At one point for me, whilst living in the Big Smoke, December couldn’t qualify as December without a folk gig sat in the cold pews of the Union Chapel, munching on a Kit Kat, sipping a tea. James Yorkston would indulge us with one of his glum sets entwined with yule tidings. So, as I edged along to Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall in the freezing cold with anticipation of the warmth indoors for one of Yorkston’s Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer, it felt strangely timely.
We were promised far-from-wild things. A line-up that included Philip Selway (known for his work with Radiohead and recently Lanterns on the Lake), Shetlander comedian and storyteller, Marjolein Robertson, Nina Persson (of The Cardigans fame) and of course James himself, I was all set for a night of heartfelt folk and mythological tales. It was safe to say we were all surprised by the surprise: Phill Jupitus took to the stage with his usual air as accustomed with his comedy and we bore witness to the madness of his poetry.
A warm evening of camaraderie between the artists, the evening filled us with hope as he introduced act after act before eventually sitting down to the piano as he and Nina sang track after track from their collaborative album with the Second Hand Orchestra, The Great White Sea Eagle. The obvious enjoyment Yorkston and Persson have in performing with each other was evident as it diffused into the crowd. I’ll continue to keep this December tradition (where I can), to see James bring in the festive season.