Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I am the audience - Ned Roberts at Leith Depot

It was one of those cold winter nights in early spring that Scotland is famous for with added hail. Wednesday night too. However that really is just an excuse and a lame one at that. But I'll get back to that.

I first heard of Ned Roberts when he was playing support for Anais Mitchell a few years back and he'd impressed me with his songs and his voice. It being the modern age I downloaded an e.p. to my iPod and listened for a while before other more insistent voices and music made my memories of this engaging singer fade.

Fast forward a bit and somewhere I discover that Ned has a new album coming and that he's touring. even better he's playing in Leith!

Now back to that audience. You see Ned was playing Leith Depot on a night organised by local singer songwriter Kat Healy and there was support from a local singer called Purdie. I turn up two songs from the end of Purdie's set. There's not a huge crowd and it's early I say to myself. As the evening continues through Kat's set of finely observed songs of relationships I begin to piece together who the groups of people in the room are. Purdie has a group of friends with her who are thankfully settling in for the night (it's Baltic outside so who could blame them). Over by the bar is a group who are with Kat. So that leaves me and three other people.

The headliner takes to the stage and works his way a mesmerising mix of his old and new songs. He's got a rich voice that works well on his well crafted songs like 'Drifting Down' 'Hazy Days' 'Angel Station' and 'Lights on the River'. There's some nice guitar playing and that rich deep voice works well with the songs that recall Nick Drake, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen and a bit of Dylan (a
fair bit of moothie accompanies the playing and singing).

Of course he's not a household name but you can't help thinking, well I can't help thinking that after playing a full Pleasance Theatre a few years back albeit supporting the more established Anais Mitchell he should be pulling in a few more punters.

For now I feel like I'm glad to be part of the small group who came along to see him. I have to say he doesn't disappoint and would say unreservedly that you should seek out his music and certainly his gigs. There's room.




Kat Healy

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