The Severed Limb at Edinburgh Festival

Ok, so I can’t honestly tell you that before Edinburgh Festival that I was exactly into skiffle music let alone anything else that ever came out of the 1950s, but the Severed Limb very quickly changed that attitude. For those of you who aren’t aware of the skiffle scene of 1950s London, it was basically a poor or working man’s brand of rock n’ roll, complete with folk and makeshift instruments such as the washboard, accordion, double bass and ukulele. These skiffle bands became something of a musical underground of the bars and speakeasies across the poorer districts of London, with many playing through the night to the accompaniment of clattering glasses and drunken singing. Word is on the street that these guys are playing at Dunblane next, so get that Dunblane hotel booked!

When these guys came on, it’s fair to say that I had already had a few drinks down me. More than a few probably – but that’s besides the point: within less than ten seconds of their opening track, the Severed Limb had managed to turn a mild-mannered and politely-clapping gaggle of evening festival-goers into a wild, whooping hoedown. Now, I’ve been to more than my fair share of gigs in my time, but it’s rare that you ever see anything like this. It was funny and a sight to behold. So, my friends and I decided to stop being killjoys and join in the merrymaking. With only one electric instrument on stage, a guitar, these boys could work miracles with pieces of wood, string, skin and catgut. Even though every single one of the five were more than just talented with their instruments, the man that well and truly stole the show was the washboard player. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, let alone write this but the washboard has got to be one of the most underrated, coolest instruments in the world. Well, for percussion anyway – in that department all these guys had was the washboard and the snare drum. So, if you’re in for some washboard action, check these guys out at Glasgow and book that central Glasgow hotel ASAP!

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September 21, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Attractions


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