Bill Orcutt / With Lumps @ The Glad Cafe, 1 November

Live Review by Sam Wiseman | 06 Nov 2013
  • Bill Orcutt

Bill Orcutt’s following may not be large, but it makes up for that in sheer reverence and awe. The former guitarist in Miami noise legends Harry Pussy disappeared from the scene following that outfit’s dissolution in 1997, and was reborn as a fearsomely talented acoustic player in 2009; tonight, following the release of his second solo LP A History of Every One, sees Orcutt finally make his Scottish debut.

Accordingly, there’s an atmosphere of hushed anticipation and respect which extends to the openers, improv duo With Lumps. Entwining Neil Davidson’s hushed, minimalist acoustic stylings with Fritz Welch’s restless-yet-understated percussive scrapings and rattlings, the pair successfully capitalise on the attention to produce a set which counterposes the values of playfulness and solemnity, spaciousness and clutter, in equal measure.

There’s a similar dynamism at work in Orcutt’s compositions, which wrench an improbable array of emotive moods from just four strings. The breathtaking dexterity of his fretwork is impossible to ignore, and therein lies his secret: only this kind of devotion, expressed within these austere, self-imposed strictures, can enable Orcutt’s distinctively cathartic and intuitive channelling of feeling. It may be years before he plays here again, but tonight’s show will leave a lasting impression. [Sam Wiseman]