Those lovely people at STG Promotions tend to put on great gigs but this one might make my Xmas. In a show which has had it’s venue changed from the now sadly defunct “River” to Barrowlands 2 we lucky people will get to see the legendary Ian McNabb & Cold Shoulder supported by the equally legendary Daniel Wylie.
For those who tend to live under rocks, Ian McNabb was the singer/guitarist in The Icicle Works, a band that have played up here a few times before and he will be fronting Cold Shoulder in possibly his last full band show in Scotland for while (unless of course people wake up to how good they are and maybe something nice happens.) His last album Eclectic Warrior was a cracker (people who know me will know the opening track – Smirtin’ see the yertube video at the bottom of the page.) I don’t know what Ian and the band will be playing on the 13th December, old stuff? New stuff? But I do know it will be good stuff. Forget the rubbish office parties and the horrible clubs, get your rear ends to this gig and we might end up Smirtin’ together.
The support for this gig is as near perfect as anyone could wish for. Daniel Wylie aided and abetted by Neil Sturgeon will begin proceedings. Daniel is a singer songwriter most famous for Cosmic Rough Riders. A Castlemilk guy who knows how to write a tune or and has a great voice too. The last time I saw him live at The Old Hairdressers he was excellent. He did songs from Fake your own Death LP as well as older material. I hear rumours of a new record for 2015 so we might get to hear a taste of that if we are lucky and maybe a cheeky wee cover of some Velvet Underground too…we won’t know until the actual gig so come along and we can find out together.
“I’ll never know which way to flow, set a course I just don’t know”
A simple enough line at first glance, but one that comes back on you decades later. Even if you didn’t write it you, if you are a human being, may be able to relate to it. I’ve found it resonates for me often. Every time I make a change in my life, everything flows.
Friday night at the recently refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand being a case in point. The last time I was here it was derelict and full of scrubs. I took some photographs and my daughter said it would be a great place for bands to play in. Even as we both gazed into the rubble and rubbish below the stage she was as sure as a 10 year old can be, that this place would be a great venue. That was two years ago. I didn’t mention to her that I had seen bands playing there decades before she was born, when it was still a nice place and the stage was solid. The seating was still basic, almost like a Greek amphitheatre but it was a nice place to see bands. I can’t remember which bands exactly back then, but that doesn’t matter. The fact that this place is now a venue for bands is important.
Tonight we have something excellent and special. And this is even before Teenage Fanclub play. The support act – Linden.
Joe McAlinden has been a Boy Hairdresser, a BMX Bandit, A Superstar, and now has recordings produced by Edwyn Collins with a Sex Pistol playing drums on some of his stuff (Paul Cook) and creates a wonderful hymnal presence as Linden (See what he did there?). Featuring members of The Wellgreen in his band he takes the early evening crowd on a melodic trip through his musical adventure with gloriously uplifting songs with amazing grace. There are nods to the classical frame as well as gentle pop themes as Joe and the band create some fantastically evocative music. Gentle hooks and phrasing on guitar and Rhodes keys set a great mood tonight. Ascending and descending on “Brown Bird Singing” for instance. Personally I’d love to see Linden in a more enclosed venue just so we could all enjoy and focus on what they do so well. Sublime greatness sometimes runs under the radar. Linden are great, adjust your radar and pick up on them please.
It starts to get dark in the bandstand. Dusk is settling over Glasgow. The queues to the toilets and bars seem a bit longer than before. I’m trying to have a smoke and use the facilities so that I can get my camera sorted for the main act. As I walk back down to the stage area there is a kind of electricity in the air, some of it perhaps from cider or lager, other parts just from a pensive excitement. As I trip then regain my footing, I notice that the place is mobbed. Since I went for a smoke it seems like all the vantage points I had scouted are now full. So I rush as fast as a 45 year old man can towards the stage whilst trying to retain at least some small part of my dignity. Of course I fail, and end up out of puff as I get my camera out and insert a blue extra chewing gum in my mouth. I’m nervous because I want to try to get some decent pictures and I’ve not seen Teenage Fanclub live since The Leadmill in Sheffield in 1990 something….
I manage to get into the photo pit with some time to spare so I mess about with my camera to pass the time and somehow appear as if I know what I’m doing. The fact is I’m more nervous taking pictures of bands than I ever was when I played in one. But that nervousness is good, it means I want to do it, it’s good nerves. I thrive on it.
Teenage Fanclub are playing in the Bandstand at Kelvingrove. Get that into your head. Two years ago I was doing black and white photographs from the stage that they are about to play on. The place my daughter said would make a good venue. It of course looks a lot better now and it is full to the brim.
Teenage Fanclub begin with “It’s All In My Mind” and I’m still thinking it is. But I keep trying to take pictures anyway. I do my pit pictures, catch a breather and head to the sides to soak in the music and chew more gum. I’m scanning the crowd too and see so many familiar faces. “I Don’t Want Control of You” floats over the audience with smiles and people singing back to the band and I’m feeling wobbly and emotional. The stage lights are scanning the crowd too. A nebulous feeling of togetherness is happening and it is wonderful. The rest is a bit of a haze for me as I try to get some long shots of the performance. I meet and say hello to folk I know and they say hello to me too.
