I have long been a fan of St.Art magazine and this week I saw the start of an exciting new venture for the magazine. The music section of the magazine has flown the nest and become St.Art Music, a distinct (but not estranged) sibling magazine.
Perhaps typical of a publication such as St.Art, the event was understatedly cool. The evening of music and spoken word was inspired by a Parisian art collective known to Eleanor Quinn and was defined as a ‘pop-up party’ showcasing some local talent and giving us a taste of what’s to come from the new publication. Perhaps typically trendily Parisian, we were asked to wear blindfolds. Among a more menacing crowd I might have been sceptical of entering a stranger’s house and putting on a blindfold… After some chat, the music got started and the tone of the occaision was set.
It was a relaxed evening of acoustic guitars, soothing voices and light-hearted spoken word. Only one guest misjudged the tone, and ended up making a swift dash for the toilet bowl… but that hiccup aside, all went smoothly. We were treated to well-known St. Andrews’ artist Andrew Pearson, followed by Hamish Hawk and Oscar Swedrup whose folky, indie notes gave us a taste of what we can probably expect most from St.Art Music, though this would not be for lack of trying to expose us to something a little different. The fourth act of the night proved this.
C-section wearing a floor-length robe (I peeked, just once) covers a genre that my ignorant self cannot actually put a name on. What at first seemed like a calm rap, flitted between music and spoken word – maybe that is rap?! Undoubtedly a man with an interesting upbringing, he spoke/sang in at least three different languages. While his performance wasn’t really my taste, it got a great reaction from the (small) crowd and was peppered with enough good humour to convince me he didn’t take himself too seriously.
After a short break the music resumed. I think I was in the minority still using the blindfold at this point, but was determined to get the full effect of not being able to see… Actually, for the next act I appreciated the blind fold. This is because I am a natural sceptic. And I’m nosy. I want to look around and see what the rest of the audience is thinking, and I probably want to make a judgement on the artist partly based on the way they present themselves. Without that option, I was forced to sit and only listen to Youkang Jun's spoken word poems. One amusing, and one more thought-provoking and touching, he very much impressed. The blindfold possibly aided him most, allowing his audience to get drawn into the images he painted with his words; not that he needed any help.
The concluding act was a perfect choice. Gabi, missing her usual performance partner, lulled us into serenity with a song by Laura Marling. You can look forward to reading all about Gabi in our St Andrews’ Scene next year! All in all, the event ran smoothly and the music was impressive. If this is what St.Art Music wants to show us, that is fine by me. We are promised more of such pop-up parties in future and an exploration into the talent St Andrews has to offer. So keep an eye out on their website for emerging stars.