+ Support from Neil Sutcliffe
Covering a jump jive leap that spans rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, classic country and western swing to manouche gypsy jazz and cool ‘50s lounge lizard grooviness, reviewers have picked up on the obvious points of reference such as Carl Perkins or Louis Jordan. But with influences proudly up front and enthusiastically celebrated, Awkward Family Portraits also inject a distinctly 21st century freshness that is laden with spades of roguish charm and humour to interpretations and all band originals.
Selected as Tenement TV’s “Ones To Watch for 2018”, the band underscored their serious intent to live up to that by putting out two killer singles via Glasgow’s Holy Smokes Records. Conjuring up the ambiance of classic duets from Les Paul and Mary Ford, with ‘Baby Blue’ featuring Cara Rose, and drafting in respected Scottish roots artist Daniel Meade for some guest piano rattling on ‘Please Baby Please’, they quickly gathered in even more attention. Encouraged by the reaction, the band went on to crowd-fund their debut album ‘Everything We’ve Done Up Until Now Except What We’ve Done Since’ a collection of songs that developed as they grew in stature to appear at big events such as Country2Country, Celtic Connections, HebCelt Festival and Belladrum while continuing to tour extensively across the UK and in The Netherlands and Spain.
Firm favourites on the big occasions with an infectious ability to bring fun as well as startling musicianship to the stage, that signature sparkle of witty presentation is rarely absent and was featured in the promo video they put out in support of the track, ‘Ring, Ring, Angus’. ‘Don’t Drink Whisky, It’s Risky’ recalls all the spit ‘n’ sawdust honky tonk glory of Commander Cody & The Lost Plant Airmen’s ‘Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)’, and wallowing happily in the kind of don’t-ya-just-love-it territory visited by the likes of Two Man Gentlemen Band, The Wiyos and Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks, it’s hugely smile-inducing with a just-right spoonful of zing from start to finish.
“What a great band!” – Roddy Hart, BB
Suuport – Neil Sutcliffe
Neil Sutcliffe is an accordionist, pianist and folksinger from Stirling. In 2021 he completed his BMus (Honours) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Glasgow, where he studied classical accordion with Djordje Gajic. Since then, he has performed regularly around the UK both as a soloist and with his duo Roo and Neil.
As a singer, Neil has inherited a love of folksong from his parents, and has a broad repertoire of ballads, protest songs, bairn-sangs, and comic songs. He blends storytelling into his performance, sharing tales of the folk, places and events that inspired tunes and songs.