Horse God's Home Movie 25 Tour at The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh tonight is about as self-explanatory as any tour name can be. Somehow, it is now 25 years since Horse released her second album, “God’s Home Movie” and this tour is a bit of a double celebration for Horse. Not only are we celebrating the album’s release but, after many years of not being available for purchase as a new release from the record company, Horse has just completed a long period of legal and contractual arrangements with Universal Records to have the music and the album masters returned to her control. As the first track of the album is titled “Celebrate”, that seemed to be a most appropriate opening song from Horse and the band for what was an uninterrupted set of nearly two hours (counting an encore).
This concert was one of those rare events when there was obviously something special in the air, and right from the first few opening minutes of the show, it was obvious that this was going to be a special night for both Horse and her audience.
When you review a lot of live music in any year, you realise just how rare a performance artist like Horse is. There is a connection between performer and audience that is more like a giant extended family than a concert, and it is always a pleasure to be a part of something like this. The audience have taken not only Horse as a singer-songwriter to their hearts, but they have taken the person behind the songs to their hearts as well. In return, Horse has taken her audience into her heart, and the words of her music clearly show that connection. This show though was for some reason a little bit past even a usual Horse concert and it was not just the fact that as a singer and a performer she seemed to be on extra special form tonight, but I think the album “God’s Home Movie” too coming out into the spotlight.
“God’s Home Movie” is a very special creation. Not only is it full of beautiful songs, but it is full of beautiful words. If you took the music away from this album you would still be left with words of wonderful poetic power and meaning and Horse and Angela McAlinden created something here that has more than stood the test of time. There is something very special about these songs, and as I watched the audience tonight, it is clear that for so many the music and words of “God’s Home Movie” have special meaning and attachment to them. To be able to give that gift to someone is something special and it was good to hear Horse give Angela McAlinden all the credit that she so rightly deserves for this album. Writers can so easily disappear into the background of music, but this is never going to be allowed to happen here by Horse or the many people that have taken this work so closely to their hearts. Horse is a person who knows and understands fully the power of words, both their magic for healing wounds and giving hope and comfort when needed, but also their destructive power if used badly, and this is why there is so much power in the songs on not only this album, but so much more music from Horse over the years.
Normally I don’t give a performer’s set list away in a review, but this show is different as it is a straight run through of all the songs on “God’s Home Movie” in order. In case anyone out there has forgotten, these are the songs.
2. Shake This Mountain
3. God's Home Movie
4. Years From Now
5. Natural Law
6. Letter To Anne-Marie
7. Hold Me Now
9. Sorry My Dear
This tour is going to be a treat for so many fans as some of these songs are not often in any set list from Horse.
Of course, the album did not fill the whole two hours and there were so many more classic songs in this set – “Careful” and “Speed of the Beat” being only two of huge crowd pleasers.
Horse is also taking a musical journey back though some “B” sides to singles, and there are some not too often heard gems here. For anyone reading this review under the age of about 30, when you used to buy your music on a piece of black vinyl (a 12 inch album or a 7 inch single), it came with music on both sides. For a single, the A side was the “chart single side”, the B side was the song on the other side of the vinyl when you turned it over to play it on your turn-table.
In a world of digital downloads where you can cherry pick the songs you want from an album, I do wonder at times though just how much people are potentially missing in our digital age as an album like “God’s Home Movie” needs to be heard in its entirety.
Horse always has a tight band of musicians on stage with her, and tonight was no exception, and for me, Lorna Thomas on Bass Guitar did some fine work here on everything that she played, but “Natural Law” was for some reason the one standing out for me. Great to see Lorna proving that Bass Guitar is not a male prerogative; anyone who ever thought that though needs only to look at the career of legendary bass player Carol Kaye to see how wrong that idea ever was.
Horse is also actively involved as an ambassador with music therapy charity Nordorff Robbins Scotland. You can get more information on their work from their website at
I also have to mention that tonight, Horse was also raising funds and awareness for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund in Stirling. For more information visit
Opening the show tonight was Scottish singer-songwriter Sandra MacBeth. Sandra has already built up a solid reputation both as a writer and a performer and played on stage with many headline acts and it is easy to see in her music why she is such a good choice to be supporting Horse on this tour. There is a very interesting writer at work here. One song that does need a special mention is the song “Up” from the EP “Everest”, a project to raise awareness of the many issues surrounding suicide, a sadly growing issue, particularly in Sandra’s native Scottish Highlands.
Review by Tom King