Yip Man is the alter-ego of Scottish songwriter, Al Nero. The former frontman of blissful guitar slingers, Le Reno Amps and co-founder of Glasgow’s Armellodie Records, one might be forgiven for thinking that Nero has been somewhat idle, or at least focussing on running Armellodie, since Le Reno Amps bowed out in 2011. But in truth he has been undergoing metamorphosis. He’s been away. Al Nero went to China… Yip Man came back.
We could choose to imagine our hero here in sprawling dusty wastelands squinting against the setting sun, or atop snow-capped peaks in earnest conversation to stationary holy men, maybe brushing the Mongolian border astride a saddleless galloping horse. Perhaps that’s true, or perhaps he was in a bar. Whatever happened on our protagonist’s travels the resulting music displays, in the brightest of colours, Yip Man's ability to melt down a rainbow of musical possibilities into an irresistible marriage of riff & melody.
Nero’s metamorphosis into Yip Man might not have been a gruesome Kafkaesque shift in species, but it has produced a darker, smarter and completely unapologetic writer of intelligent pop songs stuffed full of unusual ideas and fresh interpretations of trope. Grand ambitions tempered by a homely charm, whatever life throws at Yip Man, one can be sure he’ll come back with a riff and a chuckle.