Having settled across the waters by a remote region in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, Fergus McKay and his band, Nothing Concrete have fought to escape the furore of high living and encapsulated a lifestyle that epitomises the unconventional. In terms of their songwriting, their self imposed isolation – rejecting technology in favour of home-grown living – has transcended into a philosophy of inclusion; a sanctuary of community that encourages creative space and freedom.
While busking his way across Europe solo for many years, Fergus has absorbed the experiences on many and has woven them in neatly as source material into his songs. In times that followed, and several personnel changes later, the line up now sounds akin to the set up of a bad joke including; a Scotsman, an Italian, a Jewish percussionist, a Frenchman and a brace of tap-dancing saxophone players.
This music comes from a place where cabaret isn’t a novelty, and live music is a focal point for entertainment. The vibration of each note that emanates is as organic as where they were created. With the track recorded in an abandoned barn, and each member balancing the life of touring with raising their children, they embody a self-affirming lifestyle. This has yielded a synergy of acoustic led folk with 1930’s jazz that hybridizes both freedom and struggle.
The story of the track itself details the vantage of an ‘Old Black Crow‘, surveying a group of renegades on the run. This, in turn, feels awkwardly familiar to the vantage of the listener. From this perspective, the make-up of the numbers seems as bohemian and unconventional as the instruments they play.
Originally posted on: Songwriting Spotlight