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Edinburgh-based theatrical pop singer/songwriter Angus Munro scales up as he brings full band and four octaves of vocal power to The Tooth and Claw, Inverness for headline gig

By Kyle Walker

THEATRICAL pop maestro Angus Munro is no stranger to Inverness – and the city is no stranger to his gymnastic vocals.

The jazzy Edinburgh-based singer/songwriter with a four octave vocal range has appeared all over the city and beyond – with slots at Belladrum and XpoNorth, as well as a concert alongside Glasgow neojazz outfit Fat Suit at the Ironworks.

His return to the Highlands this time sees Angus’s name at the top of the bill – as he brings the full band with him for a headline gig at the Tooth and Claw.

To say that Angus is excited would be an understatement. “Very much so!” he exclaims. “Normally when I show up there I’m a guest or I play a very small slot, and I have a great time. So it’s nice to have a show where it’s just me and my team.

“Especially in Inverness – it’s the biggest smallest city that I’ve ever been to, because they have so much crammed into the one section. In the centre there’s so much happening and then you go outside and it’s just small houses and farms.

“And then you step back into it and it’s like big buildings, train station, a Jamaican restaurant, Kool Runnings – which is amazing!”

Angus Munro. Picture: Edward Taylor
Angus Munro. Picture: Edward Taylor

And bringing the full band with him will free Angus a little bit from his solo piano man duties. “When it’s just me and the piano, I sit down and work out very intricate arrangements on the keys to make up for all the orchestrations and arrangements that are in my head when I put them to paper.

“But when the band’s coming up with me as well, I get to have all those ideas in my head just come to fruition with guitars, vocals, bass, drums, quirky smashy piano that I get to do.

“My piano’s in pretty bad shape because I’ve been smashing it a lot. But it’s lasted me these 10 years, so you know it’s definitely done me a hell of a lot of good – and it’s going to be in fine shape for Inverness.”

Since Angus’s last appearance in the Highland capital back at XpoNorth 2018, his career has jumped on in leaps and bounds. This year saw the rerelease of his EP Mirror Man – now in deluxe, extended form, complete with physical releases on CD and vinyl.

“It originally came out in 2017 with less tracks, without any backing or national radio support – as we all start, really,” Angus explained. “And as the years went on, it was one of those rare things that caught on through word of mouth, something you can’t quantify – which I wish I could!”

Getting to hold your own EP in your hands was a milestone in the singer/songwriter’s career. “Even though I’m more than happy to be digital, I felt that at least for this record I wanted one vinyl record. I can be like, ‘I’ve got this,; and put it on the shelf with the rest of my music and my dad’s music – cool, I’ve made a dent in his record collection.

“And it was really something having all those boxes delivered to my house, just opening up the first one and being like, ‘Ah, it’s here!’

“I was freaking out, I thought something would have been warped or the stickers would have been placed improperly but nope – it was all perfect. No problem.”

For a taste of the EP – and what can be expected at the Tooth and Claw on Friday – a curious mind could do a lot worse than looking out Angus’s latest single Equaliza.

Out last Friday, the song is an honest, emotional examination of a toxic relationship and Angus’s own relationship with antidepressants.

“Equaliza came about in a time in my life where I was going through quite a toxic relationship, and I was dealing with – or I wasn’t dealing with – my mental health issues,” Angus explained.

“And it came at a crux when I started combating them – I thought, ‘I’m getting out of this relationship,’ and started speaking to therapists, etcetera. After months and months, the therapist was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to prescribe you this stuff. It’s quite high dosage but you take your time, it’ll kick in.’

“So I started using [the antidepressant] citalopram, and I noticed that I was able to I was able to just focus on things. I wasn’t just feeling sad all the time for no reason, or happy all the time. I was able to form thoughts and proper opinions without my emotions taking control.”

“And at the same time that I was taking those meds, I was thinking ‘Am I going to have to be on these forever?’ And it was a thought process of what if I could write a song that could liken being in this relationship or feeling like I needed to be in this relationship forever to taking these antidepressants. Like the only way I could function was to be in this relationship or to be on these depressants.

“And it’s when I had that thought I was like, ‘I’m going to write Equaliza.’”

Angus Munro comes to The Tooth and Claw on Friday night. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12 (plus booking fee). Search Angus Munro on Facebook or Twitter.

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