You could say the gig was done in three parts, a bit like a symphonic review. It began mellow and light, the in the mid part it picked up on tempo, for the end part it really took off with “I Need Direction” which was a surprisingly beckoning song to draw lots of folk to the front of stage but it did. The Middle Aged Fanclub got off their seats, abandoned their wives and children en masse and began to mosh like it was the early 90’s again.
“Sparky’s Dream” took people to another level. One of the security guys started dancing to that at the back. But stopped when he saw my camera. Sorry man. You should keep on dancing.
Then “The Concept” happened. And I think that if there was a roof it would have lifted off and flew over the City spreading it’s slacker drums and bendy twangy guitar greatness like Soma. The outro to this song is an anthem for lost love and failed relationships and general sing along tunes no matter who or what you are.
Teenage Fanclub leave the stage. The crowd start chanting for “The Fannies” which is an endearing term but not one you would use out of context perhaps. After a slight pause, the band return and treat us to three more songs, the final one being “Everything Flows” Which results in some people stage diving, and falling over the stage barriers. All in good fun I’m sure. At this point I remember joking with Alan Clarke of East Coast Defector earlier in the week about meeting him at the front for a stage invasion. Is that Alan’s legs I see being held in the air by two security guards? I’ll need to ask him later. I chickened out of course, I’ve already tripped up once tonight, I don’t want to put my back out…
The experience was uplifting and life affirming. A special gig in a special place in our special City. I saw many people I’ve know through bands and gigs over the years as well as lots of new faces too. Teenage Fanclub have that effect on folk that makes them feel close to each other. On the way home whilst standing at the bus stop as the crowd drifts past I hear one group of people talking about the concert. “Did you see that old guy with the camera tripping up?” As they walk by laughing I’m thinking “another one?” Then realise it might have been me.
And as I said at the beginning of this review…
“I’ll never know which way to flow, set a course I just don’t know”
I’m pretty sure that in days to come people will talk about seeing both these bands either at this gig tonight, or gigs in other places. Memories will kind of mash into one huge performance a bit like when you try to recall a football game or a great party. People will get the set and who was there mixed up. Was it a Friday or a Wednesday? was it Glasgow or Gourock or Kirkcaldy? But it won’t really matter in the end. In a few years time both these bands should be playing venues that are huge enough for the memories of tonight to be just distant and fleeting. But for a happy few of us who were there, they will be as precious as gold dust.
Every gig is special to the audience. Things happen at gigs. Bands form, people fall in love, people fall out of love. Some people make new connections. All while the bands are playing. It creates a mood and a timestamp for folk to remember years later. Live gigs are the main reason that music exists. Sure CD’s and Records and Digital downloads are great, but they ain’t anything like a live band playing right in front of you. You need to feel the music in your ears and through the floor to really appreciate it. While the band is a few yards in front of you doing what they do.
There were other acts on the bill tonight, but I was here to do pictures of The Beat Movement and Jamie Reilly and The Groove Allegiance. Both are bands that I have heard before at a sound check earlier this year in this very same venue, but had to leave to go to another gig before they played.
So…even though I hadn’t planned on doing a gig review, I felt compelled to do one anyway.
First up Jamie Reilly and The Groove Allegiance. If you like your soul and funk with a nice bit of earthy groove too this is the band for you. Jamie is a young guy with an excellent band. He always reminds me a lot of Eric Clapton before “The Beard” (Remember when Eric was brilliant?) I really think the venue is too small for this band. The actual out front sound is great, but there are eight people on stage and the PA stacks hide some of them. It’s great to see a band all standing together but a venue with a wider stage would perhaps give more impact visually for this ensemble. Still they deliver in spades tonight. A totally professional and soulful set pulsates to the crowd and gets us all going nicely. Not a support act or a warm up band, these guys know how to play proper music. As cramped as the stage is they still show a lot of flair. I’m not usually into a band having a “uniform” or an “image” but this time I’m willing to make an exception. Talent abounds and I’m sure that when they get their break on bigger stages and on Telly their look will be something that people get. Musically they are superb. They should be on TV already and selling tons of records, but the music industry is generally too busy ignoring bands like this and pushing X Factoresque rubbish to the masses. They will have their day though, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
The Beat Movement are the headliners tonight. Another band that I’ve only previously heard live via a sound check. I’m glad I get to see them tonight as I had done a photo shoot with them last week and found them engaging and quite affable guys. When they take the stage, they really take the stage! By that I mean a bunch of guys you have been chatting and having a pint with, suddenly become a fekkin’ band onstage, tearing it up and giving it laldy! A few chords and a slight rumble from the drums and then…..instant Rock n Roll with a 60’s twist! It’s almost an immediate metamorphosis from four individual people to one entity. Sharp and stylish music with more than a wee nod to the Mod ethos, but at the same time with a lot of ballsy blues and indie going on too. Stage presence just seems to happen with these guys. It’s loud and structured and kicks you in the teeth like all good live music should. Almost like an early Small Faces gig, or perhaps The La’s when they were at their peak. It’s all great stuff. They have a definite buzz going on right now mainly due to them being an excellent band, and also as they have an EP coming out soon. (see their Face book page for info soon…)
Live The Beat Movement are note perfect the way that only a band who puts the work in can be. And that is heartening to me. I’m not anti electronic music or studio bands at all, but I really admire bands than put the effort into their music so that they can produce live just as well as on record.
I see great things on the horizon for The Beat Movement if they keep up their hard work, keep gigging and recording, and keep on keeping on.
