Italian alt.folk and Americana band (not a phrase we use that often) Angus McOg return to the UK for the first time in six years to play dates in support of acclaimed third album ‘Beginners’. Angus McOg is the group project of singer-songwriter Antoni Tavoni from Modena, in the north of the country, renowned as the home of the high-end sports-car industry.
The project took its first steps back in 2009, while staying at a friend’s place in Sydney. Back in Italy, the first album ‘Anorak’ was released in 2011, followed by ‘Arnaut’ in 2013. During this time, Angus McOg played gigs in Italy, France, the UK – performing a live session for NTS Radio – and the US, travelling alone or as a trio. In 2013 Antonio composed the music for independent director Stefano Cattini’s movie ‘Aishiteru My Love’. The following year he was invited to open the Italian shows on Thurston Moore’s The Best Day tour. Joining forces with multi-instrumentalist Di Mira, the pair composed an original score to ‘Regen’, the 1929 short by Dutch documentary-maker Joris Ivens. They then began working together on new material, combining Angus McOg’s folk-with-a-rock-attitude with a wider array of influences and orchestrations. This laid the foundations for ‘Beginners’.
Angus McOg’s way with words have always been a strong point and considerable effort has been invested in the lyrics of the new record, drafted as narrative sketches around the idea that “we’re all somehow beginners: beginners in love for the most part, which, by the way, basically implies being beginners in almost every sense.” While on one hand much of the creative process was informed by some fairly traditional songwriting, this time around the palette has been widened towards territories far from the classic alt-folk sounds that were previously the home ground for the band. Now acoustic guitars are joined by synthesizers, strings share the spectrum with drum loops, and instrumental reprises meet songs drafted on some simple guitar-bass-and-drums three-chord tunes. Think Wilco, The National or Father John Misty. Or don’t think, have a listen below.
The dates at the end of February include a London show at Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston on 28 February where they’ll be joined by Essex estuary songsmith M.G. Boulter.
Mon 25 Feb – Rebellion, Manchester
Tues 26 Feb – Thirsty Scholar, Manchester
Wed 27 Feb – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool
Thurs 28 Feb – Servant Jazz Quarters, London
Fri 1 Mar – The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea