After a short mysterious delay to the published start time, Cocoanut Groove (of Sweden rather than Scotland) took to the stage, played an equally mysteriously perfunctory set of joyous 60's influenced jangly pop and were gone again. A couple of the guitar intros threatened to turn into Beatles or Shadows songs but that is certainly nothing to complain about!!
The Spook School covered the second slot of the night and gave the impression of thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout as always. While the band clearly have their own wonderfully chaotic bouncy sound which permeates the entire set, the different singing (and quite probably writing) styles of Nye & Adam, and occasionally Anna, infuses each song with its own unique personality. An unmistakable energy propelled matters forward to the extent that played live, many of the songs already familiar in recorded form threatened to take on a new ever more exciting life of their own, complete with the occasional instrumental break verging on a psyche freakout!!
Special mention must also go to the thoroughly entertaining between song interludes which never failed to maintain the high spirits of the crowd.
So from one Edinburgh band (and it is always extremely pleasing to hear any Scottish bands so two on one bill was something to savour) to another, in the form of Withered Hand playing the finale. All that can be said is that he is a thoroughly enjoyable, ultimately (and importantly) likeable folky singer songwriter with an excellent band playing a perfectly balanced set of always fantastic songs. Their unique almost world weary style crept up to counterpoint to some of the more hectic sounds of the previous four nights, and proved to be a quite ideal finish to the Winter Sprinter.
The new album is without doubt extremely eagerly and impatiently anticipated.
Once again the entire Fortuna Pop! Winter Sprinter proved to be a pretty amazing, if somewhat tiring, experience with plenty of existing favourites seen and new discoveries made both on stage and at wiaiwya's ever present merch stand / coatroom / drinking post!!