The Burns Unit - Acoustic Session Track
The Burns Unit - Tupperware Pieces
Emma Pollock and King Creosote of The Burns Unit perform Tupperware Pieces, an exclusive new track. Shooglenifty play The Wing in Studio One at BBC Pacific Quay, live on Mary Ann Kennedy's Global Gathering. Sketch bring their unique brand of electronically driven trad grooves to Studio One.
Photo Gallery: The Burns Unit and Broken Records live at The Old Fruitmarket, 16th January 2011
Lloyd Meredith from the Peenko Blog reports
Having made their debut live performance exactly two years ago to the day, The Burns Unit returned to wow the audience as part of this year's Celtic Connections Festival. The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow's Merchant City felt like the perfect choice of venue, its cobbled floors and old shop hoardings creating a lovely old-world ambience as they do.
Support on the evening came from Edinburgh's finest, Broken Records, who found themselves playing to a much older audience than they are probably used to. Not that this held them back, as they unleashed a barnstorming set that certainly blew a few cobwebs away from the old venue. With the tracklisting leaning heavily towards their second album, 'Let Me Come Home', they've matured as a band whilst still maintaining the ferocity and intensity of their early shows. Upon introducing 'A Promise', lead singer Jamie Sutherland admits that "we never thought of ourselves as being a folk band. This is about as folky as we get". They might not perceive themselves to be a folk outfit, but it seemed pretty evident that by the time they reached the penultimate song of the evening 'Nearly Home', they had won over an audience which they might not think to be their own. The final track of the evening 'Home', saw most of the band leave the stage with lead singer Jamie accompanied by the haunting sounds of a solo violinist. It was a magical experience that was met with rapturous applause.
After such a triumphant set you would normally have to fear for whoever comes on next, but not when the headliner is The Burns Unit. If you've not heard of them before, they could be described as a bit of a Scottish/Canadian super-group. The line-up includes folk singers Karine Polwart and Kim Edgar, singer songwriter Emma Pollock (formerly of The Delgados), King Creosote (from the Fence Collective), Glasgow hip-hop artist MC Soom T, Indo-Scottish musical legend Future Pilot AKA, plus Canadian drummer/producer Mattie Foulds and pianist Michael Johnson. The band formed out of a one-week songwriting retreat called Burnsong which took place deep in rural Scotland way back in December 2006. Due to the logistical nightmare of getting such a disparate band together in the same place at the same time, they claim that although they technically formed several years ago, they have only really been together for about six months. Emma Pollock called it 'dog years in reverse'.
They open with the unmistakable sound of King Creosote's accordion on 'Since We've Fallen Out'. What follows is a masterclass in live music and we're treated to an array of both new and old songs. From Karine Polwart's haunting voice to MC Soom T's feisty rapping, you soon realise how lucky you are to be witnessing something this special.
It's the infectious enthusiasm of Canadian pianist Michael Johnson that really brings the show to life. At one point King Creosote aptly refers to him as being the Burns Unit's very own circus master. Leading the crowd in a series of singalongs, he genuinely looks like he's having the time of his life.
Finishing off with new song, 'Crawling Back', the band are quickly coerced into an encore, choosing to leave us with Emma Pollock on lead vocals on 'Trouble' and another new song.
Whether you buy into the dog years thing or not, they sound like they've played together forever.