The first time I heard Benbecula by the Scottish songwriter Michael Cassidy was in Amsterdam when Ryan Joseph Burns played me a mix on his phone. It sounded incredible already. But nothing could have prepared me for the mindblowing live take Cassidy recorded during his session at our live show in The Glad Cafe in Glasgow. He also played a Miley Cyrus cover and The Wedding Dress. Like A New International‘s Biff Smith yells at the end of the Benbecula video: “That’s a belter!”
Cassidy was joined on stage by Cariss Crosbie on keys and vocals.
‘Not just another boring pop star’
‘I chose Malibu because I love Miley Cyrus’ voice. I made the mistake of thinking she was just another boring pop star, but then I kept hearing her songs and they were were always really interesting and her voice sounded so good on them. Then she released what is basically a folk song and I just loved the lyrics and melody. I’ve been playing that song for a couple of years now.’
Pretty depressing stuff
‘Benbecula is an island between north and south Uist in the outer Hebrides. It’s got causeways that connect it to those islands so depending on the tide it can be completely cut off. I liked this idea of imagery and I used that as an allegory for my relationship with growing older and death. Pretty depressing stuff but there is also hope in there as well. It’s also the most beautiful place ever. I’ve got a big map of it on my bedroom wall and always loved the way it sounded when i sang it!’
The Glad Cafe
Glasgow, The Netherlands
Filmed, edited and graded by Matthijs van der Ven.
Live sound by Craig Bowditch.
Audio recorded by Joe Smillie.
Audio mixed by Matthijs van der Ven.
The Glad Cafe
Joe & Rachel Smillie
Ryan Joseph Burns