Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Harem Scarem
WILL Oldham, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, is a revered figure on the alternative Americana circuit, with more than a decade of haunting Appalachian-influenced recordings to his various names.
On this rare visit to Scotland, he really did look like some tousled hermit who had come down from the mountain to acknowledge the Scottish associations of his alias and explore the Celtic influences in his music by collaborating with Edinburgh-based ensemble Harem Scarem, with members from the Poozies, Aberfeldy and the Karine Polwart Band.
After a couple of spindly solo lamentations, during which he managed to look both lost and commanding on the stage, Oldham was joined by drummer Alex Nielsen and then by Harem Scarem, who fleshed out his atmospheric, lonesome sound.
Wolf Among Wolves was slowed to a languid prowl, My Home is the Sea was as rolling and dynamic as its title suggests, the gorgeous ballad Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise met with roars of approval before his best-known song I See a Darkness enveloped the room in exquisite melancholy.