C Duncan - Interview and Gig Review

6th February 2017

As C Duncan and his band begin the first few chords of their opening song, it’s hard to believe this is just a five piece band. The noise escaping the stage sounds more like something that rather should be created by a large choir or ensemble. C Duncan, or Chris, met me earlier that evening and told of his classical music upbringing and studies in musical composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. And this influence is evident in every way within his music. His songs are not your typical pop songs; the music appears more superior than that with his startling use of harmony. Duncan’s vocals can be compared to that of Fleet Foxes and the music resembles that of genre folk-psychedelia. But to define the music somehow detracts from the surreal and utterly unique soundscape that Duncan so elegantly engineers.

The band played majority songs from latest album The Midnight Sun (released back in October), including single ‘Otherside’ as well as brand new B-Side ‘Sipping’. A more electronic focused style of music, Duncan states his biggest influence for the album as 1950s TV show The Twilight Zone. However when Duncan brought back old track ‘Say’ from his debut album Architect, it was met with the loudest applause. I felt the absence of material from Architect and personal favourite song 'Garden', but think perhaps I haven't warmed to the new album quite as much as the first. Duncan says himself he believes The Midnight Sun to be a grower.  

Chris and the band were certainly settled to playing in front of the packed Newcastle crowd - the band's third visit to venue the Cluny. It became apparent the audience was sophisticated; hard music-lovers mixing with the bands friends and families (Duncan’s local grannie unfortunately couldn't make the gig, but Chris made sure she felt included by taking a video of the crowd cheering her name to send to her later). Duncan introduced his band throughout the show casually sipping on a glass of red wine. He described his keyboard player as ‘the wiz kid with amazing fingers’ before joking that ‘this is why I shouldn’t take wine on stage.’ The music quickly resumed with a promise that ‘the rest of Glasgow aren’t as weird as us’.

Listen below to the interview with Chris before the show.

(C Duncan, The Cluny - 27th January)

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