For a local act in a support slot the Captain’s Rest is surprisingly full. With many of the audience seated on the floor right up to the stage the mood is intimate but electric. From the moment the band take the stage you feel as if you’ve stumbled upon something very special cocooned away from the world outside.
Seated centre stage behind a table laden with sequencers, drum machines and loop pedals, Lewis ‘Yahweh’ Cook weaves melodies, clicks and beats around his delicate songs while his bandmates watch his every move, their accompaniment floating behind his voice and guitar. The set is heavy on new material – a taster of his forthcoming second album – and without any huge leaps in any direction it is reassuringly several steps ahead of everything he has done before, particularly in terms of his lyrics. On his new single a stream of dreamy and wordy imagery gives way to a stab at its own ridiculousness with the kiss off line “I guess that’s what happens when you study a degree in philosophy.” It’s refreshingly self-deprecating and brings a smile to the assembled faces.
Given that his debut album Tug Of Love was very much a solo piece and, for all its live instrumentation, almost claustrophobic in its production, I was sceptical about how he would recreate his sound live. But on the whole it works. Where things do become a little ramshackle it adds to the overall atmosphere rather than falling flat. The drone of violin and melodica wheezing to and fro builds walls of sound so thin it seems they might crumple at any second.
While the band hold it together well, their set is at its best when combined with Lewis’ electronic side. The intricacies of his programming, his restrained use of effects and the raw beats somehow just work with his folkie song writing, both touching and absorbing at the same time.
While so many Scottish artists fall so easily into dirge by keeping the emotion levels at full throttle, Yahweh sidesteps this quite deftly, drawing you in with the inventiveness of his arrangements. More than anything tonight you are struck by the sheer talent in this man. With something of a Scottish Sparklehorse about him Yahweh has a bright future in the very particular groove he is carving out for himself. I’m sure the best has yet to come.