REVIEW: SCOTT CANDLISH EP LAUNCH, ‘HOME AWAY FROM HOME’ – THE WORKERS CLUB, FITZROY (23/2/17)

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love a live gig. I love them even more when the gig belongs to someone I’ve recently met.
February 23 of 2017 was one of those nights.

I had seen Scott Candlish play before, as an opening act for fellow Melbourne act, The Hunter Express. I have also recently interviewed him, learnt his story and published his profile online. As a result, my respect for him continually grows. The launch of his EP ‘Home Away From Home’ had everyone in the Bandroom at The Workers Club grooving along.

Opening the night was Citrus Jam and let’s just say I was completely lost for words. The fusion of flamenco and metal with just his acoustic guitar, brought his absolute A-game. Despite sitting on a chair the entire set, he was able to manipulate his guitar and his loop pedal into something that was a completely new experience for me. And that is what I love about music, and in particular live music. That is how you know that they know music.

Everyone in the audience was awestruck and I even heard passing comments from them such as “that’s nuts” and “that is pure mental.” The best part of his set though, was that he was a damn good guitarist and an excellent musician who knew exactly what he was doing to get the crowd going. I must add that Jena’s highlight of the set was when he played his own rendition of Sandstorm.

C5jcOFDWQAAygvP.jpgFollowing Citrus Jam was two-piece band Wolf and Willow. They could not have been a further different genre and the only thing the two acts had in common were that they both used guitars (just goes to show how good guitars are!) You could tell from the first song that they were laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of guys, but they gelled really well together. The lead vocalist was silky smooth, yet still gave off Passenger vibes.

The best part of their set was their interactivity, both with each other and with the crowd. They were definitely ‘all about the music,’ as they explained via one of their songs and gave a good live performance.

Without a doubt, Brad Ellis of The Hunter Express is one of the best musicians I’ve seen across Melbourne. Having been impressed with him last time I saw him, I figured he was going to be back at his best. And he was. He is able to alternate between funky, upbeat tunes and laid-back folk songs whilst maintaining his musicianship the entire time.

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I made comments on his single Hoping You Don’t Mind at All when I last wrote a review on one of his gigs. This song is just fantastic and honestly one that everyone should know. It is a mixture of big-band and roots, and the lyrics are so catchy you will be singing them for days. He got Scott up on stage to sing alongside him and that just made it all the more better.

Scott returned to the stage not too far later as the main act of the night. His opening track Flee, gave the audience a piece of exactly who he is as an artist. A traditional folk track with heartfelt, expressive lyrics was the perfect way to launch the Home Away From Home set.

It was awesome to see Scott’s pop and rock sides. The band was great and if it wasn’t for the fact that he told me it was only the second time he’d play with them in a couple years, I wouldn’t have known any better. Tracks Thrown It Your Way, Contact List were catchy, upbeat and relatable. His cover of Dave Matthews’ Grey Street was epic, and the band just brought the house down.

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Shown Me Why and The Stranger were my two favourite songs of the night. They showed off how good his vocals were, and I appreciated his guitar work (despite what he says about instruments!) Shown Me Why was definitely a noteworthy track and one I could see going places. Monsters was also another highlight, as he stripped it right back and gave everything into this personal and encapsulating track.

Scott finished off the night the only way he could- with possibly the most folky song on the EP, Two Feet. It was also the first track released from it and sums up the concept of the EP entirely. He made me respect him even more at the conclusion of the night adding an extra song onto the set list to give his adoring crowd an ‘encore.’

A big hand goes to all the artists as they worked really well with the crowd and kept the majority of people engaged whilst giving awesome performances. I mean, we were hooked!

All in all, it was another memorable night at The Workers’ Club. Congratulations to Scott on the release of his EP Home Away From Home.

I can guarantee you will be hearing more of his name in the future.

To purchase the EP: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/home-away-from-home/id1198694079

To follow Scott Candlish, click the following links:
SoundcloudTwitter | Facebook Instagram

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

SCOTT CANDLISH

“I break my influences down into categories because I want a grasp on a bit of everything. Folk is the main one, but ‘folk’ is a broad term. Singer-songwriter folk is definitely where my heart is.”

It’s not everyday you meet an upcoming artist is so willingly wearing his heart on his sleeve and delving into what his music means to him. I’m talking about Melbourne born and bred singer-songwriter Scott Candlish.

