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Friday, 26 August 2011

Chris Helme/Homesick Aldo/The Girobabies/The Fear/Matthew Scott - 19/8/11 (Jollys Sports bar - Kilmarnock)

I was a bit gob smacked by the end of this nights entertainment.
I've banged on often enough about the amount of talent that the west coast of Scotland currently has, but it is only when it is right there in front of you that you can fully appreciate it.
A band called The Fear were new to my ears, but I'm already adding them to a long list of bands that I will have to keep my eye on.
There's a firm thread of bluesy folk music that runs through much of what the current crop of talent do, but it's not as people would expect.
While bands like the Fear will dip into it, they wont let that sound define them and there refusal to become entrenched in a specific genre is what keeps everything fresh.
It's difficult to actually nail down what they are doing.
It's not indie folk in the stile of Mumford and Sons. Far from it in fact, and I wouldn't want anyone thinking that, but instead it's modern roots music.
Simple acoustic guitar and beat box used to fantastic effect.
Another act I hadn't seen before was Matthew Scott who did a mix of original material and some covers.
I'm no longer sure of the covers he did as they paled in comparison when lined up against his self penned songs.
This young guys voice drips soul. You know that saying 'I could listen to him sing the phone book'?
Well it's about Matthew.
If I was him I'd cultivate some confidence and drop the covers. Maybe keep them for an encore, but the future isn't going to lie in resurrecting other peoples material.
Time to get into a studio and get some of the songs out there.
I've been waiting to see the Girobabies for what feels like a very long time now and when it became apparent that die to their heavy schedule of late that only two members would be appearing to do an acoustic set I'll admit that I had reservations.
Reservations that disappeared as soon as they started.
Every positive review that they have cultivated, every plaudit heaped on them, is well deserved.
In an age where people are keen to point out the negatives that people take from their environment and then promote to the wider public, here we have the Girobabies casting a jaundiced eye over social issues and spitting them back at us with humour and a glint in their eyes.
This is the real voice of the people who haven't lost hope.
As social commentary goes they are telling it like it is and if you can't hear the truth in it then there's probably no hope for you anyway.
Homesick Aldo is the dogs bollocks. He was the dogs bollocks the last time he played Jollys and familiarity hasn't equated to contempt. He's still as fresh, vibrant and manic as expected and it would be fair to say that he blew everyone away..........again.
It's not easy to forget him.
All John Cooper Clarke thin with his scarecrow hair he blows a mean harp and manages to reference the Prodigy and Robert Johnson in the space of a heartbeat.
I'm still not sure if it's genius or madness, but as it seems contagious I'll go with the latter.
Recently I've been harangued for expressing less than complimentary opinions about bands and artists, but when a band like Colour Cells comes along and stop and start, fanny about and general make a cunt of things then I'm not sure what sort of response I'm supposed to give.
The singer himself randomly approached me an apologized for being shite.
His words, not mine. So straight from the horses mouth so to speak, although he did try to quantify it by saying that 'he could have punched the sound guy as if the root of the problem was simply a sound issue.
Frankly it wasn't.
The sound was crystal clear for everyone else that performed.
I'm not sure what they were trying to recreate, but it didn't work and the attitude was a real turn off.
Not just for myself, but for virtually everyone around me.
The rumblings of discontent were very audible and I sincerely doubt that any new fans were picked up on the evening.
Thankfully Chris Helme appeared to save the night from what could have went down as a legendary anticlimax.
What can be said about Chris?
Most people would jump to his time fronting the Seahorses, but give him one night and he will show an audience that his time in the band was just one string to his bow.
It's actually when he is steering his own ship that the real Chris Helme comes out and it's a very emotive performance. Spellbinding is the word.
It's maybe this that Matthew Scott could look at and take some notes on.
Chris can play the crowd pleasing songs, but the real artistry is in the effort and connection he makes with his own material.
That's when he shines and if people aren't cocking half an ear to it due to their alcohol intake I'm sure they would agree.
The real plaudits for the evening have to go to David Hanvey though who once again pulled out all the stops to provide an excellent night of entertainment.
By Christ I'm spoilt having Jollys Sports bar on my doorstep and nights like this to fill my time with.


