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Willard Grant Conspiracy – Glad Cafe 10th September 2015

The Willard Grant Conspiracy touched down from the States the day before this engrossing gig on Glasgow’s south side – but they hit the ground running with an 80-minute set that proved when it comes to intriguing, intense and wonderful music they are hard to beat.

A WGC show is a welcoming, heart warming experience: we know the songs, we love the improvised arrangements, we absorb main man, Robert Fisher’s consistently glorious, baritone vocals.

At times, it’s all a bit like returning to a favourite book and finding a slight twist in the narrative, and being more than delighted to be caught slightly on the hop. It is never less than engrossing.

For this event long time collaborator, David Michael Curry (he accompanied Mr Fisher on his last Scottish visit in 2013 as well) and Jonah Sacks made up the trio: their contributions shouldn’t be under-stated. David’s inspired, edgy viola and Jonah’s sturdy and tender cello undertow brought icy light and deep colour in turn and in unison to the magnificent songs that flowed from the majestic WGC catalogue, stretching way back.

From opener, Preparing For The Fall from 2009 release, “Paper Covers Stone,” this joyous ncarnation of WGC were on a majestic roll. Each song was captivating while the trio of tracks plucked from the marvellous, “Regard The End” on 2003 – Fare Thee Well, Soft Hand and Rosalee – sounded as warm and spirited as on the day we first heard them.

With two new tracks in the set and a hint that a new album would be out some time next year, we headed out into the night so pleased that WGC had left the drought of California to slake our thirst for their incomparable songs.

Mike Ritchie

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