Ross Wilson of Blue Rose Code has gone through quite a transformative journey in the past 18 months. From a small maybe 60-70 person gig at St Bride's Centre for Acoustic Music last year to selling out its main 240-seater this year is a pretty measurable amount of success in anyone's book.
A truly visceral and magical moment of the Festival
Having just come off the back of touring his most recent album The Ballads of Peckham Rye, this was Blue Rose Code's first outing for some of his new material from the upcoming album and it's been a tense wait for audiences; the excitement and anticipation was palpable. He did not disappoint.
Opening with new track Grateful and venturing once again into piano-playing, he had the audience on side from the word 'go'. Those who know him seemed to respond amazingly well and those who didn't were very quickly charmed. Throughout various tracks he asked special guests to join him, and a huge mention has to go to Portobello-based musician Colin Steele who joined some tracks on jazz trumpet. This was a new and pleasing addition to the arrangement of BRC and the huge church hall responded so well to it, as did the audience.
His lyrics are truthful and have soul; his arrangements buzz with understanding and his melodies are truly beautiful. Add a bit of Scottish accent in there and you'll start to get a great idea of what makes Blue Rose Code so special to its ever-expanding fan base.
As an Edinburgh-born singer and songwriter there is something so apt and appropriate about Blue Rose Code performing as part of the Edinburgh Fringe; it's almost quintessentially Edinburghian. As the St Bride's church rings with lyrics about Easter road and Great Junction Street it became, for me, a truly visceral and magical moment of the Festival this year.
Ross' online bio puts it a lot better than I could: "If you've not yet heard the music of Blue Rose Code, well, you're late to the party but we've saved you a seat."