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Issue 60 - A quiet secret to shout about

Whisky Magazine Issue 60
November 2006

 

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A quiet secret to shout about

Roddy Woomble is a superb Scottish songwriter and he deserves discovering says Rocky McCabe

In my record collection there is a disturbingly large collection of albums by artists that have never quite made it commercially.

This either means I have rubbish taste or that I have great taste and the public don't. Take your pick, but as Ant and Dec, MacDonalds, the Porky's films, Cliff Richard and standard lager all sit in the populist camp, I don't think I'm the problem.

Why not check it out for yourself? Go and buy anything by America's The Jayhawks or Williard Grant Conspiracy, or an album by Grand Drive, Witness, Ian MacNabb or The Icicle Works, artists dripping in passion and rolling in melody, and explain why they're not all huge.

And you can add to that list Scottish band Idlewild, whose last album has more in common with the first five R.E.M.

albums than R.E.M. do.

I'm not sure whether it was the failure to make the big break that led to their demise, but Idlewild are no more. And now lead singer Roddy Woomble has emerged with a gem of an album of his own, called My Secret Is My Silence.

Like Bristol's Witness, Woomble occupies a territory that is best described as ‘links music', occupying as it does a space between the land and sea while not quite belonging to either. It has its hands and feet in folk, country and rock, and in acoustic and electric music, without totally embracing any of them.

But it's big music that definitely belongs to Scotland, and to whisky. Rugged Highland and island whisky. Earthy, real whisky.

The cover of My Secret… just abou...

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