Acoustic Music Centre
18 August, 19.15
Tucked away off Dalry Road is the Acoustic Music Centre, which continues its aim of bringing the finest folk acts to the festival. Tonight was no exception as they welcomed Scottish quintet: The Poozies.
Tipped as being the launch night of their new album ‘Yellow Like Sunshine’, the name inspired from the chorus of ‘Two Hearts’ which is played this evening, the audience seem a little disheartened when its announced the album is not ready. Not to worry, the five-piece used their quaint charm to move steadily on with their set.
Sally Barker kicks us off with a blues riff played on acoustic guitar, which introduces the Scottish Gaelic song ‘Morag’. Patsy Seddon and Barker play off each other throughout, providing the main impetus of vocals and rhythm. The band offer a host of traditional, Gaelic (both Scottish and Irish), and folk numbers interpreted in an original and often modern way. The combination of electronic harp (Mary Macmaster) and gut-strung harp (Patsy Seddon) creates wistful melodies, especially in the intros of ‘Two Hearts’ and ‘Istusa’, that induce images of highland hills and glens, this coupled with the rousing fiddle of Eilidh Shaw neatly textures an altogether impressive folk outfit. The sound palette is further enhanced by the piano accordion of youngest member, Mairearad Green, who acutely keeps to her role of subtly teasing out drones and creating a backdrop for the others to fill with harmonious precision.
It’s an obvious point, but to see a band with clear understanding and depth of genre is a highly enjoyable experience. They seem to metamorphose ‘the big room’ at St Bride’s into places far away, and carry us like wind from one song to the next. It’s their diversity within genre that keeps the audience engaged, as they have no qualms bringing the mood down to a sombre level, with acapella songs ‘Susan’ and ‘Another Dream’ they show not only their vocal prowess as a group, but also their multiplicity of ability. ‘El Paco Grande’ aka ‘The Great Alpaca’ is a great example of how they mix traditional songs, given a Poozies makeover, with their own material. The electronic harp is utilised as a stabbing bass riff and Shaw’s emphatic fiddles make this one of the most catching tunes of the evening, and awaken a crowd deep in pensive thought.
The Poozies ensemble encapsulates folk traditions with new twists, tweaks and knowing instrumentation. A professional outfit, this launch or pre-launch of their seventh studio album went off a hoot.