Admiral Fallow @ O2 ABC Glasgow – 27/1/12


Currently riding the crest of a wave fuelled by an appearance on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live, Radio 1 play for new single “Beetle in the Box” and the use of foot-stomper “Squealing Pigs” in just about every episode of Countryfile, Glasgow’s Admiral Fallow played their biggest show to date as part of the annual Celtic Connections festival. Don’t let the name fool you – the festival, now in it’s 14th year, is more than just jigs, reels and old-fashioned folk. Rab Noakes, Bruce Hornsby – yes, that Bruce Hornsby – and Bonnie Prince Billy are among the attractions this year.

The 1300 capacity ABC had the Sold Out signs up for this one and the packed house wasn’t disappointed by the return of the (BBC)conquering heroes. With a stage set – if that’s not too grand a term for a few cunningly positioned standard lamps – looking like something from Habitat, Admiral Fallow seemed right at home as they took to the stage with a crisp version of Old Balloons from debut album Boots Met My Face to the delight of the crowd.

Sporting a cracking line in luxurious facial hair, frontman Louis Abbott bantered with the audience over the Glasgow/Edinburgh divide before introducing that new single. Co-penned with fellow Glasgow face Jo Mango, Beetle in the Box sounded less like Joe Jackson live than it does on record. A good thing in this instance.

With the help of the Admiral Fallow brass section (five blokes, mostly sporting lumberjack shirts) the band powered through most of their first album in style with an energy not often associated with the “new-folk” (sorry) genre. New songs “The Paper Trench” and “The Way You Were Raised” were both performed and received brilliantly whilst old favourites “Subbuteo” and “Dead Leg” showed the undoubted musical dexterity of the band.

Closing the show with an announcement of a December headline show at the legendary Barrowlands an explosion of Crystal Maze style ticker-tape and a storming rendition of the aforementioned “Squealing Pigs” Admiral Fallow sounded like a band on the verge of something very, very special. Watch this space.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.