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NICK KEIR - The Edge Of Night

NICK KEIR - The Edge Of Night
Laverock Records LRK4

After a 28 year stint with the McCalmans, Nick Keir has returned to the studio for his fourth solo project, including nine of his own more than competent songs, and four choice covers. Unwittingly, NK gives us a right royal tour of Scotland’s capital, name checking Great Stuart Street, The Royal Mile, Rose Street and Causewayside (the latter from a sublime Proclaimers’ cover). He sings with confidence songs written from a heart firmly embedded on his sleeve. The opening track is a tender memorial to an absent, unidentified friend. His second song, Slow French Waltz, is exactly what it says on the tin, and was a highlight of this album for me – until I realized how much it resembled a Tom Lehrer track and now it just makes me giggle (my fault, not Nick’s).

Another tender tribute in song is to the great Norman McCaig – Norman’s Dram (probably sounds best with a glass of malt in hand, but I would say that wouldn’t I, I can hear you say).

What makes these songs most enchanting – their very personal nature – probably precluded their use as Macs songs, plus the fact that they don’t really lend themselves to singing in harmony. They are a real solo vocal effort.

The title track, the shortest on the album (a single verse of unaccompanied brilliance – a mere 46 seconds worth) reminds the listener of what a grounded singer Nick is. With the right material he blooms. Sadly the artiste is unable to actively promote this album due to illness, especially as it deserves attention, and our thoughts are with him.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.