Somewhere back in the time of the great Scottish referendum, Callum Baird did the opportunist thing and jumped his then potential pop anthem “Better Off Alone” – featured on this, his album “That Broken Buckle” - right on to the independence bandwagon just before it got derailed.
So, in the intervening years between then and now, has Callum Baird kept his music on track? I really have no idea what the answer to that is as this is album is a retrospective compilation of his songs from five or so years ago but it has to be said that, between the usual bouts of sentimental singer songwriter musings, his sharply observed words and fondness for catchy melodies have survived the passage of time well.
Always literate, sometimes verging on the poetic, he seems to draw his inspiration for the sadness that surrounds us all yet he also possesses the ways and means to transform his music into a cause for optimism and that’s as useful talent to have in these permanently overcast days as it was back then.
Best song? The wry “Old Man’s Pub”.
The verdict? Even from behind, Callum Baird was a step in front of the rest.
The album is available from Bandcamp and other online places.