Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Bluesy Tunes from the weekly residents at the award-winning Jazz Bar in Edinburgh, Hot Tin Roof have played gigs and festivals all over Scotland, England and Ireland.
Hot Tin Roof is “a blues based trio playing stripped back atmospheric music about life and the world we live in.” I saw them at The Jazz Bar a couple of days before the start of the Fringe. It turned out to be a perfect way to tune into Edinburgh.
Two guitars, a cajon and a voice are all that are needed to create a rich sound and a very diverse set, rooted in bluesy tunes. (Listen to some of their music here). The Jazz Bar was pretty full for a week zero Fringe night and Andy, Gav & Kenny got straight down to it. Their style is under-stated as they play a fairly n0n-stop set that ranges from moody to foot-tapping, and more than a few in the audience were up on their feet during the evening dancing. These guys are three fine musicians.
There’s an easy rapport between the trio, and the audience are simply a fourth guest at what feels like an intimate gathering in their home. They don’t try to be showmen. It’s all very laid back and about the music. We do get a few intros to the songs, many of which have purporseful lyrics, supporting the theme of the show. Life isn’t easy for a lot of people these days and the world we live in is a confusing one. Lean forward into this often laid back band and you might just catch some poetry and a few questions about the culture of the day. That culture begs questions about what we are all doing here and the big bad world of business and politics.
The songs are intelligent,. “Have you ever looked back over your life ? Do you want to change or stay the same ?” The lyrics aren’t afraid to question and poke a drum stick at Life. They played songs from their new album. A particular favourite of mine was Mr Business Man. I also loved the variety of the set, the switches in tempo and style. One moment we are rocking, the next we are swaying to the slower rhythm. Some superb guitar solos, tight beats, gritty singing, I was reminded a little of Ezio in places. The set never flagged for a moment. At the heart, a relaxed, accessible band.
It is a set that builds. Like a train that never stops but you can get on any time and be glad you did, Hot Tin Roof are cool, relaxed cats at ease with their music and their dialogue in blues and soul with the world. Unafraid to funk, they are also brave enough to dive deeper, delivering songs that, on occasions, I wished there was a bit more back story or explanation offered. I know it can be hard to strike a balance between flow and just getting to work, and pausing and explaining why a song was written or what it was about, but these lyrics are intelligent, witty and penetrating, so I do wish for a few more words in the spaces between.
This is a highly recommended show. Grab a drink, sit down, be entertained, savour the skill and enjoy the beats, the finely delivered tunes and the genuine, magentic mood.