Its impossible to describe Alex Neilsons second solo album Otterburn without first addressing the cataclysmic event that led up to it. On the 29th of April 2017, Alexs brother Alastair died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep on his canal boat in Leeds. The youngest of three boys, Alastair embodied all his familys best qualities and was a charming and spontaneous friend to anyone lucky enough to cross his path. Otterburn reunites Alex with a couple of his Trembling Bells band mates; Lavinia Blackwall - her voice as true as church bells - and Mike Hastings - who is reaching Brian Jones levels of multi-instrumentalist brilliance. But this is a very different beast to the Bells. Otterburn has an ad-hoc intimacy and ability to make the epic seem small and the small seem epic that pitches it closer to Desire-era Dylan than Folk Rock aristocracy. The rest of the assembled company (Alasdair Roberts, Dave McGowan, Rory Haye et al) are among Scotlands finest. - Lay Down In Ashes / Amy, May I? / Dildos / The Cruel Rule / Otterburn / Always Already / Master / Brother / Latest Regret / Smoke & Memory
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