Siobhan Miller and guests at The Queen’s Hall brought one of the most unique voices I have heard in a long time to the Edinburgh stage tonight along with the sounds of some other very talented musicians. Twice winner of the prestigious Scots Singer of the Year title at the Scots Trad Music Awards, Siobhan Miller is an artist cutting out a reputation of not only a singer who is carrying on the traditional songs for a new generation, but also as a singer-songwriter in her own right.
Joining Siobhan on stage, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Kris Drever (Lau), Aaron Jones, Euan Burton, Tom Gibbs and Megan Henderson (Breabach) took us over two well received sets through traditional and new songs, many coming from Siobhan’s new (and second) album “Strata”. The album was just released today, and this show was both the album and tour launch. Further details of both are available at https://www.siobhanmiller.com.
The album and this show are a mixture of songs from many sources that Siobhan has grown up with, and all have been newly arranged and recorded by her for the first time on the album. The album itself is really a personal tribute to music that she loves and to the many folk musicians past and present that have inspired her over the years to become a professional singer.
Some well known songs here including “Banks Of Newfoundland”, “Pound A Week Rise” and “The Unquiet Grave” mixed in with self penned work like “Secrets and Lies”, plus a venture into Bob Dylan songs with “One Too Many Mornings”.
There are a lot of very good singers out there at the moment, but few have that unique vocal sound of Siobhan…one of those clear voices that just fills the air. It’s when Siobhan stops singing that you actually appreciate how unique that voice is as there now seems to be something missing around you.
One of the highlights of the evening for me though was actually a little fun detour by Siobhan away from the folk songs…a great cover of the Esther Phillips jazz/blues number “Aged & Mellow”. Siobhan has a great jazz/blues vocal range, and I would love to hear her developing that side of her music in years to come.
As with all good shows, silence from the audience when the music is playing, and an evening that always seems to go by far too quickly when you lose sense of time listening to someone special on stage.
Review by Tom King