Friday, November 05, 2010

'Side Show' by The Burns Unit

5 November 2010

Having first met at a Scottish Arts Council funded songwriting retreat in rural Scotland, the unlikely folk-rock-rap supergroup The Burns Unit (pun intended) have created a wonderful first album ‘Side Show’. The (mostly Scottish) Burns Unit are folk singers Karine Polwart (reviewed here in November 2005, April 2006 and April 2008) and Kenny Anderson, former Delgados singer Emma Pollock, rapper MC Soom T, Indo-Scottish bassist Future Pilot AKA, instrumentalist Kim Edgar, drummer Mattie Foulds and pianist Michael Johnston. The result of their collaboration is a varied collection of songs that manage to maintain a coherent overall identity. Some songs could have come straight from a Karine Polwart album (which is no bad thing at all) but the most interesting tracks are those that combine the disparate styles of the contributors – my favourites being those featuring the raps of MC Soom T.

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