Aidan Moffat – Where You’re Meant To Be (Kiss My Beard)
Where You’re Meant To Be is a live album accompaniment album to a film of the same name by cult songwriter AidanMoffat, as he spent time with film-maker PaulFegan travelling the length of Scotland and discovering and exploring the country’s musical traditions.
This album was recorded on that journey in a performance at Drumnadrochit Village Hall near Loch Ness, as Moffat strived to update old folkloric Scots songs, transposing them to modern, more urban life.
In a set that almost feels like a stand-up show somewhat, the album is, despite the concept, essentially a Moffat album but put to old-fashioned folk melodies. Like many Moffat songs, the title track centres around looking for or having a pint, and love. The album is split between songs backed by minimal instrumentation, and those performed by Moffat a cappella, such as ‘Ode To O’Brien Et Al’ – an old traditional melody re-worded to be about the opposition to gay marriage from gay cardinals and priests.
Other tracks with old melodies reinterpreted to fit contemporary society include ‘I’m A Rover‘ and ‘The Ball Of Kirriemuir‘ – both of which are extremely bawdy and contain some purposely blue language, in an attempt by Moffat to marry the lewdness of yesteryear with now. The audience is well receiving of the whole set, audibly laughing at the lines and clapping along giving the a cappella numbers atmosphere.
Generally by Moffat standards, and by his own admission in the chat in between the songs, this collection is pretty upbeat, barring a couple of exceptions such as ‘Jock McGraw’, an updated going off to war song, but with the main character having to return to normal life and struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Where You’re Meant To Be is as ever, proof that Moffat is one of the Britain’s best writers in any medium. Often there are concepts that need to be explained in Moffat’s works, the reasoning behind why they were made in the first place, and therefore the work itself could fall down under the weight of the novelty, however regardless of concept there are always insights into life and live that only the bard of the barroom could produce.
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