On the radar: Rob St John
Edinburgh's music scene has been gathering momentum with such pace it could be pushing for a spot in the British sprinting team come the London Olympics.
Yet despite the spotlighting of bands like, the 4AD-signed, Broken Records and Song By Toad starlets Meursault, there remains a few uncovered gems in Auld Reekie's buxom underground.
Rather perplexingly, Rob St. John (RSJ] is not one of those rough-edged diamonds - it's six.
A fully functioning ensemble operating under the birth title of its song-writing vanguard, the sextet produces lilting folk compositions more brittle than a porcelain doll and just as expertly crafted.
• Listen to Like Alchemy by Rob St John by clicking the green button
Rob St. John, himself, tells UtR: "We try to play folk-based songs using interesting and unusual acoustic instruments - saw, harmonium, autoharp - highly influenced by minimalist, ambient and post-rock music. We're interested in playing songs that have a great hook or melody, are orchestrated interestingly and are never over crowded by unnecessary instrumentation."
Live, RSJ are simply pulse-stopping. Rob's quivering intone coils around audiences like a wreath, whiles his cohorts (including members of local heroes eagleowl, Emily Scott, The Great Bear and Pineapple Chunks) tenderly orchestrate a graveyard of spellbinding, organic melody.
Refreshingly without motive, it seems RSJ make music for music's sake. "Everyone has their own projects and we play primarily for fun, with no auspices or ego, and certainly no aspirations for fame," explains Rob. "The fun of playing music where we are just now is that we get to travel to places to play shows with good and interesting people, hearing great music, and not losing too much money. If anyone enjoys what we're doing, that's a bonus."
As an industrious part of Edinburgh's subculture over the last five years, Rob's buoyed by the Capital's current musical rejuvenation: "It's a fantastic place to be. I'd really recommend folk to look out for the burgeoning DIY scene in Edinburgh just now," he enthuses. "I'm interested to see how the cross-over success of people like Broken Records, and the possible subsequent music press focus on Edinburgh will impact what's going on. I think there's such a diverse range of stuff going on just now that lazy, outside journalism and attempts to pigeonhole a 'scene' will fall very wide of the mark."
Discover Rob St. John for yourself at the following shows:
4 Apr @ The Bowery, Edinburgh
17 Apr @ Waid Academy (Fence Homegame), Anstruther
2 May @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
• For more blogs on the best unsigned bands in Scotland, visit Under the Radar
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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