The Get Around Glasgow team aren’t the sort of people that like to embrace the Great Wide Open. Take us away from our Wi-Fi and nearby pubs and gig venues, we start to feel a bit uncomfortable. We’ve no great issues with forests and wide open spaces, we like the fact that they draw people away from the city giving us more space to enjoy the things that we love, but as for being taken there, there’s no great desire or rush to make our way to greener pastures. Surely the Dear Green Place is all the greenery you need in life?
With all that in mind though, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the debut EP from of Henry & Fleetwood, the long awaited collaboration of Sky Sports peddling va-va-voomester Thierry Henry and boring cokeheads Fleetwood Mac. Oh wait, no, that would be terrible, thankfully Henry & Fleetwood combines the sterling talents of Martin John Henry, who you may know from De Rosa and Gillian Fleetwood, who you may know from The State Broadcasters, The Duplets and a considerable number of highly regarded traditional Scottish and Celtic music events, collaborations and celebrations. The pedigree of the artists involved is enough to grab your interest but it is the music, a tribute to the majesty of Scottish music and life that is the main attraction on this release.
On The Forest Floor ushers in the release and with its shuffling rhythm and soaring vocals, it’s a pleasant and warm introduction, immediately showcasing the strengths of the individuals and the duo in one easy to listen to package.
Forestry builds on the tone initiated by the opener, even building to a chorus that would be a perfect choice for a communal sing-song around a roaring fire in the dark of the night. The familiar feel of the traditional instruments in the background and the two vocals combining to create a friendly soundscape ensures that the first half of the EP is quite uplifting, which emphasises that raising your spirits isn’t always linked to tempo or volume.
Third track on the EP, Timber, isn’t a cover of the Pitbull and Ke$ha classic but once your initial disappointment of that fact fades away, you are rewarded with a gloriously layered track that, for me, captures the sense of foreboding that would come with being placed into the heart of the Scottish wilderness and being told to make your own back to safety. Perhaps it is the haunting vocal sounds chiming with the harp that creates a more ethereal sound than on the other songs which are more vocal led, but this is a hugely atmospheric song.
A Perfect Mess is just lovely, offering fragile vocals with a melody that is strong as a 100 year old oak tree. The duo have talked a lot about sparseness in the lead-up to this launch but they show that less is often more and that you don’t need a lot of instruments or input to build a crescendo.
As a fully formed EP, it’s ideal, taking you on a journey that never breaks into a canter but which offers plenty of moods and tones for you to take in and let wash over you. Even before we had heard a note from Henry & Fleetwood we knew that the act consisted of two fantastic vocalists, who also happen to be rather handy at making simple yet moving music. The EP lives up to the billing and expectations, which is pretty much all that needs to be said.
The EP will be officially launched on Saturday night (the 11th of April) in the Glad Café, the thriving gig venue and general hangout place in the South-side. With support from Randolph’s Leap and Mayor Stubbs, it looks like being quite an interesting and exciting night. The duo is also set to appear at the Braw Wee Emporium in the heart of the Glasgow Barrowlands on Sunday at 2pm if that is more suitable to your weekend plans. That show promises to be a bit more family friendly so if you are looking for something to take the kids to on Sunday, get them along to a gig!
Before all of that though, the duo are set to appear on The Riverside Show on Wednesday night (the 8th of April) so if you want to check them out before you commit to a live gig, that could be the ideal opportunity to do so. It’s unclear what they’ll be doing on the show, it seems as though every Glaswegian will at some point do some cooking on the Riverside Show but we think that they are going to be playing music, which is fine by us.
Further afield, the act can be found at the Brew At The Bog festival in Inverness at the start of May and they’ll then be performing at Summerhall in Edinburgh on the 9th of May. If you’re looking to buy the EP, and you should be, you can find download or CD options on the act’s bandcamp page.