Rather like both The Waterboys and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, both of whom Fergus McKay and Nothing Concrete most closely resemble (as the crow flies, ba-dum-tish!), the minute you start to describe them and folk; soul; blues, the quicker you begin to question your haste in defining them. Fergus and his group of disparate followers are folk and blues in the sense they play ‘real’ instruments and sing whilst telling stories but also cabaret in presentation and country in parts…not to mention the dreaded “world” phrase. I could go on.
Though the novelty of tap-dancing female horn players will only paper over cracks in the songwriting for so long but Nothing Concrete do have a unique code for life which sets them aside from many other bands. Having rejected the capitalist roar of the metropolis, they (men, women and children) have relocated from their respective countries across Europe to gather in the foothills of the Pyrenees, surviving (how!?) without television and internet and enjoying a particularly continental Good Life of self-sufficiency. The songs are themselves orphans of sorts, gathered from folk tales and conversations as they travel to their rip-roaring live shows. Old Black Crow is your a-typical blues-folk romp with equal measure of humour and disaster, all viewed from the feathered bystander’s view.