A youthful alternative orchestra took to the stage of Glasgow’s stunning setting, St Luke’s, to play tracks inspired by their travels and the talent they have met internationally to launch their album, with the likes of Kathryn Joseph and Dawanggang. Tinderbox Orchestra performed their debut album in the heart of East Glasgow with an array of talent, and eclectic sounds, overwhelming the majesty of the church venue.

Unfortunately missing Dawanggang’s set, the mesmerising Kathryn Joseph solo was the first on our programme, which was entrancingly gorgeous to listen to whilst the daylight was still pouring in the through the stained windows. Playing crowd-pleasers such as The Bird, The Mouth and The Blood, Joseph held the stage beautifully, surprising for one girl and her piano. She did not half sing the praises of those to next take stage, a fraction of the Tinderbox Orchestra.

Over two hundred musicians, aged between ten and twenty-five joined forces with an international cast of collaborators from as far afield as China and the Balkans, to produce the album, Tinderbox. We got a taster of this, as China’s Dawanggang, performed with the orchestra as well as Joseph. Playing original tracks such as Bethany Lane, Aftermath and aptly named, Captain Beefheart’s Memorial Picnic, the orchestra showcased new work with the Scottish Album of the Year Award winner Kathryn Joseph, who has that uniquely haunting vocal.

At other times, they were somewhat reminiscent of performers, Balkanarama, a band renowned in Scotland’s capital city, creating a worldly sound with tubas, guitars, drums, fiddles to name but a few of the instruments up on that stage. Hinting at the music that seems trendsetting at present, which uses traditional instruments to create a dance hall (thinking of another Scottish Album of the Year Award winner Anna Meredith), the Tinderbox Orchestra adds a movement to their performance that adds to the energy in the room.

However astoundingly talented these amazing individuals are, it comes across very quickly that they are at their strongest when collaborating with Dawanggang and their operatic vocals, and ruckus guitar, or the dulcet sounds of Kathryn Joseph and her hypnotisingly minimalistic piano. Somewhat surreal, the venue was a grand setting for this stimulating, eclectic performance.

Photos by Chris Scott and Scott Carroll.

To find out more about Tinderbox Orchestra including their new release click here.