Review: Music is Love Annual Festive Bash with Fat-Suit

By: Hannah Brattesani

Life rewards those who choose adventure, and after crawling through gale-force winds and horizontal rain to get to Music is Love’s Annual Festive Bash, I thoroughly believe it to be true.  

To be met by a warm cup of mulled wine on the cusp of exam week is nothing short of a saving grace, but to combine it with an evening of blissful live music qualifies the night as an almost divine intervention. Music is Love’s Annual Festive Bash was one of the most enjoyable events I have attended in my three years at St Andrews and I genuinely pity those who did not take the time to visit the paper-snowflake littered Union.

Chris Andrews, who is quickly establishing himself as a St Andrews favourite, eased us into the night. His folky tones and poetic lyrics were twinned with ruminative strumming and the injection of an intricate riff or two. The sprawling nature of Chris’s songs leaves ample room for reflection and does not find success in pop hooks or catchy choruses, but makes use of the power of peace and reflection. If you didn’t find yourself transported to a mountain top, wearing a flannel and cuddling a husky, then frankly you were doing something wrong.

Chris, although a tough act to beat, was followed by a self-proclaimed ‘scruffy boy with a guitar’. Hamish Hawk, a St Andrews alum and Edinburgh resident, offered a complete departure from folky poetry and brought us into the world of failed relationships, going out and, dare I mention, hard drugs. With the endearing awkwardness of Julian Casablancas and the energy of the Duracell bunny, Hawke got us jumping and bobbing our heads. His songs had a Britpop kick that avoided any other tiresome traits of the genre and was brought up to the 21st century. Hawk, with his bumbling antics, does not take himself too seriously. His songs perfectly reflect this; they are about real people, real problems and give you a slice of real Fife life.

The final act of the night was unlike anything I have ever seen. From the first note, Angus Munro and Fat-Suit blew me away. With two violinists, two pianists, one drummer, one saxophone, two trumpets, one trombone, three guitars and a lead vocalist, the sound was immense. Not only was the execution of every note of every instrument flawless, but Angus, the singer, has a range that cannot be rivalled. I thoroughly believe that when Diana Ross sang “ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough” she was referring to the reach of Angus’s voice. Their set was a mix of classics and new material, but both were equally effective in getting people dancing. I am genuinely in awe at the professionalism, talent and, most of all, fun that Fat Suit brought on stage.

The Music is Love committee should be immensely proud of their Festive Bash. It stands apart from your typical St Andrews event and offered students a highly enjoyable sanctuary away from exam stress. Everyone I spoke to, including the acts, had a fantastic night and I eagerly await their next event. I only have one piece of advice to give to the committee for next year: more mulled wine because, in the wise words of Chris Andrews, “that shit is dank.”