Live review: Meursault (album launch), Rob St John, Body Parts at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 7/7/12

Meursault celebrate the release of their third album, Something For The Weekend with a launch party in The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh tonight.

Support comes from the newly formed Body Parts, a two girl, two-guitar Scottish/American duo made up of Jenny Reeve (Strike The Colours) and Jill O’Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop).

They have a sort of Civil Wars feel about them with their sultry, blues inspired vocals, and even manage to make a JLS cover sound pretty good.

Rob St John, joined by Meursault’s Neil Pennycook on the harmonium, performs a mesmerising set with his pitch-perfect, haunting vocal, and dawn-out ghostly songs.

Despite his Lancastrian roots, he has a very Celtic tone, somewhat Phantom Band-like, and when combined with the musical saw, fiddle, synth, skittering drums, and soft guitar, he creates a mix of the most beautiful, folky, electro and evocative sounds which could silence the rowdiest of rooms.

Meursault are joined on stage by a string orchestra and kick things off with album opener ‘Thumb’.

Pennycook’s vocal sounds delicate and somewhat vulnerable when coupled with the soft, orchestral strings, and the deathly silent crowd.

This fragile start is smashed into smithereens with the confident, and first single from the album, ‘Fittin’’, where Pennycook’s triumphant howl is prominent, and you cannot hide from his impressive vocal range.

‘Lament From A Tennage Millionaire’ slows things down again, and is met with a raucous applause.

The stand out track of the night comes from the unbelievable ‘Settling’, which starts off delicate and lulls you into a false sense of security as Pennycook whispers “so ha fucking ha”.

The strings then burst into action, and his vocal becomes boisterous, confidant, and builds up into a frenzied crescendo.

The mournful waltz of ‘Hole’ and the piercing ‘Dearly Distracted’ really showcase Pennycook’s striking voice, pinpointing each and every note with his distinctive Scottish twang poking through at times.

‘What You Don’t Have’ from their second album All Creatures Will Make Merry sounds fresh with Meursault’s newly found confidence.

It is stripped back slightly, and made to sound more fitting to their new style-which is continued in the poppy and vivacious ‘Dull Spark’.

Meursault put on an outstanding performance, and Something For The Weekend sounds like their strongest album to date.

Their newly found confidence is evident, and the subtle changes in style have made a huge impact in producing a truly outstanding piece of work.

Words: Erica Lennie

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