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A Night of Chocolate and Song

April 1, 2016

A lucky spot among the increasing dross that is my Facebook newsfeed told me that Anna MacDonald and the Artpackt Collective were in town and led to a lovely night at the Oban Chocolate Company.

Waiting for the concert to begin with a hot chocolate rather than a Festival Brew or Pig’s Paradise Blonde was a nice change.

Rosie Bans was first up with her set of angst-ridden but strangely upbeat songs, mostly about the two banes of her life, sugar and boys. It was a very enjoyable set and Rosie’s keyboard playing complimented her voice nicely. The song “Bloodlines” was a very strong piece and finished of a fine performance.

Anna started off with a couple of new songs on the clarsach followed by a beautiful re-working of “Jock O’ Hazeldean”. She then moved on, almost seamlessly, to the guitar for “Matty Groves” and finished off with a quite stunning vocal performance on “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose”.

Local boy Mike Nisbet was the final member of the trio to take to the stage and his set of self-penned, Americana style songs was great. At times the songs reminded me of Springsteen in the “Nebraska” era with a wee touch of Dylan too, and I can’t pay a much higher compliment than that. A cover of Towns Van Zandt’s “Loretta” was an added bonus.

The Trio then played together to finish things off with Deacon Blue’s “Dignity” and a lovely version of “Wild Mountain Thyme”. It is a song that I have heard sung and sang myself for many years and in the last few weeks that is two new versions I have heard (the other was by the fabulous Meadows Family) that have lifted it to new heights.

It was a really nice concert, in a lovely setting and the chocolate wasn’t bad either.

Next week it’s Trail West, Manran and Skipinnish at the Corran Halls. I am guessing there won’t be much hot chocolate drunk that night!





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