One man and his guitar: it’s a classic combination that, when done well, reaps its rewards. On this occasion, Nick Keir delighted a receptive audience with several catchy numbers and effortless guitar playing.
Perhaps the most surprising element to this performance is how well Keir’s voice has aged. He still possesses a lovely tenor tone to his voice which allows him to play youthful music comfortably with energy and zing. He showed himself to be an excellent storyteller, both through his own music and in the interludes between songs, when he recalled particularly amusing tales from his past. However, a lot of the jokes were lost on anyone who didn’t know Edinburgh well. This ability to tell a good tale was reflected in his music, which is peppered with mature, thoughtful lyrics and interesting topics, set to beguiling melodies. It was hard to not become endeared to Keir as the hour rolled swiftly by.
The highlights of the show were undoubtedly when he played his own material, which is rare for an act such as this. Often original songs are eclipsed by music from more established artists, but such was the songwriting flair of the man that his covers seemed to pale in comparison to his own work. Indeed, it was a shame that he didn’t stick entirely to his own work, as his rendition of ‘Home Is Behind’ from the recent Lord of the Rings films didn’t live up to the original version by fellow Scot Billy Boyd. While it is impressive that he’s been touring with the Tolkien Ensemble alongside actor Christopher Lee and the accompanying story was hilarious, the music didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the set and was far from being the best vocal performance of the night.
Aside from this, though, Keir presented a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening of music, clearly demonstrating his capable songwriting abilities and wide-ranging musical palette. He’s definitely worth seeking out again in the future.