Later we went on to The Depot in Leith for the Refugee Benefit organised by Liz Tainsh. Liz puts on these events every month and it was great to have the opportunity to support displaced people at a concert like this.
The headliners The Pitiful Few were sound checking when we got there; they play blues with a boogie-woogie feel, led by a keyboard player in a snazzy hat and sharp suit.
First on was Andy Gunn, playing solo (he normally plays with his band). He is a great solo artist too- his guitar playing is absolutely superb. He plays an acoustic guitar, and has a resonant and mellow voice that glides effortlessly through the blues scales in his self-penned songs, a lot of which came from his latest album. I think he will be playing there again with his full band some time in the near future.
I was on next and the audience was in good voice to sing along with The Sea. This was the first proper gig since the fractured elbow and I was actually shaking with relief when I finished. It was such a nice audience though- it couldn't have been a better place to return to it all.
Next was The Countess of Fife- that's Fay Fife to you and me. Boy, was she in good voice! She plays an keyboard with an organ sound and is accompanied by a guitarist who plays searing riffs on a Strat; the two instruments sound amazing together and Fay's 1960s-sounding voice fits into the sound perfectly. Her songs are dark and have a hint of The Cramps about them, all swampy swirls and snarly guitar.
The guitarist told me that his band had supported Helen and the Horns years ago in Dunfermline- yes! I remembered them: So You Think You're A Cowboy. They were really good, sort of rockabilly, and great fun too- they came over the Forth Bridge the next night to continue the festivities at the next gig we did at The Calton Centre;Muriel Gray came along and we drank many a vodka (that was in my drinking days).
I missed some of The Pitiful Few's set, but enjoyed what I saw. Liz is brilliant for organising these gigs and although it was absolutely miserable outside, enough loyal souls came out to make it a good night.
Boy was I glad that a taxi slid by when I left the venue- it was absolutely horrendous out there!