Gig review: Alan Murphy plays live in Rothesay

Alan Murphy in full voice at St Paul's Church Hall in Rothesay on Saturday.
Alan Murphy in full voice at St Paul's Church Hall in Rothesay on Saturday.

Scottish blues musician and singer-songwriter Alan Murphy provided the soundtrack to a memorable evening in Rothesay on Saturday when he brought his unique brand of ‘easy blues’ to St Paul’s Church Hall.

Murphy, from the Glasgow area, draws much of his inspiration from the work of the late John Martyn, and his set on Saturday combined some of Martyn’s best-known songs, including Solid Air (written for Nick Cave) and May You Never with material from Murphy’s nine solo albums, and from a tenth to be released soon.

Despite suffering from abdominal pains which forced him to cut short his afternoon soundcheck in favour of a visit to the A&E department at the local Victoria Hospital, Murphy put on a tremendous performance which was a perfect example of why more artists really should cut back on the small talk and let their music speak for itself.

His extensive and enthusiastic use of the loop technique - adding layers of several repeated passages of music to create a fuller, more rounded sound - made his set about much more than one man and his guitar, though his superb electric guitar solos were the highlight of an evening which left his audience pining for more.