C Duncan @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, 10 May

C Duncan brings a healthy dose of new music and a near flawless performance

Live Review by Paul Sinclair | 20 May 2019
  • C Duncan live at Summerhall, Edinburgh, 10 May

It's a cosy atmosphere drenched in purple this evening in Summerhall, as C Duncan and his band take to the stage with a polite wave to the audience. The Glasgow songwriter is approaching the end of an extensive UK tour, following the release of Health at the end of March, and it shows from the get go, with each song performed to near-perfection tonight.

Opening with Impossible, blending major and minor into one bittersweet movement, C Duncan leads the group with his haunting melodies. Chatting in a hushed tone throughout with the crowd, his shy demeanour warm. "I’ve got a big favour to ask," he announces at one point, whipping out his phone for us all to wish his friend happy birthday (happy belated birthday Anna, if you're reading this) to which the crowd dully oblige. He gets an 'Oooooooh' when introducing new single Talk Talk Talk, as he continues to showcase the best parts of Health.

Support act Before Breakfast re-emerge onstage to share harmonies for Castle Walls, from 2015's Mercury Prize-nominated Architect, in a performance that leaves the audience in a stunned silence. Even between songs, sounds of crickets, rain and other weird and wonderful noises emanate from the stage, ensuring the attention of everyone here doesn't waver, even for a brief moment.

After thanking the sound techs, bar staff and the audience, C Duncan and co play us out with Garden, ending an evening that is more or less impossible to fault. A tight, melody-driven show, tonight is one of those rare instances in which a performance sticks with you, and could easily push the casual observer into superfan.