Here it is, my wee list of some of the acts I reckon are going to shine through in 2015. There is no order in the list, no 15th or 1st place, just the acts i have encountered over 2014 that I think have what it takes to progress in the industry. I have not based my choices on preference or taste as far as possible, although I think it inevitable that a bit of that has stowed away in there regardless. I have chose acts that work hard, and not just on stage but in the band room behind closed doors, on promotion, on recording, videos and of course their live performance. Hard work in my opinion well worth a mention.
It was a tough list to compile, many many acts should be in there but that would take forever to sort out so a limit had to be adhered to. I settled for 15 for 2015 because it was easy.
So without further delay and in no particular order here is my 15 For 2015 with a brief intro and some links to their stuff.
Have Mercy Las Vegas
HMLV have been on the scene since 2011 and have worked hard since then to be heard. I first heard this act a while back when I heard them on Ds Saturday Session on Radio West Fife and had to hear some more of the Dunbartonshire act. The band Released their single Pappy this year and it is brilliant I love it they also released their excellent debut album entitled That’s Life. Go Get the album if you can. And go see this great live act.
EOTS came to my attention when they sent me a copy of their song “No Tomorrow” and I loved it so had to hear more. I have to say I am glad they sent me that because the band are superb. The past 12 months have seen the Glasgow band release their first music video, release their debut album (which is brilliant,) support big country and headline King Tuts amongst a host of other achievements. Keep an eye out for them in 2015 because this band is moving fast.
This band have the ability to bring entire rooms to life with their unique rock, pop, ska, funk mix If you like a dance then the Trouts will not disappoint, great fun band, great songs that make you move skillfully put together by talented musicians. This year saw the release of VTC’s second EP “Paddles With Piranhas” I have my copy and its great, go get yours and remember to catch the band live.
The first thing you will notice when you hear Oskar perform is the vocal, the frontman knows how to use his voice, and he does just that. Oskar caught my eye in may this year at a gig in Edinburgh, the band were only a month old at that point and how they have progressed over the past 7 months releasing their debut EP and ending their debut year with a gig in the famous King Tuts in Glasgow.
Formed in 2012 Broken Boy have carved a successful path for themselves and if you go see them you will see why. This band work hard to put on a show you wont forget in a hurry, both visually and with their well crafted songs the three piece are sure to impress. I have watched this band grow over the past 12 months and they are definitely one to look out for in 2015. Go Check em out.
Levenmouth Folk Rock outfit Break The Butterfly are moving fast. If folk rock is your thing then get a load of them. Another band who I must recommend you see live because they are great live, Their recordings are good too yes, but live they really shine. Their song “Pringle” Caught my attention the first time I heard them, great tunes and hard work from these guys is sure to get them seen in 2015
The Mona Lisa’s brand of indie rock has got them noticed over the last 12 months seeing them get gigs with This Feeling, Pretty Green and King Tuts to name a few as well as airplay on many radio stations across the country. The Ballingry band work tirelessly to make their music the best they can and it shows when you see them. Formed in May 2013 The Mona Lisa’s have quickly made themselves a band to be noticed. Look out for them as they take 2015 to the cleaners. Keep up to date with TML using the links below.
Mickey 9s were recommended to me by a friend who was keen for me to see them, a great recommendation it turned out to be. The Mickey 9s are a real treat, showmanship is the winner here, mix that with catchy tunes, a great vocal and the talent that makes up Mickey 9s and you have a recipe for a great night. Again the recordings from this Glasgow band are great but you really have to see them live, it’s a must see.
In a successful debut year seeing the release their debut EP ‘We Float Like Sinking Ships’ and appearing at GoNorth, Wickerman & Belladrum Festival as well supporting some well known acts, Foreignfox have made themselves seen fast. Another great sounding hard working band to look out for in 2015. Have a listen and see for yourself.
Jo Hill couldn’t not be on this list, Jo and I met through radio, she came and did a live session on a show I did and she left me shaking. This Catalan songstress has a voice that will leave you stunned. I have seen Jo Hill leave rooms of seasoned musicians stunned, they can’t believe their ears when they hear Jo belt out one of her original tunes for the first time. Another must see for 2015.
Now this band are really new, having only played one gig to the date I wrote this so you could say they are a bit of a gamble, however I know some of the members from their involvement with another band. and I liked what they did there, I was also sent a couple of demos from them before their gig and I am impressed, I think if this band keep up the hard work and work their set the best they can then you really should check out Cherry Diesel in 2015. It’s gonna get funky!
Kilwinning band Common ground have had a busy year, after playing their first ever gig in December 2013 this act went on to become the Voice Of Scotland single of the year as voted by our readers then in early 2014 played their second ever gig to a packed PJ Molloys in Dunfermline in aid of the Clutha Disaster benefit. The band have went on to play gigs all over in their debut year and secured themselves some great support slots too. No surprise with songs like “Mr VIP” on their set list.
Another act that have kept up a fast pace throughout the past 12 months are Jamie & Shoony. This band started as a duo in 2011 and have progressed to become a four piece. The past twelve months saw the band release their first music video and share a stage with Big Country in front of 6000 people at Party at the Palace, good achievements which reflect the work the boys do to keep their art alive. Again another band that are well worth going to see live.
