Roddy Frame and his band Aztec Camera started in 1983 on the great post punk label Postcard Records before moving to Rough Trade where he relased his debut album. Tonight he’s appearing here in this old theatre to play that debut 1983 album “High Land, Hard Rain” in its entirety.
There’s no support, he basically comes onstage with just an acoustic guitar to warm us up before the main event. He’s in amiable mood, chatting good naturedly as he plays songs like “How men are” and “Spanish horses”, both still sounding great and reminding us just what a good song writer he is.
He’s then joined by a bassist and drummer to perform some songs from what he calls his “East Kilbride period”. These are basically the songs he wrote when he was around 15 or 16 that didn’t make it onto his debut album. The songs sound just as good as those on the album, so he must have been going through a seriously creative patch when he was writing and recording this stuff whay back then. Frame then goes on to say that his early manifesto when he first started out was to combine Wes Montgomery with The Clash but that The Clash won.
After a twenty minute interval Roddy Frame returns to play the thirty year old album “High Land, Hard Rain” and it really is great to hear such an accomplished album played in its entirety. The original album had The Ruts’ drummer Dave Ruffy on it and tonight Frame is backed by a drummer, bass player, rhythm guitarist and keyboard player and they faithfully recreate the sonund of the album. Frame jokes that by the looks of the audience we must have been to a few classic album shows in our time so we know the drill. He explains that he had already moved to London from Scotland and was living in a place called Highlands Avenue in Acton when Rough Trade heard his songs.
The first track on the album is “Oblivious” and it’s a great opening to a show and an album, still sounding epic and getting a huge reaction from the sold out audience. He then proceeds through the album, with “Walk out to Winter” and “Pillar to Post” both getting huge cheers. Roddy Frame gives us little anecdotes about each song before he launches into them and says that he’s having such a great time playing this classic album show that he’ll have to write another classic album so he can do this again. The last song on the album is “Down the Dip” and it’s a great way to end an enjoyable show.
After a short break, he encores with “Killermont Street” and “Somewhere in my heart” to round off a perfect showcasing of what really is a classic album. He’s due back with some new songs in 2014 so it will be good to hear some future classics from a great songwriter.