The idea of seeing a member of Radiohead play a modest municipal theatre in Kirkcaldy – even one which hosted David Bowie half a century ago – is somewhat counterintuitive, yet that’s a big part of the draw with James Yorkston’s regular Tae Sup Wi’ a Fifer package gig nights.
He and drummer Philip Selway have history, said Cellardyke indie-folk troubadour Yorkston by way of introduction, because his old band supported Radiohead when they were just starting out at Edinburgh’s Subway in 1992. In the event, Yorkston’s old band split up and Radiohead went on to become one of the biggest groups in the western world; yet Selway still remembers having his wallet stolen that night, and Yorkston hoped this gig had earned enough to buy him a new one.
With first-rate support from Yorkshire singer-songwriter David Thomas Broughton (who currently records on Edinburgh’s Song, By Toad label) and a wonderfully warm and emotive solo set from Liverpool’s Kathryn Williams, Selway delivered a similarly low-key but fiercely evocative hour of folk-tinged, pastoral indie-rock alongside cellist Laura Moody.
There was a hint of Radiohead’s There There to the guitar line in Ghosts, and a note of that other famous Oxfordshire export Nick Drake in Turning It Inside Out. Selway, a man with a studious air, has a compellingly understated vocal delivery, and it sounded particularly rich accompanied by his own piano playing on Let It Go, his recent soundtrack album for the film of the same name.
His star-struckness while telling a tale of playing live with Ringo Starr the other week was apparent, although despite his unassuming way, many in the room may have been feeling something similar.