Echo Arcadia are set to move in 2015, they have some big things coming and plenty new stuff for us to hear too, as well as all the fantastic stuff from their debut album “Beauty In An Average Life” released in 2014 which I personally love. The band are set for many things in 2015 which I will let them tell you about as they see fit, all you have to do is follow the links below and give em a like or a follow to keep up to date with this superbly creative band. 2015 looks set to be the year of the Arcadian.
I have stole the words of Voice contributor Pat McGuire here because he said it so damn well.
“Live The Beat Movement are note perfect the way that only a band who puts the work in can be. And that is heartening to me. I’m not anti electronic music or studio bands at all, but I really admire bands than put the effort into their music so that they can produce live just as well as on record. I see great things on the horizon for The Beat Movement if they keep up their hard work, keep gigging and recording, and keep on keeping on.”
There you have it my 15 for 2015, 15 acts for you too lookout for while they make their mark on 2015. Check them all out and give them a like, tell your pals, your mum and the delivery guy about them and remember to go and see them live and buy their work if you can afford it you will not be disappointed with any of these acts.
Now for your one to watch, we are going to find out the peoples favorite for 2015 using social media, email and a poll on these pages we ask you to tell us your one to watch for 2015. Email your nominations to email@example.com and look out for the posts asking for votes etc. Here are the links to our social media.
Totally loved the ambience of being in a circled tent and lucky to have a space in a sold out show!
There is excitement by all awaiting her presence on stage! It’s like a ticking clock, counting every second till Michelle appears.
Then the fun begins, with a Simon Cowell face mask on a clip board on stage, as we all wonder why!
Michelle teases the audience describing her fondness for Cowell and even sings a song with him in mind !
The audience love Michelle Mc Manus you can tell on their faces and the way they banter with her and clap at her every word.
Other songs from musicals are in abundance and the audience can’t get enough of it all, singing along with her.
The stories of her journey since winning pop idol in 2003 to date, alongside her singing to musicals are directed well, well done to Michelle for her director skills.
One hour of Michelle Mc Manus was great and I got the impression the audience wanted more, more, more, more and more of this very talented performer and recording artist.
A fantastic fringe production!
Do go and see this production at the Edinburgh Fringe!
My final thought! It would be a shame if the rest of the World missed out on seeing this show, let’s hope there is a World Tour in the making, so you can all enjoy the wonderful Michelle Mc Manus!
Michelle Mc Manus ! Winner of Pop Idol in 2003. At the Edinburgh Fringe with her show! Stories about winning Pop Idol, Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, being number 1 in UK charts for three weeks and stories about TV presenting etc.
Michelle McManus returns to the Festival, after her sell-out show last year which received five-star reviews across the board. Since winning Pop Idol a decade ago Michelle has gone on to carve a career on screen, radio and the stage. From Chicago to Cabaret, Les Miserables to Chess, this fabulous evening of entertainment is set to have everyone singing along and laughing with Michelle as she recounts some of the ups and downs of her life as a TV reality show winner, from singing for the Pope to Simon Cowell.
With Acts going like Hector Bizerk, Victorian Trout Conspiracy, Eastcoastdefector, Esperanza, The Birthday Suit, Peatbog Faeries to name but a few its not to be missed. There are some details below including ways to get involved and again check out the website for full details and tickets.
It’s gonna rock. I can tell check out the superb line up and get along to it. Come say hi cause I will be there come rain or shine.
Festival launches barter scheme and adds more acts!
Doune the Rabbit Hole is a small-scale, family-friendly music and arts festival held over the August bank holiday weekend on the beautiful Cardross Estate.
This year it is using the age-old practice of bartering for useful items, in exchange for festival tickets.
Organisers need a caravan, tents, yurts, generators, lights, furniture and decorations.
The festival website now includes a ‘Barter’ page, allowing anyone to either trade or lend something in return for tickets: dounetherabbithole.co.uk/barter.
With its idyllic location and carefully curated line-up, Doune the Rabbit Hole offers an array of high-quality artists from around the world.
Joining the bill this year are Jeffrey Lewis, Josephine Foster, Peatbog Faeries, Bass Clef, Acid Mother’s Temple, Balkanarama and the elusive Secret Chiefs 3 (a project by former members of Faith No More and Mr Bungle) and many more.
In addition to those already announced, the festival has added the following acts to the bill: The Amphetameanies, The Birthday Suit, Hector Bizerk, Blochestra, Errors, RM Hubbert, Kakatsitsi Drummers & Rebecca Vasmant, PAWS, Tom Snowball, Paddy Steer, The Telescopes, Trembling Bells, Samba Ya Bamba, Zea.
Expect Great things from Hector Bizerk
The festival is run by volunteers who are committed to making the weekend the most memorable of the summer.
Festivalgoers can also help run the event and are particularly encouraged to join in with the workshops over the weekend, connecting with musicians and other artists to learn about their work.
Doune the Rabbit Hole artistic director Jamie Murray said: “You’d be surprised how many people have an old caravan kicking about that they don’t know what to do with.
“If they aren’t using it and would like a free festival ticket or two then we’d be very happy to do a trade.
“We need people’s help to make this the best event we possibly can, so we thought: let’s just put it online and see.
“Likewise, there are loads of things that we could use for the weekend to help make the site look good and we’re very happy to offer festival tickets to repay people’s contributions. We’ve already been offered spades, chairs, yurts and even a giant ex-army parachute but more stuff that we can use would be really helpful.
