Gigs · Music

Blue Rose Code again

Ross Wilson at Coda Music Edinburgh

Ross Wilson (Blue Rose Code) performing an instore set at Coda Music in Edinburgh on 4th November last year, the day after his sold out show at The Queen’s Hall.
The gig and the instore were in support of the magnificent “The Water of Leith” album. One of the albums of the year and one of the gigs of the year for me.

Blue Rose Code Water of Leith

Fatea Records’ Male Artist of 2017, recent new father, all round good guy.

Gigs · Music

Blue Rose Code’s secret fans’ show


Blue Rose Code's secret fans' show in Leith


Friday 28th April at Leith Folk Club; Wild Lyle Watt, Colin Steele, Ross Wilson and John Lowrie playing as Blue Rose Code. Photo by John Foley, who organised the show.
John arranged this secret show on Friday night for some Italian fans who wanted to come to Edinburgh to see the band. He then opened up the gig to other fans via a Facebook group.
The show was in the same week as my and my partner’s “anniversary,” so I was pleased to be able to get tickets and tell her we were going out on Friday, but not saying where. I reckoned the jig would be up the minute we reached the Victoria Park House in Ferry Road, but incredibly, there was no Blue Rose Code advertising or merchandise; the man on the box office just asked if we were “here for the concert;” and nobody in the capacity audience said anything before Ross and the band started to play! All good!
The secret, home-town show was a massive success and served to emphasise how far Blue Rose Code has progressed in the last few years. It’s long been remarked, accurately if lazily, that Ross’ music is a great melange of Moondance and Solid Air; now I’m also getting a bit of the wounded majesty of Plastic Ono Band, which is, of course, the best album ever made.
Colin Steele, in particular, was flying that night.
Next Edinburgh show is on the launch date of the new album, November 3rd.
Thanks to all who made this show happen.

Gigs · Music

Blue Rose Code – Live at St Pancras Old Church, London 2014


Blue Rose Code - Live at St Pancras Old Church

This is a 9-track live CD by the excellent Blue Rose Code available from their website and Coda Music in Edinburgh.

Blue Rose Code is Ross Wilson, sometimes with others, sometimes not. He seems to have come out of nowhere for me; I first saw his picture on Coda’s website, posing with a copy of Songs in the Key of Life in his hand, so I realised there was something good going on.

He may have a back story, but it’s close to his chest. He is not a young man, but I’m not aware of him having been around the Edinburgh music scene forever. What I can piece together from the songs and from comments made at shows is that he is from Edinburgh, had “issues,” went to London, got better, then came back to Edinburgh. Edinburgh certainly means a lot to him and crops up either explicitly or by allusion in the work. His beautiful Edina (Robert Fergusson’s poetic name for Edinburgh,) opens with this stunning couplet, before asking “Would you forgive me? What do you say Edina?”

I often think about the nights,

the times before I learnt that all my days’ve got a number…

I first saw him opening for Ethan Johns last year, just him and a female co-vocalist, it piqued my interest and I got his second album “The Ballads of Peckham Rye,” (noting the Muriel Spark, so obliquely Edinburgh, reference) and loved it. Saw him with a band at one of three sold out shows at The Edinburgh Fringe last year, then again with a better band toward the end of the year when I got his first album North Ten, which I also enjoyed.

And now we have this live recording, which in many ways consolidates where he has got to with his work – songs from each of the albums are given unique new readings, harnessing the talents of the (unaccredited) musicians with whom he was playing that night…it’s all grand stuff, although I would have lived without the thing that sounds like an Omnichord…

Blue Rose Code are appearing at The Voodoo Rooms on Sunday 26 April and I look forward to the next chapter.