Review: Admiral Fallow, Queen’s Hall

Admiral Fallow are setting sail on their most important year to date. Since forming in 2007, the Glasgow based folk-rock band have been making slow and steady progress, playing small venues and gradually building a niche for an enthusiastic fan-base. ***

A well-received debut album in 2011 and eye-catching turns as support act to more established bands have helped bring them to the attention of a wider audience. Now, with the release of brand new album Tree Bursts in Snow, a sold-out hometown gig in the Barrowlands under their belts and a tour of festivals and larger venues looming, there was a feeling at the Queen’s Hall that we were about to witness a band breaking through to the next level.

The band is built around singer-songwriter Louis Abbott, but all six band members make a large contribution and throughout the set they make use of a diverse collection of instruments to produce an impressive orchestral sound.

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The set opens with the title track from the new album, a sprawling epic that starts quietly and builds to an atmospheric rowdy conclusion.

This sets the tone for the rest of the evening with slower folk songs, such as the gritty Subbuteo and the sparse Old Fools, sitting alongside more upbeat rock tracks, such as set highlight Guest of the Government.

There is a strong encore of songs from the first album, featuring the melancholic Bomb Through The Town and energetic foot-stomper Squealing Pigs. However, there is little on offer that is ground-breaking or original. With overt influences from acts such as Del Amitri, Elbow and, most obviously, Frightened Rabbit, the overall effect is a sound that is disappointingly familiar and derivative.

Based on the positive reaction from the fans it is clear that their music resonates with a certain audience, and there can be no doubting their skill as musicians and performers. But unless they can find that extra something to set themselves apart, it seems Admiral Fallow might have missed the boat.

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