“It just seems like a nice, efficient and simple way of operating, which builds a great community feel to the event.”
Doune the Rabbit Hole is on August 22-24 at Cardross Estate near Port of Menteith.
Full weekend camping tickets:
Adults (over-17s) £72 in advance or £90 at the gate
25th July is a Friday night. It’s also a summer night. King Tut’s Summer Nights as it happens too. The City is full of buskers and scam artists, tourists and people here for the Commonwealth games. It’s what we call “Taps aff” weather. However the Council and the Cops have been pro actively moving on beggars and making homeless people feel even more homeless, as if that could even be possible, just so the City presents a nicer veneer to our visitors for the games. I think they may even be prohibiting the traditional fat guy with no T shirt custom that is a part of the Glasgow summer (like it or loath it, it happens on the 2 or 3 days of summer we usually get here.) I’ve only seen a couple of them this week, they might be an endangered species.
But that is what happens when they open up a City to the world. They only want to show the good bits and ignore the rest, we all know our City is great though and so do our visitors and people who come here. Be it for the games or the music or the patter. We also know that there is a lot of problems with OUR City too. We don’t need to airbrush them out of the equation.
This is our City and anyone else’s too, if they want to be a part of it. And one huge part of it is King Tut’s. It’s a venue that has hosted bands that took on the world, and won. I don’t need to tell you who played there unless you lived under a rock for the last 20 years or more. Some of the best gigs I’ve ever been at were in Tut’s. I’ve seen maybe 40 or more bands that I can think of right now in that venue. Some went on to greater things, others didn’t. That is how it goes in the music firmament, it’s all a bit of luck and talent and good timing that either works for or works against you. You almost need to just do it and fall into the net of chance, in the hope that it doesn’t break you but you get to bounce back up, like a gymnast and get the applause. Or you miss the net and break a few bones and decide to have a real job and a real career and call it quits.
So tonight we have four distinct people on the bill for King Tut’s Summer Nights. All of them play acoustic sets but each of them approach their music from different directions.
First on is Paul John MacIver, an intense young man from Inverness-shire who leans into his guitar and the crowd with a lot of energy. I don’t really know a lot about the guy although we spoke briefly after the gig, but I liked his set and you can hear more of him at his Sound Cloud link in my preview on the gig here.
The second artist on the bill is Aaron Fyfe, and his set is lovely to my jaded ears. I’d like to write more about him and his music, but again I don’t feel I know enough to write anything worthwhile so I’ll look out for his next gigs and try to pop along and maybe do him justice. Again see my preview piece for his Sound Cloud and have a listen. Here.
So for me the next two people are why I’m here tonight. Jamie Coleman is now a friend of mine after I saw him play King Tut’s and then Pivo Pivo a few months ago. Since then Jamie has supported Alabama 3 and also John Power. Jamie’s strength lies in his songs, each one is a story about life, from the day to day mundane stuff to the tragic and almost hopeless. He described his singing as sounding “like a guy who swallowed an ashtray”. And I’ll grant that he does have a rough tone to his voice. But that just adds to the overall effect of his music. He doesn’t do much banter between songs. The message is in the music here. Most if not all of the crowd know the lyrics and sing along too. Jamie has touched on that essence of life’s ups and many downs that people instantly identify with. Some people do crowd interaction, Jamie doesn’t. His intensity is in the words and the chords and the ashtray voice.
Standout songs tonight (well all of them are) include “Welfare State of Mind” – A song that is a masterpiece even if you didn’t know the background to it. Even if you thought Jamie had just made it up (he hasn’t though it is based on his personal experiences.) This is a song that had a music industry rep approach him as he loved the song, but wanted the title changed… I think Mr Coleman told him where to go, precisely and succinctly. As it happens Jamie was at the social a few weeks ago to sort out a claim (how many of us have enjoyed that experience?) and when he came out a protest against benefits sanctions was happening. So he ended up playing some songs and joining in. It’s not quite Rock n Roll, it is real life though.
I don’t need to hammer on about how “real” Jamie is. Anyone who knows him is aware of what he does for society above and beyond writing and playing his music. He doesn’t do charity shows and donate proceeds from record sales to appear as if he is from the people. He does it because he is that type of guy. He could get exposure by just playing his stuff. He is from and of the people. Like millions of us. Just he is a talented guy with a big heart who wants to give a bit back.
It’s not at all downer music though, it is uplifting. “Remember the Old Days” has become a staple at Jamie’s gigs. A rousing ode to a misspent youth when you could go down the park with your mates and have a great time (God how I miss those times…) when life was that bit more free and fun and just felt that much better.
There is an overriding theme here. A look back at the good times, and a document on the current not so great ones. But at the same time “Sit down Skin Up” is all about the moment. Taking the time to realise that life happens right now, so grab it while you can. It is not a rehearsal you only have one shot at it.
Rather than bore you with more words though, courtesy of John McKinlay here is Jamie’s closing song from the gig – “Die My Own Way”
Jamie Coleman has a lot of gigs coming up. So treat yourself and go along with an open mind and an open heart.
