Rambler (fka Caitlin Buchanan) - The Blue Arrow - 23/01/20

24 Jan 2020 , Review by Graham McCusker

Rambler (fka Caitlin Buchanan) - The Blue Arrow - 23/01/20

Singer-songwriter Caitlin Buchanan entrances in another wonderful Celtic Connections show

The brand new project of singer-songwriter Caitlin Buchanan, Rambler is unveiled this evening in her first headline performance as part of Celtic Connections. The intimate confines of jazz club The Blue Arrow, gorgeously draped in red light, is the perfect space for Buchanan to unveil her new material and guise.

Buchanan takes to the stage and immediately stuns the audience into hushed silence with her deep vocal which alternates from a delicate baritone to a soaring powerhouse effortlessly. The intimacy of the venue coupled with Buchanan’s delightfully ramshackle guitar-picking is akin to being present during Jeff Buckley’s famous Sin-é residency, with all the talent too. In her new Rambler guise, Buchanan shares the same sonic warmth as contemporaries such as Siobhan Wilson and Rachel Sermanni, but with a blunt honesty which permeates her material. As she sings “I appreciate your kindness, but fuck your Sunday best” - never has a lyric so stinging sounded so beautiful – the realness from lived experience is evident as she exudes emotion while she performs.

Tonight may be all about new material, but it is an older song which is the highlight of the evening. ‘Cold Again’ is a gorgeous lament drowning in self-loathing, which is a recurring feature of the Rambler lyrical repertoire, and Buchanan sings “I know I’m alone, though it’s awful to hear”; her expression emoting every word. As the song finishes, there is a typically Scottish shout of “you’re class!”, and there is nothing to suggest anyone else is in disagreement.

Buchanan has an awkwardly charming presence onstage and has to remind herself to stop being self-deprecating while onstage this evening, but you’d be foolish to write her off. Rambler is easily one of the brightest talents in the country right now.


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Review - Rambler (fka Caitlin Buchanan) - The Blue Arrow - 23/01/20 - Glasgowmusic.co.uk