At home with our Kith & Kin

Ken Campbell and Linsey Aitken
Ken Campbell and Linsey Aitken

John Murray on music to complement the politics of 2014 ...

It’s all taking off now with the focus firmly on Scotland this week, not only throughout the UK but probably the world.

What better time than to highlight our great music to complement the politics?

Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell both sing and play cello, piano, pipes and guitar, blending traditional songs rearranged with brand new songs of a Scottish nature.

Kith & Kin (Birnam) has the music collaborations they have formed since 2010.

Ken has been a singer and writer for 30 years with five previous albums while Linsey uniquely uses her cello as a lead instrument, and her vocals are ideal for the styling here.

‘Dundee Bound’ is like a jaunty sea song while ‘Achachrome’ is a beautiful lament showcasing the relationship of cello and pipes.

‘Bonnie Rose’ similarly has the air of tranquility and the obvious soundtrack to a Scottish landscape.

Vocalist Dave Archibald from Edinburgh epitomises the blues. As part of the trio The Rising Souls, they are known around town for the jam sessions and now for their debut self-titled (and self-penned) album.

Songs like ‘Man In Black’ ooze class but scream for blues guitar solos to add to the atmospheric harmonica and justified vocals.

They can be found at various in and around Edinburgh.

Then I heard Killamonjambo, from the same record label but from Norfolk.

With the same surprise impact as Goldie Lookin Chain had when they parodied rap, these guys play ska, funk and reggae although their ‘Showdown’ and ‘Rip My Feet Away’ does have a rap section too, the latter featuring Goodyman, Blind Benny Walsh, Sensa and Slightly Offensive Steve.

Still in their early twenties, these guys sound like old pros with a tight brass section like the original Madness or Bad Manners when they burst on the scene.

‘Fiesta Moon Landing’ is the debut album and they obviously love their music, with long instrumental sections with some fine solo work.