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James Yorkston And The Athletes - Forum, London, 23/10/2006

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 22 / 11 / 2006

James Yorkston And The Athletes - Forum, London, 23/10/2006


At a support show to Mexican metal-folk duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Anthony Dhanendran watches James Yorkston play a strong set, but one which in he has trouble making himself heard

James Yorkston is having trouble making himself heard. Truth be told, he’s an odd choice of support act for tonight’s stars, the Mexican metal-folk duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela. Sneaking in under the folk part of tonight’s remit, Yorkston takes the stage along with an accomplice who sings and plays violin alongside him. They’re on form, too, mainly playing songs from this year’s album 'The Year of the Leopard'. It’s always hard to play new material in front of a crowd, even more so when they have no idea who you are, and are expecting something more in the line of a Metallica cover. Still, Yorkston soldiers on, quipping away as is his wont. He’s part of the Fife-based Fence Collective, whose most famous alumni are KT Tunstall and (somewhat further behind) the wonderful King Creosote. JY and KC, in fact, tend to work best live when they are sparking off each other, and when they appear on stage together a kind of magic appears to fall on the stage. Even the recent King Creosote show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire was evidence of this, with Tunstall playing a support role. Although Yorkston wasn’t at that one, the sheer presence of the full band on stage provided body to the music, over which the sometimes fey-voiced Creosote could spin his yarns. That’s, perhaps, what Yorkston’s missing tonight. While his songs are still top-notch and he’s on good form, the lack of a band shows, particularly in a cavernous venue such as the Forum. In fact, a better bet all round might be to catch the James Yorkston Christmas extravaganza at Kilburn’s Luminaire on December 19. The intimate location, the band, the Christmas sparkle… those, combined with his current live form mean it’s bound to be a winter warmer.

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James Yorkston And The Athletes - Forum, London, 23/10/2006

James Yorkston And The Athletes - Forum, London, 23/10/2006

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Interview (2007)
James Yorkston And The Athletes - Interview
Anthony Dhanendran speaks to folk singer James Yorkston about his third and latest album 'The Year of the Leopard Song', his musical and other influences, and his recent decision to play shorter tours

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