  1. Who was the mad bird with the bucket? Really pished. Or maybe aff her nut.
    Pain in the ersky.

  2. That was Sammy B. Does an internet radio show thing.

  3. Never heard of her.
    Is the radio show some community service deal?

  4. Great night and review. Homesick Aldo blew the roof off the place n stole the show (now there's a surprise) and deserved the respect from the crowd. Matthew is brilliant, Giro's as always pulled it off superbly! I think you are being a tad unkind to Colour Cells as I do not know how it feels to be an artist (though I do know how to be a piss artist- see above statement from Anonymous) performing on stage when the sound don't seem right from your angle. They were the only band on stage that night, all others were duos or solo artists so perhaps the sound was not all A-Ok for a full band? But aye as performers the show MUST go on! Chris Helme was good but as I have seen him before it didn't have the same effect this time round (Pivo in Dec was ecstatically emotional). It was however great to see all the acts and my friends in Killie again. Big Up tae that man Stumpy for a top class gig!
    Dear Anonymous,
    I may well be a 'pain in the ersky' at times but hey aren't we all? Mainy's review is about the music which was played and you fail to make a comment about that? You seem to have missed the whole point of the evening and the review. Instead you have a dig at me. Without even knowing me or what I do you ask if my radio show is some sort of Community Service deal.. Aye I suppose it is. Having promoted Unsigned music for 5 years I give local and national artists of all genres a platform to showcase their talent and continue to give airplay when no-one else will. I have encouraged, supported and advised many throughout the years because I believe in what they are doing. That’s what I do, that’s my passion, my show is a Service to the Community and I have many hours still to do! With that I best dash.. Scottish New Music Awards to attend tonight.. Am up for Best ‘Community Service’ Radio Show! :)

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Could you delete that. Not worth the hassle and I wont be back to any of the gigs anyway. Rab.

  7. Well hopefully this will come across as balanced Sammy.
    Your comments about supporting local talent are all true. I doubt anyone could claim otherwise, and I'm sure that it is greatly appreciated.
    You are without a doubt a passionate promoter of unsigned artists the length and breadth of Ayrshire.
    However your behaviour on both the Friday and the Saturday night did a great deal to damage all your positive attributes.
    This man Rab is no longer going to attend any gigs in Jollys. Not because he didn't like the entertainment or the bar itself, but purely down to your behaviour.
    He considers his night was ruined by you. Mainly because of the aggresive manner that you demanded money from him, but he also wasn't impressed with getting his drink spilled on him, or the way you communicated with the bar staff.
    I think this might just be a case of seeing yourself as others do. Your nights of enjoying yourself impacted on other peoples enjoyment.
    Someone commented in your defence that you were a larger than life character on the Saturday night, but conceeded that if they didn't know you then that isn't how they would have described you.
    Three people that I invited along were offended by your actions on the Friday night and another four on the saturday. Others have said that they would have put more money in the bucket on the Friday if they hadn't felt so pressured.
    I'm honestly not saying any of this to upset you, and it isn't a dig.
    The way I see it is that I'm being honest and telling you how your actions where percieved.

  8. Mainy I take your views on board.
    I was a bit upset when the comment was made about my wee radio show however comments about me personally I can take on the chin.
    I did not set out to offend or upset anybody or ruin their evening. I apologise to anyone who feels they had a terrible night because of me. Asking people to 'give me yer fuckin money' on hindsight, aye, does come across as aggressive. If only I was Bob Geldof perhaps I could of got away with it! Joking aside I wholeheartedly say that under the influence of alcohol I can, like many, not realise or even know how I am coming across to those who do/ do not know me. I am truly sorry and will apologise to everyone concerned to their face if I ever get the opportunity. I may well be a larger than life character but I am also big enough to take on board what others are saying. May I say that I do not behave like this all the time. Usually I make people smile :) I dance, cheer, laugh, cuddle, kiss n love. Not everyone was offended by me and some were glad to be in my company.
    But upsetting some people does not make me happy. I hope that the people concerned will accept my apology and go back to Jolly's for gigs. I will endeavour to be the happy, positive, fun, loving person I am when out n about. I know you don't know me Mainy but I know that I have upset you. I do hope that we can put this behind us and move on in a positive manner.

    P.S I blame Stumpy for writing 'Give us yer fucking money' on the donations bucket.. JOKE!

  9. Thank you for responding. It takes a great deal of courage to take criticism and give a balanced retort to it,

  10. I play drums for the Colour Cells but wasn't at the gig cos it was some stripped back acoustic thing. We are normally a solid live act as a band with some stand out tunes Fuck knows what was going on that night! I'd hope that if you seen us again (full band) you might agree.

  11. Plenty of people have sung your bands praises, but even those who have were less than impressed that night.
    This review was based on that singular performance and if I see you play a blinder on another night I wouldn't hesitate in saying so.
    In fact I will look forward to seeing the band on a better night.