Michael Marra is back on the road with his "band", Mr McFall's Chamber for four gigs in late August 2010 and early September 2010.
Check out the show dates on the calendar -
Read The Herald's Rob Adams review of a May 2010 gig
Mr McFall's Chamber with Michael Marra
The Queen's Hall, 28th May 2010
Michael Marra’s music has broad horizons. His songs’ subjects roam across Mull and Shetland, over the Canadian prairies, to the Schenectady, New York home of swing-era jazz broadcasting and down into Mexico. But his muse is governed by sound Dundonian principles, including the futility of going in the huff and the folly of vanity.
He was in splendid company here with a McFalls sextet offering strings, musical saw, accordion, harmonium and bandoneon that, between accom¬panying Marra superbly, visited Finland, Argentina and Cuba and captured a Dvorak bagatelle with an uncommon gracefulness that emphasised the setting of Marra’s compelling foggy growl in a chamber music cocoon as a sweet and sour recipe akin to Tom Waits’ Somewhere or One from the Heart.
Some of these songs have a long history of string arrangements but what impressed was the fit of the McFalls’ playing. They were alive to every Marra-esque detail, with eerie saw howls depicting the Yukon in the Lonesome Death of Francis Clarke, a churchy harmonium recalling Monkey Hair’s subject had married a minister and the keyboard picking out a solemn Flooers o’ the Forest for Happed in Mist’s coda.
Occasionally, as on the two Burns songs, The Slave’s Lament and Green Grow the Rashes-o, things became prosaic. But between Marra’s perfectly honed, withering song introductions and Robert McFall’s endearingly bumbling “church notices” there was much entertainment alongside the brilliant song content.
31st May 2010