Music review: Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy

Justin Currie (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Justin Currie (Pic: Michael Gillen)
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Neatly subverting the saying from which it takes its name, Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer is a warm (in this case literally), welcoming series of intimate concerts featuring a diverse trio of guest artists, curated and hosted by fine Fife troubadour James Yorkston, who confidently hailed his warm-up number as “the low point of the show” before setting a high bar with a lovely, whimsical meditation on precious time spent with family.

Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy ****

His guests modestly stepped up to the mark. Galway multi-instrumentalist Brigid Mae Power presented a mix of traditional material from around the British Isles (provenance sometimes uncertain) alongside complementary originals rendered in her mesmeric, melismatic style with accompaniment on guitar, piano and, most atmospherically, accordion. While Power drew influences from diverse folk traditions, Nell Ni Chroinin sang exclusively in the captivating sean-nos (“old style”) tradition of her native west Cork, delivering forlorn, blithe and/or cautionary tales of fair temptresses, smitten suitors and imperious mothers unaccompanied, unassuming and with pure precision.

It was a rare treat to witness Justin Currie entirely solo, effortlessly carrying the evening with that voice and those songs, from the searching torch lament What Is Love For to his wry and rueful Brexit ballad Close Your Eyes and Think of England – although he was able to call on a room full of fans for requests, backing vocals and even lyrical recall on Del Amitri favourites The Last To Know, Nothing Ever Happens and Driving With The Brakes On. - Fiona Shepherd