemouth. So strange for someone who sings about and embodies such strong Scottish connections to be living on the English South Coast, but he is a bundle of contradictions I suspect, and all the better for it.
Mrs HC and I keep threatening to head back north of the border, and when we do this is the music that will be the soundtrack for our journey.