Kim Edgar at Stockbridge Church, for one night only, saw the all too infrequent return to her “home-town” stage of one of my favourite artists, and one of the best singer-songwriters to come out of Scotland in many years.
There is something very special about the voice, the words and the music of Kim Edgar, and listening to Kim’s gentle and at times haunting voice is a little bit like being wrapped in a magic spell as her words and music take you into carefully woven worlds of lightness and darkness. When Kim Edgar sings, I just sit quietly and listen; somehow you feel that any interruption from you might just break this fragile spell that she has woven around you in words and song.
It is obvious from the words of Kim Edgar’s songs that here is someone who places great value on family, friends and the important things in life that no amount of money can ever buy you. Kim Edgar also so obviously cares about people and genuinely wants a better, more just, society for everyone, and here in meticulously constructed lyrics and music there is at times an almost “inner spiritual” aspect to many of her songs. “Anchor In The Sky” and “The Whole Rainbow” are good examples of these songs of hope.
There is also a dark side though to some of the songs of Kim Edgar as she focuses with enormous insight and sensitivity on issues such as domestic psychological abuse (Scissors, Paper, Stone ) and women being more than just pretty objects to pick up and put back down (The Ornate Lie). One of the great skills of Kim as a writer is the ability to write about these, and other, difficult and often painful subjects, but to wrap them in beautiful melodies. This very special ability to write like this is at times like moving from light into darkness as words contrast so sharply with the music of the song.
There are at the moment three solo albums from Kim Edgar - Stories Untold (2016), The Ornate Lie (2012) and Butterflies and Broken Glass (2008) and each of them should be in every good music lover’s collection. A fourth album is in the planning stages at the moment, and we were treated to some new songs intended for this album tonight, and they all show that a skilled writer is at work. Some of these songs have an economy of lyrics against earlier works, but that care in using words for lyrics is still there, and I can think of few lyricists that have Kim’s skill in this area. Some of these new songs come from deep within Kim Edgar as a person as she questions not only her own self, but her place in the far bigger scheme of things and her ability to influence for the better (even in a very small way) the world of chaos that we all too often find around us at this present time.
Amongst the new songs performed tonight “Waiting For A Sign” and “Baby Steps” make interesting contrasts in writing styles, and I can hear with Kim the big sounding rock-band sound that “Powerless It Seems…” can so easily become.
There is always something very special about Kim Edgar when she performs at Stockbridge Church. Part of that is that the space itself has wonderful natural acoustics for Kim’s voice and her playing piano and guitar, plus somehow it is a space that just feels calm, relaxing and spiritual at some “inner level”. There is something else happening though, like this performance is an event full of warmth and friendliness coming from Kim and the audience. Kim is obviously at home here as family, friends and lovers of her music (old and new) all come together to experience the music of someone very special to them all.
Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
Group: Kim Edgar
Review by Tom King