The 25 year old has been playing guitar since he was 14, but he admits it wasn’t until his later years of high school that he realised that music was all he wanted to do.

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“I’ve always loved music, but I guess I started [taking it seriously] a bit later- not at a ripe age or anything. I was working with a singing teacher during my late high school years and there were a few defining moments where I was like ‘yeah this is enjoyable,’ and thought about doing it professionally.”

For Scott, it was moments like these that gave him the confidence to keep going. One memory in particular that he recalls was his first gig at the Hawthorn Hotel. Despite being nervous, he confesses that there wasn’t a lot of pressure going in.

“It’s like anything once you get the hang of it and get into it. It’s definitely good fun though. I was dreading it leading up to it, but once I was on stage there wasn’t too much pressure to do my thing.”

Not only has Scott’s confidence increased since this very first gig, he has established himself as a songwriter. Admitting he’s complacent with the musical instruments he knows, his music goals include progressing his songwriting.

“I don’t have the drive to learn every single instrument out there. I am learning the piano, but I’ve got to lift my game with that. I really just want to get better as a musician. I love writing and I want to keep writing. I try to keep pushing my writing because I fear I might run out of things to write about. It’s so satisfying writing something you’re happy with.”

Describing himself as a ‘self-indulgent’ writer, he bases his music on his own experiences. Often reflecting on negative experiences in his writing, he uses it as a form of therapy. It hasn’t always come easy for him; however, in the beginning he felt incapable of writing lyrics.

“I used to be scared of sharing my experiences, and what other people would think about them. How they would come across, as well. I used to play a lot of covers, and I still love playing the things I listen to. Even now, I feel like I often rewrite the same kind of songs.”

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Songwriting seems to be a complicated process and every artist I’ve spoken to has their own method of doing it. Scott on the other hand, doesn’t really have one particular method. It generally begins with a chord progression on the guitar and then placing it together.

“It kind of snowballs. I’ll start with the chords, then force a line over it. Sometimes that one line dictate the basis of the song. I’ve tried writing lyrics first, but it’s harder to match them up to a melody. I find it more efficient to have the melody first, because then you have the sound of the song.”

Much like any other songwriter, Scott has his fair share of influences that affect his writing and his music. Unlike many other songwriters, he has influences across all genres. He is heavily influenced by folk music, as this is where he hones in specifically. His Scottish background means he is also influenced by Celtic folk.

“Folk is the main one, but ‘folk’ is a broad term. Singer-songwriter folk is definitely where my heart is- artists such as Ryan Adams, Damien Rice and Ben Howard. There are other peripherals as well. I’d consider myself primarily folk-rock. So there are rock influences in there: The Beatles, 90s/early 2000s Silverchair, Dave Matthews and his band Incubus, Radiohead.

“I get little bits of my Dad’s music and I hear direct influences of the Celtic-folk. I just want to hear more and more of that music. He used to play at folk clubs and places like that. It’s the traditional folk music, and different to the strand of folk you get today. It’s organically the root of all my folk. He’s shown me a whole bunch of records of local folk music from Scotland. It’s stuff I’d want to write.”

Scott’s Scottish roots merge with his own travels on his latest EP Home Away From Home. Situating itself within the one major theme, he explains his struggles of finding the place he was most comfortable whilst being away from home and travelling. The EP explores his journey to find that place. While each song depicts a slightly different story, they filter within the idea of finding a sense of comfort when you’re in a foreign or unusual position.

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“Travelling has so much to do with the EP as well. When I’ve been in a bad way, the experience of travelling has allowed me to shape things back together- to feel comfortable in an environment that becomes my home away from home. One country in particular that helped this was Barcelona, which happens to be the front cover of the EP [a picture overlooking the city]. I fell in love with it.”

His highlights from the EP include writing and recording Two Feet and Monsters. He also loved getting a banjo involved, having adored the sound and the timbre.

Scott will be debuting the EP at The Workers Club on February 23rd. It’ll be the second show he’s played with a band in the past two years. “It’s a new experience for me, but I will be reflecting on that. The priority is for the band to come together and sound good.”

“I put everything into my music when I’m making it, especially if it’s sounding good and working out.”

Scott will be debuting Home Away From Home at The Workers Club on February 23rd. You can purchase tickets here.

You can check out Scott at the following:

Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra