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Howie Reeve’s album Friendly Demons reviewed by The List

Howie Reeve – Friendly Demons ****

12 intricate and expressive solo compositions from former Tattie Toes member

Howie Reeve’s album Friendly Demons reviewed by The List’s Matt Evans

Howie Reeve's new album Friendly Demons

Howie Reeve’s new album Friendly Demons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Sausage Shaped Lobster Records)

Anyone who saw Glasgow’s Tattie Toes play live will surely be familiar with genial shorts-wearing bassist and bell-ringer Howie Reeve. To an already extremely inventive band comprising wildly disparate stylistic elements, he brought a (post) punky sensibility, a lean, wiry bass tone and plenty of genial humour.

Alas, Tattie Toes are no more. The other members can be found playing with The One EnsembleAlasdair RobertsHanna Tuulikki and others, but Reeve has decided to go it alone. Switching his gnarly electric four-string for the subtleties of acoustic bass, he delivers 12 intricate and expressive solo compositions. Reeve describes this as the most personal music he’s ever made, and you can certainly hear why: a sense of warm intimacy pervades the whole thing. Recorded live and (mostly) unaccompanied in his living room, Friendly Demons is very much a home-made concoction, and that’s very much its strength.

The tracks are alive with ambience, dotted with string-squeak and fretbuzz, and even feature the sound of Reeve breathing as he focuses during the more difficult, tricksy passages, recalling the iconic jazz mumbles of Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Thelonious Monk. An extremely proficient player, but never gratuitously showy, Reeve’s focus is on tunes and songwriting, even though only a handful of tunes feature his soft, understated vocals. His approach to bass is beautifully expressive, melodic and thoughtful, but also takes in flamenco-style flourishes, charging post-punk grooves, choppy, percussive passages and one surprisingly violent bout of chaos.

Named in tribute to his local greengrocer, ‘Stalks and Stems’ features a fantastically wobbly and boisterous attack of string-bent low end, while ‘The Playroom’ unexpectedly blossoms into an avant-folk refrain with honeyed harmonies from Foxface alumnus and the album’s recording engineer, Michael Angus. As inventive and playful as it is richly emotional, Friendly Demons will appeal not only to admirers of RM Hubbert’s delicate acoustic portraits, but also to fans of the complex rambunctiousness of Minutemen and The Meat Puppets.

RM Hubbert’s amazing SAY Awards win

RM Hubbert wins Scottish Album of the year. Congrats to TimeLock composer.

RM Hubbert wins Scottish Album of the year. The cast and crew of TimeLock the movie are delighted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the many, many to articles about Hubby and his fantastic win at this year’s Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Awards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22999292

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jun/21/rm-hubbert-scottish-album-year-award

http://www.youngscot.org/mag/2408-rm-hubbert-wins-the-2013-scottish-album-of-the-year-award

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jun/21/rm-hubbert-scottish-album-year-award

http://thequietus.com/articles/12618-scottish-album-of-the-year-award-rm-hubbert-wins

http://www.nme.com/news/various-artists/70976

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/music/music-news/guitarist-singer-rm-hubbert–1974213

http://video.stv.tv/bc/entertainment-say-awards-winner-20130621/

Says Hubby, ”This award means I’ll be able to tour again, make a new record…and hopefully pay off some debts. And I’ll be able to pay the collaborators on the album.”

Go Hubby!