Hootananny’s Ceilidh Bar
ADMIRAL Fallow’s last visit saw the Glasgow band occupy the main stage of The Ironworks, so it was little surprise that this show saw the more cramped Hoots’ stage struggle to contain all six members of the band — or their sound.
The Fallow crew certainly punch above their weight sonically, swapping instruments and blending voices.
As their near a cappella encore showed, the band do not actually need voices to entrance an audience who were respectfully hushed for the quieter numbers and sufficiently enthused for what frontman Louis Abbott promised would be "Tuesday night party music" such as Squealing Pigs or the infectiously stomping The Paper Trench.
Having taken some time off to work on new album Tiny Rewards, there have been some changes in the Admiral Fallow camp.
The songwriting workload is now more evenly shared amongst the group, but Abbott remains the dominant figure.
He brought something of a master of ceremonies touch to his frontman duties as his fellow bandmates added their own talents to the mix, whether Sarah Hayes switching from shimmering piano to lithe flute or the clarinet of Kevin Brolly, a key component of that unique indie-folk sound.
Although this was supposedly a tour promoting their latest album, Admiral Fallow also dipped into their back catalogue for songs from both debut Boots Met My Face and follow-up Tree Bursts in Snow, keeping their long term fans happy.
However, they also detoured into some of the more obscure corners of their repertoire with newer song Broughty Ferry, only available on the bonus disc of Tiny Rewards, being as warmly welcomed as some of the more familiar numbers.
Taking a moment to wish the best to bar manager Stuart Skinner, who had been badly burnt in an accident the night before, and thank the rest of the Hoots’ staff for "busting a gut" to make sure the bar reopened for the show, Abbott also promised that it would not be another three years before Admiral Fallow returned to Inverness.
The band’s brand of honest and accessible music obviously strikes a chord with the Inverness audience.
And if, as with the other venues of this up close and personal tour, they were unable to walk off stage between "final song" and inevitable encore, that just cut down the gap between songs before Admiral Fallow exited on a high with the defiant Old Balloons.