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EP Review: Calum White – Cocktails & Revelations

I know that it might be hard to believe but I am about to write something about someone from Scotland which isn’t politically motivated. I’m all for political debate but man alive, I think it’s time to redress the balance a little bit. So with that in mind I introduce you to Scottish singer/songwriter Calum White.

Based in West Linton in the Scottish Boarders White released this EP into the world a couple of months ago and now I have the pleasure of reviewing it. Before I actually get to the music I have to say that I think that Cocktails & Revelations is a brilliant name for a record, even if the music is crap the man scores points for having a great EP title. The music isn’t crap by the way it’s actually pretty good.

Things get underway in slightly unconventional fashion as the first track on the EP is an instrumental, and as much as I like unconventional generally speaking instrumental tracks worry me. They worry me for one very good reason… generally speaking they aren’t very good, and this is normally because absolutely nothing happens and after about a minute you’re bored. But on this occasion Mr White has got things spot on. The guitar work is quite bluesy in places and there’s nice melodies and progressions, don’t get me wrong it’s hardly a roaring Black Sabbath track but there’s plenty going on, and I think it works well and I enjoyed it. I enjoy music that you can get lost in and this fits the bill beautifully.

‘Coming Home’ sees White come back to the sound which I was expecting when I first hit play, slick acoustic guitar and solid vocals. Again the track has got a nice melody and I’m a big fan of the song writing. I especially love the line;

I went looking for the future but only found the past.

That line like the rest of the song is simple enough but it really struck a chord with me and is something that I can definitely relate to. This is probably my favourite track on the record; I’m still playing the hell out of it.

Next up on ‘Revelations’ we find White contemplating amongst other things whether or not there will be a queue to get into heaven or if it operate a one in one out system. I would be lying if I said that these thoughts had ever crossed my mind before but that is probably why he writes songs and I write about songs. To be honest after hearing this I’m starting to think that heaven might work in a similar way to your local nightclub… Must remember to put some proper shoes on when the time comes. The song itself is solid enough but didn’t grab me in the same way that the opening couple did, but still there isn’t really anything to complain about.

Penultimate track ‘To Get Over You’ as the title suggests treads the familiar track of break-ups but White puts his own spin on things and the song benefits enormously. I am a big fan of his lyrical style as I mentioned above and the taking of a common subject and making it sound fresh is something that I like a lot. The final track ‘Cocktails & Revelations’ follows on from the previous song in similar fashion. It’s a really poignant way to finish and this coupled with the gentle melody makes you feel like you have really been through the emotional mill in the last 20 minutes or so. It’s a fitting way to finish.

This EP is the only thing that I have ever heard from Calum White but on this evidence he definitely seems to have something about him. I’d maybe in the future like him to experiment even more with different musical styles but that’s for another day. As Autumn really begins to set in I recommend that you go and curl up on the comfiest chair you own with a glass of the finest Scotch that you can lay your hands on and let that and Cocktails & Revelations keep you warm.


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