Jamie Coleman is playing :
Dullatur Golf Club Cumbernauld : 1st August for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Next up for this sold out King Tut’s Summer Nights gig, is the one and only Gerry Cinnamon. I was aware of Gerry through some mutual friends, but also the aforementioned Jamie Coleman spoke about him in an interview I published a while back. Mr John McKinlay (who makes cracking live videos, camera in one hand, pint in the other) had also urged me to go along to Gerry’s open mic nights at The Priory. I took them up on this offer and had a brilliant night, but that was more about Gerry getting people to play and play alongside them. Tonight was the first time I’d seen Gerry play live for a “real” gig.
The word enigma is over used. But I’m using it here because I can. By definition it means something difficult to explain or understand. Gerry Cinnamon’s talent and general star quality is not what the enigma is for me. It’s how bloody good he is at being an enigma that is the enigma itself. Have you ever met someone and the first thing they do is hug you and make you feel welcome, then go on to play guitar and drum boxes and harmonicas and compère an open mic session with great people playing, and get that greatness out of them too? That is what Gerry does. And this was weeks ago at The Priory open mic night.
Tonight Gerry comes on with the audience shouting his name like a football chant. One that is derived from KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Give it up”. The roof seems to swell in the venue almost to bursting point. Gerry is genuinely astounded as his tall frame approaches the mic. “How good is this? Really?” Then he jams along with the crowd for a few chords. Well we all know the answer. The Venue is excellent, the people are up for it, the atmosphere is giving me the shakes and I’ve only had two rum and cokes. I see loads of familiar friendly faces and have met a few new ones outside. It’s gonna be a BELTUR!
I knew this gig was going to be a good one, the line up dictated that it must be, but even then my high expectations were surpassed. I posted on social media when I got home that “I’ve seen many gigs at Tut’s, but this one was amazing”. Okay I’m sometimes over enthusiastic about live music, but trust me. I know people will be wishing they were there. It just had that feeling of something on the cusp of greatness. Something about to happen. Something else?
Before he plays “Kampfire Vampire” Gerry urges people to do what they do, not to get hung up on the money makers. Then gets tore into the song with guitar and harmonica and a huge smile. His Mod looks and poise suggests a younger Paul Weller, but Weller never smiled a lot at his gigs. Gerry has a big cheesy grin on his face for most of the show.
Case in point – with thanks again to John McKinlay –
Most of the gig for me is a blur, I’m trying to take pictures for this review, but also trying to soak up the ambience and the feeling. I’m in the pit then at the sides and then one of the staff tells me I can shoot from the stage too. I pop up for a bit but drop back down soon as I want to see the gig the same as the rest of the people here. I want to soak the event into my mind. I want to lose myself to the wisdom of the crowd. I end up at the back so I can just watch the event unfold. Standing on a bench seat surrounded by like minded people. Popping a shot and sipping another rum and coke. Smiling like an idiot at anyone giving me eye contact. I’m almost lost for a while as Gerry Cinnamon plays like a holy demon and just keeps upping the ante. There is an air of almost messianic fervour and it is evident all around me. Not in a bad way, just as a unifying force binding people together for a part of an hour. We all know it has to end soon, but we are grabbing it while we can. I look into my tumbler to make sure no one has added something “extra” to it. It looks clear, it’s just rum and coke.
Forget about the timeline – I hear “Flickering Flame” begin with a some rasping guitar chords and a non apologetic lyric. “Dead Man’s Shoes” meets us on the other side but only if we get there. And then a drumbeat from his pedals gets another chorus of “Gerry Cinnamon nana nana na na” going to take us into a cover of “Good Feeling” but done the Gerry Cinnamon way and not Flo Rida.
Gerry does covers in his set, Beck’s “Loser” gets a good workout. But for me his cover of Dougie MacLean’s “Caledonia”, as imperfect as it was, is just perfect anyway. Some people only know it from adverts on the telly. Others know it from late night parties, when we are not in Scotland. Usually played by the least drunk mate in the room with the rest of us waiting for the chorus. In King Tut’s we are still in Scotland, but we all join in the chorus anyway. Why? Because it’s a great song and Gerry gets us to “take the roof off!” It was “pure dynamite” Gerry, it was.
(With thanks again to John McKinlay)
After the gig, a few of us retire to The Priory and meet up for post gig drinks. I’m heading out for a smoke and hear a round of cheering and applause. I’ve never heard that much joy at me leaving a pub before. Then I realise it’s because Gerry has just walked in. He gives me a handshake then a hug and his eyes are watery. Genuinely surprised at his reception. As I lope up the steps I hear the chant again… “Gerry Cinnamon,Cinnamon nana nana nana na na!”
Gerry has some gigs coming up :
Glasgow Green as part of the Commonwealth Games Festival : 31st July and also 3rd August.
Prestfest in Prestwick on 2nd August.
He also has an EP due out this Autumn so check his FB page for more info :
And so the weekend crunched to a halt on Sunday night at Balado. All day in Glasgow tired people with back packs have been getting off trains and buses and going home to go to bed. Painted faces and hung-over smiles. I saw some of them as I wandered into town to pick up some prints. Those lucky, lucky bastar….. people.
You see, I didn’t get to T in the Park. I didn’t get a media/photo pass and even if I did I would probably not have made it due to personal issues. Much like the World Cup I had to watch it on the telly.
