Scale

Scale is a spoken word piece telling the ancient Scottish legends of the Brahan Seer. Poet Colin Bramwell is writer, performer and composer all rolled into one.

The music itself is very good – hauntingly evocative of the Scottish highlands in which the is story is set.

Bramwell personally welcomes us to his show and explains that this is his own take on the traditional figure who is supposed to have made predictions about the future using an adder stone with a hole in it. Competing against the noise of a bustling bar behind him, he is a one-man band even operating the music off his phone.

The music itself is very good – hauntingly evocative of the Scottish highlands in which the is story is set. Sadly, the poetry is unpolished, meandering and opaque. Bramwell speaks in a monotone. He fails to make eye contact and often mumbles his words. His welcome is enthusiastic and friendly but as soon as the poetry starts he loses all rapport with us, isolating himself in self-consciousness. Worse still are the songs that intersperse the poetry – his voice not strong enough to command the falsetto harmonies he has written.

The story is extremely hard to follow with a flow of obscure references and far too many adjectives. Some lines are horrendously cringeworthy (‘her wrinkly old cunt smelt of mackerel’). Overall his mode of description is so bland – ‘he looks around with his other eye and surveys the crowd’ – that what should be an epic narrative fails to grip.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A woman, sleeping by a lonely Lewis beach, wakes to the sound of ravens taking flight. The moonlight leads her to a kirkyard, where the ghost of an ancient princess foretells the birth of Coinneach Odhr, the Brahan Seer. Scale combines poetry, music and storytelling to take you on a mythic journey to the Scottish Highlands. Conceived and designed on the Black Isle, Scale debuted at last year’s Hidden Door festival, where audiences described it as original and moving. Witness the prophecy of the Brahan Seer – the future will unfold as in a dream.

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