Album Review: Where You're Meant To Be [Live] by Aidan Moffat
Very Good, Based on 2 Critics
The Line of Best Fit - 75 Based on rating 7.5/10
An appropriate if unconventional torchbearer for his native land’s musical lineage, Aidan Moffat toured Scotland in 2014 in connection with the Commonwealth Games. The resulting film, Where You’re Meant To Be, will be screened at the end of this Month through early April across many of the towns and halls in which it was shot, and this live album of the same name can regale all who are unable to attend. “I normally do sad songs, this is an unusually cheerful set for me”, notes the unofficial Poet Laureate of Glasgow’s pheromone-and-ale-sotted id to scattered laughter from around the room at the village hall in Drumnadrochit, a stone’s throw from Nessie’s lair.
Recorded onstage in the musical hotbed that is Drumnadrochit, the companion piece to Paul Fegan’s new film sees Aidan and band on entertaining form, full of traditional Scottish ballads given a contemporaneous (and typically Moffat-esque) slant. “The thing with folk music is that people think it’s a very austere scene – so for that reason I chose to do a few funny songs,” the artist responsible told The Skinny recently, and there’s certainly enough sauce in these 12 tracks – some acapella, others accompanied – to keep titter organs occupied (particularly the X-rated reimagining of The Ball of Kirriemuir). Yet this is much more than rude lyrics sung to traditional melodies; songs such as Big Kilmarnock Bunnet or (the untampered-with) MacPherson’s Farewell display Moffat’s sharp ear not only for folk’s cultural significance, but the roles that bursting hypocrisy (on Ode to O’Brien Et Al) or documenting broken evenings on Sauchiehall Street (the title track) play in upholding that tradition.