Gig review: Admiral Fallow, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

THE release of Tree Bursts in Snow, the sophomore record by Glasgow’s Admiral Fallow, on the very day of this show seems to have propelled the sextet to new heights of popularity.

Or in their home country, at least, with this gig creditably nearing a sell-out to fans of all ages.

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It’s not a great surprise to see they’ve caught on. This was music marked by both youthful passion and a certain defined maturity in the thoughtful lyrics and sophisticated arrangements of bandleader Louis Abbott (once upon a time more familiar to Glasgow audiences under his Brother Louis Collective alias). From new songs The Paper Trench, which strode along on a deep, thumping drum beat like blood rushing to the head, and the decidedly Waterboys-sounding folk chime of Isn’t This World Enough?? to fan-favourite old-stagers such as rustic anthem Dead Against Smoking and the delicate Four Bulbs, staged as just six voices and one acoustic guitar, this band’s catalogue has not so much come of age as proven it can maintain its initial high standards.

With an alternative rock sensibility melding into a hint of a folk and roots influence, it’s not beyond the pale to suggest that Admiral Fallow bear comparison with Frightened Rabbit. Yet this band also maintain a strong sense of identity, and in Abbott – who fields heckles about his taste in peanut butter and hotels with skill and diffuses a planned singalong face-off between balcony and standing stalls with an unselfconscious “maybe I should just play the ****ing song?” – they have a frontman of easy charm. His vocal foil Sarah Hayes provided a gorgeous solo during Bomb Through This Town and Abbott himself displayed a not unwelcome taste for twin drummer power-folk during Brother, contributing to a pleasingly diverse set.

Rating: ****