I was at the very first ever T in the Park though in 1994. I had a ticket for the Saturday and could hear the bands from my house on the Sunday too. It was at Strathclyde park so I could actually walk it home, drunk and happy, no back pack, with Rage Against The Machine still ringing in my head. Still not quite believing that I had seen the Manic Street Preachers and didn’t realise that Richey wasn’t there (A huge tent support blocked my view of where he would have been.) The Wikipedia page has the days mixed up by the way for 1994. I know because I listened to Teenage Fanclub and later on Primal Scream from my doorstep. They played the Sunday and my ticket was for the Saturday. I’m pretty sure Blur where on the Saturday too and I only caught some of their set before going to see another band on the main stage. But, I was rather drunk at the time.
I was there with my brother Mick, and also Steven and Haz from my band, and a few other people. All the people in bands or into music in Bellshill, Viewpark, Uddingston, Motherwell, Hamilton etc that I knew were there. It seemed to be somehow a validation of us as bands and musicians and fans of live music that T in the Park was happening right on our door step. Punks and alt rockers and indie kids merged with goths and some metal fans too. Even the local Police where quite nice that day.
Going to the ‘Port a loos’ was fraught with danger and excitement (and excrement too). I had resisted for a few hours until I had to go for a slash. Whilst waiting my turn I heard someone shout from outside the fence “Jimmy are you there?” I shouted back “Aye mate, right here!” Just as a wind up, and a carrier bag containing one half bottle of Buckfast, one half bottle of Vodka, 40 smokes and an oddly wrapped substance which was of an oily bluish black colour contained in small tight cellophane came flying over. Oh and a least 4 packets of Rizlas…
I hope “Jimmy” didn’t get into trouble from his mates. But I took this carrier bag of joy and shared it amongst my friends so it didn’t go to waste. And I’m sure I caught some it’s bounty as Rage Against The Machine played their set that night.
So now we have just had the last Balado T in the Park. And many of you will have been there, or watched it on the telly, but for those of us who couldn’t be there here is what we/you/I should have seen.
Okay I love The Pixies, love Biffy Clyro too. But for this article I’m talking about smaller bands or bands that are yet to become huge. We all know Paul Weller played and Jake Bugg and some band called Bastille. They all get heavy coverage and bloggage and so on. Heavy rotation on the radio is cool but sometimes it can mean you miss the hidden gems in a festival that is so varied. I watched the Manics on the telly, enjoyed it, but rather than going on about them, I’m going to go on about these next bands who played the last T in the Park at Balado.
Fatherson : I’ve seen Fatherson a couple of times, Ross their singer used to work in the same place as me but we didn’t know each other. A friend of mine JP suggested them, and later I got to see them at the Oran Mor and do some pictures, then I got to shoot at their QMU gig in Glasgow too. Ross also does open Mic nights at Box in Glasgow, and he and his band are what you commonly call “bloody nice blokes.” I would have been in the crowd singing along to their set, if I was there. Luckily they were on the telly, and of course on the BBC iPlayer thingy for people like me who didn’t get to the gig:
Next is a band called Slaves. Not seen them live even though they played up here not too long ago. I should have seen them at King Tuts but thought I was going to be covering Shellac the same night instead. The Shellac thing fell through so I missed my chance. Such is the way of the world. I won’t miss them next time though. Slaves are almost as if Ant and Dec suddenly got ready to rumble, but for real with a drum kit and a guitar, more talent and a good use of expletives. My mate Jimmy (not the Jimmy who supplied the booze in the bag) told me I should see them and I’m going to as soon as I can. Slaves are a wee bit mental, possibly not work safe too (why are you reading this at work?)
The Twilight Sad were suggested to me by Richard, a man who forces me to drink Wild Turkey just about any time we end up in the pub together. When I say “forced” of course I mean “encouraged” and by “encouraged” I really mean “suggested” and by “suggested” I mean of course I wanted to anyway. A writer we both like would use that demon spirited drink as a tool or an enabler. Much the same as I use a certain tonic wine made by monks… Anyway The Twilight Sad are an immense band. They sell out shows when they play in Scotland and have played all over the world. I’ve only seen them doing stripped down sets twice and not as a full band. Another glaring omission in my gig history was The Twilight Sad playing with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Yes, The actual RSNO at Paisley Abbey.. google that!). Anyway here they are at T in The Park… well no actually. Their set is not up yet so you need to check Yertube for fan videos in the meantime.
So, it’s all over until next year. I hope if you were there you caught some new bands or at least bands you hadn’t seen before. All the headliners were great of course, but all of the bands make the weekend. Tastes vary too, no one can force anyone else to like a band or artist. If a band gets to play at T in The Park they tend to be of a certain calibre so we know they are at the very least decent. My point is sometimes seeing a band lower on the bill can be more rewarding that you would have thought.
Am I sad that T in the Park is moving from Balado? Not really, never went there. I watched it all on telly. I only went to the first one then had to grow up a bit and become a productive member of society (I say that with a heavy touch of irony.) I lost my Rock and my Roll when I was 30. However over the last few years I have got back into live music. I might be a bit creaky around the knees and back, but my ears still work and so do my eyes. For as long as I am able to, I will try to write about and take photographs of bands that are out there, doing gigs and releasing records and writing songs. So I missed a festival? Big deal. There will be more and I will cover them when I can. Meantime, watch bands on the telly, but also go out and see bands live. Buy T shirts and CDs from the bands at the gigs (it might just pay for their petrol and drinks). If you are in a band or wanting to start one up. Go out and do it. Now is your time to give it a go. Or write a blog or video/photograph bands. Book a live gig night. Make a scene, do it, and if it fails at least you tried.
