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REVIEW: Thomas Truax

By Kyle Walker

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The photograph of Thomas Truax that hangs on the wall of the Market Bar.
The photograph of Thomas Truax that hangs on the wall of the Market Bar.

REVIEW: Thomas Truax ()*****

The Market Bar, Inverness

Monday, October 16

AT the close of the first half of his set, Thomas Truax is dancing awaltz with his trusted instrument the Hornicator – or at least,considering the tiny space he has on the Market Bar stage, attempting to– while singing, “Time is a merry-go-round.” And it’s the most naturalthing in the world.

Such is the Market Bar when Thomas comes to town – an evening ofeccentricity, eclecticism and spookily whimsical delight that brings itsregulars out in force.

Yet he wasn’t sure if he would make it at all, due to the potentialdevastation of Hurricane Ophelia. “I left Aberdeen in the middle of thenight – at 3pm,” he noted wryly at the beginning of his performance.

Thank God he made it though. Thomas as a solo performer is a fascinatingcraftsman – looping sound after sound through one of his manyinstruments into a strange and marvellous whole. Songs like You WhistleWhile You Sleep – played on something called a String-a-ling (becausethere are lots of strings on it to pull and create sound with) – andEverything’s Going Halloween – played on the aforementioned Hornicator –build up note by marvellously dissonant note.

What makes Thomas such an interesting singer-songwriter goes furtherthan his hand-crafted instruments however. His songwriting craft isfantastically versatile. These strange and eerie songs go hand in handwith a song like Save Me, an intimate and melancholy guitar lament thatmanages the impossible – silencing the Market Bar for two entire minutes.

Throughout the whole thing, Thomas remains an engagingly batty presenceat the centre of everything – at times the gig resembles street theatremore than it does mere music.

During Full Moon over Wowtown, he moves among the pub crowd – allsinging cheerfully along to the chorus – singing without microphone orPA. Before moving into the toilet and serenading whoever was in there.Before moving outside to the Market Bar alleyway.

It’s a show unlike any other – inventive, intriguing and incalculable inequal measure – and one that could be best summed up by the man himself.Half way through the second half, shortly after leading the crowd in arip-roaringly loud and defiant sing-along of You Are My Sunshine (“it’srelated to the hurricane,” we’re informed), Thomas tells the gatheredcrowd, “I’ll tell you what Inverness – there ain’t nobody who does aMonday like you.”

Likewise, Thomas.

For more information about Thomas Truax, go to www.thomastruax.com

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