Yip Man is the alter-ego of Aberdonian songwriter Al Nero, the former frontman of blissful guitar slingers Le Reno Amps and the co-founder of Glasgow’s Armellodie Records. Since Le Reno Amps bowed out in 2011 one might be forgiven for thinking that outside of co-running Armellodie Nero has been somewhat idle. In truth he has been undergoing metamorphosis. He’s been away. Al Nero went to China… Yip Man came back.
November saw the release of his debut album, the wonderfully named ‘Braw Power’, laced with a keen sense of fun and an irresistible marriage of riff and melody. The album is a tightly packed collection of intelligent pop songs that find Nero lyrically and poetically tackling his own existential ennui, whilst sounding like a man who just found the last Golden Ticket in his Wonka Bar. BBC 6 Music seemed to think so with Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson and Radcliffe and Maconie all lending their support and spinning the braw-ness! Radio Scotland weren’t slow off the mark either with Roddy Hart, Billy Sloan and Vic Galloway all supporting the record.
Most recently Yip Man and his band of merry Yip men performed to a sell-out crowd in a headline show at this year’s Celtic Connections in Glasgow. With grand ambitions tempered by a homely charm, you can be sure that whatever life throws at Yip Man, he’ll bat it straight back with his killer hooks.