Follow me on twitter @patmcguire1969 and also @PMGphotog if you want to read more of my stuff.
King Tut’s Summer Nights festival has being going for 5 years now and always seems to get the right balance of new talent on the bill. Last year I was lucky enough to catch a few of them and they were excellent bands with the right mix each night.
This Friday is a bit special for me though as I’ve covered Jamie Coleman before and been looking forward to doing a review on Gerry Cinnamon for while too. The other acts on that night are well worth checking out too (as are all the acts playing the KTSN festival this year).
I’m saving my words for the actual review which will be up on Voice of Scotland after Friday, but for now here is a preview on the gig.
Gerry Cinnamon is a lovely guy. He runs an open mic night on Wednesdays at The Priory on Sauchiehaull Street and has played Tut’s in the past. ( see John McKinlay’s live video here CLICK ). Sadly apart from seeing him at the open mic nights and on John’s videos I’ve yet to see him do a full set live. Can’t wait to see him play his amazing acoustic loopy goodness on Friday.
Jamie Coleman played at Tut’s earlier this year supporting John Lennon McCullagh. Since then he has Supported John Power from Cast / The La’s as well as The Alabama 3. I caught him a while back at Pivo Pivo ( my review and interview are here CLICK ). Jamie is a true troubadour, always playing and writing songs. He does a lot of work for great causes too. Not to be missed.
So there you have it, four great artists for £6.50 on a Friday night in one of the best venues in town. I’ll be doing pictures and a proper review after the event, so why not pop along and have a listen. See you there.
I was invited along tonight by the lovely Laura Scott of the Scottish Tour Collective who co manages the headliners tonight: Rank Berry. As I was working until 9pm I missed the support acts in full, however it seems one of them didn’t make it so Wesley from One Last Secret was called on to do an acoustic set instead. The other support was from Deadbeat Ragdolls and whilst I only caught their last 2 songs sounded like a band I might look out for in the future.
I’m accompanied by “Half Day” McVey, a friend, co worker and one part of a mysterious music duo called….well I can’t tell you that or it wouldn’t be a mystery would it? We meet Laura outside and have a chat and a smoke then head in for some nice lagers to try to chase away the memories of our previous shift at work. I’ve covered bands at Pivo Pivo before and it’s a nice wee venue. This doesn’t stop me from getting lost on the way to the gents though. Only half a pint of lager into the night and I’ve lost my bearings already. Things could get tricky.
I set up my camera for the venue and Rank Berry take to the stage. They are a 4 piece from Dumbarton who use the conventional rock band set up, 2 guitars, vocals, bass and drums. I notice right away that the bass player Marc Doherty is wearing the same Ramones T shirt as me (albeit in a different colour).
This bodes well I think. Fair enough the lead guitarist Brian Kerr is wearing a Kiss T shirt, but at least he is not wearing make-up. Singer Jamie O’Donnell has that Jesus look, a bit like Samaras does, it’s the beard/hair combo.
Their drummer Grant Dallas exhibits that manically possessed appearance common amongst guys who batter their instruments for a living. It’s all good though, this is what Rock n Roll is about. A dynamic between band members that pushes its way into the music and out via the PA to your ears and crashes into your brain just in time for your eyes to tell you it’s on its way.
Rank Berry do Rock n Roll like a bar band would in the southern states of the USA. I grab a JD and coke to help that mood along, and also because the lager is just not doing it for me. I’m taking pictures and also making notes on my phone, whilst drinking JD and Coke, knowing where the Gents is, and talking to “Half Day” McVey. Multi tasking like a mofo so to speak.
The band are tight and obviously used to playing live. They have done larger venues than this in the past so a smallish venue is no issue to them. It might also explain why the lead guitarist would leap off the stage and do a circuit of the venue now and then to give his wireless kit a workout. This could have ended in tragedy as one of the bar staff moved a table back to the adjoining alcove near the end of the gig, but he spotted it just in time.
The band deliver a tight set with perhaps too many cover versions for my liking. They do The Faces “Stay With Me” and also “Crossroads” the way Cream did it. I was impressed with their cover of “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival though. I guess my take on cover versions is that it’s more interesting to take a song that is not in your particular musical genre and make it your own. That is just my opinion though. On the bands own songs they do a great job. At one point Grant uses cowbell. And we all know there is always room for more cowbell. I’m not knocking the band at all by the way. It takes time to learn and play together and maybe if I caught them in a larger venue there would have been more audience feedback too. That loop you get when the audience are up for it and the band responds and the audience get more into it and so on. Perhaps too, if I was just watching the band instead of taking notes and photographs it would have been more enjoyable for me.
The last song “Good Times” just about takes us to the curfew. With that brilliant crescendo you get at the end of Rock tunes. You know the one with the fills and rolls and hard major chords ringing out on the guitars until it crashes to a stop.
Rank Berry are a decent band, maybe I caught them on the wrong night for me. I will go and see them again just as a punter to see if I get more into it. I’ll never knock anyone that takes to a stage and plays to an audience live. It’s an investment in time and money to get to that point. Anyone that does that has a special place in my heart. Go and see them live and find their stuff on Yertube and make your own mind up. I’d say good band maybe just the wrong night for me.