Flaxman launch album at Drummonds

By Marcus MacBeath

Aberdeen band Flaxman launched their new album Lambs at Drummonds on Friday night

Easing into the 10-song set with the delicate title track Emma Harkins slowly caught the attention of the audience before Martin Wyllie took to the mic.

He set the tone of the rest of the night with his rumbling voice sweeping over the top of the now louder musicians like a Buchan Nick Cave.

One thing that hit me was how well-rehearsed the whole band was throughout with no trace of a rigid focus on the music alone.

The next song Old King echoed the themes and sound of the whole album packed with establishment-challenging idealism and this worked well partnered with biblical references.

Ishmael was the most memorable song for all the right reasons picking up in a revelatory fashion with an intro unique to the set.

Sounding more like techno featuring this strange yet effective drumbeat from Stevo like a digitised version of Tom Waits’s Bone Machine with lyrics from the perspective of the young prophet.

But the song surprised again with a slow chorus of three voices exchanging before exploding into a guitar solo and thrashing drums.

Wyllie then interjected with some political opinion riling sections of the audience before following with folksy ballad Crawton.

The cheery yet slightly mournful song might have caught the crowd’s attention more had they been calmer.

Martin Allan’s guitar work shined in the next few songs and notably in Heart of a Dog which had a refreshing heaviness to it along with Martin Murchie’s Roland AE-20.

Flaxman had fun closing with a cover of Gay Bar with multiple starts and finishes building to a crescendo showing they are not just moody brooders.

An enjoyable night.

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