Scocha Brunton Theatre

Scocha strode on to the Brunton stage to the delight of a capacity crowd, many of whom were already clearly committed fans of the Hawick based band. The setting for the kilted and t-shirted troubadours was impressive, the stage bedecked with the band’s logo backdrop and clever application of lighting and dry ice to set the scene. Quickly into the opening number “Jumpers for Goalposts”, a lively celebration of childhood escapades, and their description of their music as “folk’n’roll” becomes more than apt. The programme unfolds with many more songs in a similar vein - upbeat, enthusiastic and direct Scottish folk-rock, largely self-penned but mixed with some rousing arrangements of traditional standards like “The Rolling Hills of the Borders”.

A few ballads are included in a well-balanced mix, with plenty couthy banter delivered in the infectious Borders “brogue”. Great numbers like “Irn Bru” and “Burke and Hare” from their new album “Scattyboo” ensured that they left Musselburgh with a lot more fans in the diverse theatre audience.

The band are currently a five-piece, with most vocals by Ian Scott and David Chapman who stick primarily to acoustic guitars, along with Dougie Anderson on electric guitar, Phil Clayton on bass and Ross Walsh on drums. Bouzouki, whistle, pipes, harmonica and bodhrans are also utilised in a crisp, punchy sound which, on top of the presentation and musicianship, indicates that Scocha have the whole package to put on a great show. I’m sure Musselburgh would appreciate a swift return from these gifted “braw lads”. Certainly, one of the seats will be occupied by this reviewer!

Peter Gillan