12 Jul, 2008 The Blue Nile
Scotland like most countries has it’s share of national treasures and given the opportunity most Scots delight in spouting all about them to anyone that is even remotely interested. I guess as a Scotsman I am at times no different from many others and that is why over the last decades at every opportunity I have rarely missed the chance to introduce to the uninitiated a genuine Scottish treasure that goes under the name of ‘The Blue Nile’.
Named after the river in Ethiopia/Sudan, ‘The Blue Nile’ are in a fact a musical group that was formed in Glasgow in 1981 by Paul Buchanan, Robert Bell, and Paul Joseph Moore . Described as being broody, bittersweet and wonderful, they have indeed and without exaggeration ‘released some of the most exquisitely orchestrated pop albums ever made.’ (David Stubbs) And if they remain not quite the household name that their talent merits, then that is just the way they want it to be.
Having released four equally stunning albums in the last twenty odd years, fans of the band naturally become feverish with the faintest knowledge that something new is in the pipeline or indeed that they are about to make some fairly rare live appearances. I am one of those and being so I cannot wait to see them live when they make their imminent appearance in London.
The highlight – apart from the song set list which features as many genuine masterpieces as there is currently hanging in the Louvre – is certain to be the voice of lead singer Paul Buchanan who in every song conjures up the voices of heartbreak and loneliness that are the only things missing from Edward Hopper’s canvases. And yet misery never abounds. Because behind all that late night neon, you are left with the sense that the characters in Paul’s songs do indeed find love that is somehow requited.
A genuine national treasure then that should be appreciated and
protected throughout. I say, long live the Blue Nile and give them the knighthood’s that they deserve!
Music and Video clips available at