Music review: Tae Sup at The Queen's, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

James Yorkston’s latest club night offered a rich, sumptuous smorgasbord of entertainment, writes Jay Richardson

Tae Sup at the Queen’s, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh ****

Casual enough to incorporate a few line-up tweaks, James Yorkston’s beloved gathering of songwriters and storytellers remains a homely, intimate showcase of diverse talents that can easily shrug off a bit of winter ill-health, adapting its running order as required.

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway had been set to headline this evening with a stripped back set of his solo output. But a “frog” in his throat led to him opening instead. And while his voice faltered on a couple of numbers, it otherwise made little impact on his robust, folk-inflected repertoire. Make It Go Away retains a melodic lightness contrasting its lyrical portentousness, while There’ll Be Better Days broke into an understated but uplifting majesty.

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James Yorkston and Nina PerssonJames Yorkston and Nina Persson
James Yorkston and Nina Persson

Having begun as a performance poet, semi-retired Essex stand-up comic Phill Jupitus also ran with several legendary bands, but his chief qualification for his “surprise guest” slot here was that he is Yorkston’s neighbour in Fife. Persecuted at home by the noises of nocturnal seals, the former Never Mind The Buzzcocks star waggishly amused with verse on a “nutty dance” of humiliation he endured supporting Madness, conveying the full horror of that recurring ordeal.

Fellow stand-up Marjolein Robertson has a strong sideline in sharing the folk tales of her native Sheltand. The musicality of her delivery and her flair for dramatic poignancy tempered with wry good humour truly held the crowd with her yarns of benevolent witches and mischievous trows

Finally, Yorkston and Nina Persson of The Cardigans took the stage, self-deprecatingly witty on the travails of touring Europe together, but sympathetic when speaking and singing of the wrench of being apart from their respective children. With the pair harmonising closely, Mary blazed with Christmas nostalgia, while the bittersweet, lolloping Hold Out For Love proved a delightful ending to a rich, sumptuous smorgasbord of entertainment.