Critically acclaimed, the work of Blue Rose Code, and their most recent album ‘The Water of Leith’, has seen comparisons with the intellectual, musically diverse, earthly works of Van Morrison and Tom Waits.
Known for taking a serious approach to their live performance, their stage show is intense, improvised in places and highly proficient. Damian Robinson caught up with Ross Wilson to talk about their upcoming shows.
It seems you’re not stopping at the minute Ross, you’ve just come off a tour with Deacon Blue and are straight into playing your own shows.
That’s right yes, I love the live aspect of musicianship and try to play live as much as convenient. I think each of us has a role in life, and a purpose, and if you get to channel that you’re a lucky guy.
How did the Deacon Blue shows impact you?
From a live performance perspective, we went from playing venues which seat hundreds of people to venues, which seat thousands, and in that sense everyday was a school day. What you learn most when you’re in a support role is that you really need to get on and grab people’s attention. By the end of the tour we were using audience participation a lot more.
Do you think that style of playing will continue into your headlining slots?
We recently sold out a show to 1200 people in Glasgow at an event called ‘This is Caledonian Soul’ which I curate and I noticed that we approached it with a different vigour than we may have in the past; we were more bombastic and encouraged people to stand and dance for parts of the show. So in a way there has already been an impact from performing with Deacon Blue.
And you’ll be at the Cluny soon.
That’s right. I think we’ll carry on being a bit more bombastic. I think mainly this is about growing bolder and being more confident. We played the City Hall with Deacon Blue recently and the crowd were really rawkish, and had a real lack of self-consciousness, so we can’t wait to come back to the North East.
For those people that haven’t seen a Blue Rose Code show how would you describe it?
I like to surround myself with great musicians so the show will have comprehensive musicianship blended with improvisation. I think most importantly what we offer is a band who are fully present in the moment and focused on the show. We work hard to not dial in a performance and to make our songs sound different live to what you hear on record. We want to keep our music fresh and interesting.
Blue Rose Code play The Cluny on the 28th Feburary.