Well last night was the gig that I'd arranged to raise funds for Cancer Support, and I'm very pleased to say that the grand sum of £253 will now be added to the over all amount that will have been donated through a weeks worth of events.
It goes without saying that all the help from everyone involved was very much appreciated, but I reckon that they all need to be publicly thanked.
So here goes.
First the bands, Junkman's Choir, Kev Borracho (who turned up as a punter and ended up playing a couple of songs), Roscoe Vacant, The Paraffins, Ross Gilchrist, and Cal Murray.
None of this would have been possible without them.
Next, well huge kudos has to go to the venue itself. Jolly's Sports Bar/Dirty Martinis once again showed why it is the best local venue by far.
Apart from providing a venue for the gig, they also sorted out the pa and sound engineering for free. So a huge thanks has to go out to Dudge, Chris and Faither for all their help in making the night a success.
There's also certain individuals who deserve a mention to.
Budge for donating CDs to sell. Bobby Durnin for a more than generous donation, and last but not least my girlfriend Kelly who shook a bucket in face of everyone there throughout the night.
Now on with a review of sorts.
It was a casual and relaxed affair as everyone turned up to sound check. No one minded what the running order would be, and I left it to them to decide who wanted to play when and for how long.
First to take to the stage was Cal Murray.
I was suitably impressed with his solo work previously, but in a short space of time he has gained far more confidence in his own material, and I would argue that it's now time for him to get out there and start pushing hard at audiences.
I've seen others taking a similar approach to playing what could be described as acoustic folk punk, but they don't come close to the passion and talent that Cal has.
A stand out song for me was one about David Kato. The Ugandan gay rights activist who was murdered earlier this year.
Cals sentiments that love is universal rang very true and was delivered with heart on his sleeve honesty, and I guess it is this unpolished and honest approach to his song writing that will always separate him from the pack.
Quite simply a great set that showcased all his for communicating with an audience through his music.
I've already shouted from the rooftops about how good Ross Gilchrist is, and once again here he was living up to all the high praise that I've heaped on him.
Plucking at his guitar, slapping and knocking on the body of it while losing himself in the music is mesmerising to watch.
He's like Ayrshire's very own Brian Wilson, but without the sandpit, drug problems and mental health issues. A force of nature brimming with ideas and the talent to realize them.
The Paraffins for the uninitiated are actually a one man band and Billy Samson is the man, the myth, and the legend, behind the concept of what the 'band' does.
He's a singularly unique artist whose main intention seems to be to engage and bewilder the audience. As someone said to me 'this is what punk is all about', and it is.
The boundaries are pushed at, and pushed hard.
I genuinely can't put into words what it is he does.
There's howling going on, the playing of what looks like a novelty guitar sold to children, maracas being shook and some pretty disjointed dancing being done.
Some would describe it as avant guard, but I've always found anything described as such as being perversely impenetrable to an extent.
Yet with The Paraffins there's an accessibility there that leads you to think 'hey, I like this, but I don't know why.'
Next up was Roscoe Vacant, who due to suffering from a mild sore throat played a more sedate set than I've previously seen him do, and I enjoyed it. It's not a case of preferring one over the other, more so just appreciating the shading of the material.
The cover of the Ramones song 'I believe in miracles' was an apt inclusion for the night considering that it was all in aid of a cancer charity. Once again I would have to say that I don't think I've ever seen Roscoe Vacant play a less than great set.
All in, apart from raising cash for charity, the main thing that was highlighted from the nights entertainment is once again just how much raw talent there is in Ayrshire.
This is where the night deviated from what was advertised as a young man called Kev Borracho had turned up with his guitar in hand in in the spirit of punk fellowship took to the stage to rattle out a couple of tracks.
For a last minute addition he did the business with some raw acoustic folk punk songs.
It was just the two, but he fitted in well with the line up and I would personally have him back to play a longer set in the future.
The night belonged to Junkman's Choir's though.
With years of playing in bands that have led the way in promoting vibrant live music locally Junkman's Choir are the distilled essence of of what a Scottish band should be.
Their roots are on display and act like the bones that everything else is grafted onto, and what fleshes the skeleton out is everything from every corner of the globe.
With nothing more than an electric accordion, that can have a programmed drum track added to it, and an acoustic guitar, they can take you on a road trip that will stop off in Mexico, New Orleans, Jamaica or just about any other musical destination you care to choose.
There's sea shanties wresting with reggae, Rabbie Burns out on the lash with Joe Strummer and a great deal of howling at the moon going on.
If a tourist wondered into the bar and caught a load of this then they would probably think that they had mistakenly took a wrong turning and found themselves stuck in a twilight zone episode that was about hillbilly punks celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Sawney Bean and his inbred cannibal clan.
Especially if Junkman's Choir where in fact singing about him, as they did do.
Fuckin' amazing stuff.
The only complaint I would have is that I could have watched them all night, but there was a midnight curfew to be adhered to. Or to be more accurate, loosely adhered to, as I reckon we went by that by a good fifteen minutes as Cal Murray joined the band to cover Toots and the Maytals '54-46 was my number.
I doubt anyone would disagree if I said that a great time was had by all.
Maybe some pictures could be donated and added later. I'm sure everyone wants to see our squints, extra fingers and humps.