Pangs, the new album from Alasdair Robert is released tomorrow. To celebrate, he has unveiled his new video for the title track. Directed by Catriona MacInnes, the video finds Alasdair hitching a ride through hostile counties, standing on the rock of Hadrian’s Walk (the ancient Roman wall built in the north of England to mark the boundary of their empire) and returning, prodigal-son style to a remote castle where children play, and a preacher leads his flock. There’s magic involved, via a selenite Crystal Wand, and an evocation of end times. A stark but compelling vision that reminds us to consider others as we do ourselves.
Rhe video also features guitarist Chris Joynes, acting rather than playing. I’m sure many of you will recall he co-released the excellent Split Electric last year with Nick Jonah Davis, reviewed here.
Throughout Pangs, Alasdair’s leads a band on electric guitar, offering an evocation of the 60s and 70s folk-rockers of the British Isles – the electric warriors of Fairport Convention, the Battleﬁeld Band, Planxty, Richard Thompson and so many others. Of course, these sounds travel through the music of Alasdair Roberts, which is set very firmly in the world of TODAY. And even a dark lament can lift the heart – the point, in fact, is “Pangs” itself, a skipping ode considering the phenomenon of “sympathetic birth” – where the pain of the expecting mother is shared by another. We take this to be Alasdair’s observation of the Brexit/Trump echo, a collapse that has been heard across nations.
Alasdair’s UK/IRE tour (with Alex Neilson and Stevie Jones) is detailed below.
ALASDAIR ROBERTS PANGS TRIO UK TOUR 2017
23rd LONDON Cafe Oto
24th READING South Street Arts Centre
25th BARTON-ON-HUMBER Ropery Hall
26th COLCHESTER Arts Centre
27th NEWCASTLE The Cumberland Arms
1st EDINBURGH House Concert
2nd GLASGOW The Glad Cafe
5th PRESTON The Continental
15th COVENTRY Warwick Arts Centre
16th HEREFORD The Courtyard
17th CARMARTHEN The Tangled Parrot
18th PLYMOUTH B-Bar
19th SWANSEA Noah’s Yard
21st CHELTENHAM Smokey Joe’s
23rd STROUD Prince Albert
24th BODMIN Folk Club
25th CARDIFF Chapter Arts Centre