Music preview: Malcolm Middleton @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh

Published by METRO

It’s Latitude Festival 2008. After watching a band perform on the Sunrise Arena, I’m seriously considering staying for the next act – Malcolm Middleton. And right then, I hear someone say, in a thick Glaswegian accent: ‘Ah, no wonder he’s so bloody miserable, he’s from Falkirk.’

Granted, the intense melancholia and nihilism riddled in Middleton’s material isn’t going to make you want to hug random strangers down the street on first hearing. But please, chisel away at the somewhat uninviting surface of the world’s most exciting ‘sadcore’ artist, and find your reward in his engaging tragic tales and wicked sense of humour.

After first making a name for himself with now-defunct alternative rock outfit Arab Strap – a collaboration with friend Aidan Moffat that lived for ten years and spawned five acclaimed albums – Middleton released his first solo record back in 2002. Now, as he reaches the end of a two-week string of UK dates that has seen him perform tracks from his soon-available sixth offering, he’s bringing forth another project. Yet intriguingly, the singer-songwriter has been performing as new act Human Don’t Be Angry in addition to himself during the tour.

So, please be aware that, with songs such as We’re All Going To Die – for which he plays a drunken Santa Claus in the music video – Middleton doesn’t intend to bring some good old festive cheer to your hearts. But know that this macabre genius is nevertheless more than worthy of your visit tonight.

You see, all those years ago, I’d foolishly taken that naysayer’s comment on board. I missed this guy’s show. If you’ve any sense about you at all, you’ll avoid repeating my mistake.