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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Jackie Leven/Roscoe Vacant/Colin Hunter/Tragic OHara - Jollys (Kilmarnock) 13/8/11

We are just in the bar and Tosh (Tragic OHara) is waxing lyrical about a brush with a girl who wanted to finger his anus.
The story ends on an anticlimax when he revealed that at the last second, when said condom covered finger was mere inches from entry, he changed his mind and refused to let her pass go, collect her £200 or even advance to Brownsville station.
We pretend that we believe him.
Meanwhile Vi has two fingers bandaged up and is strenuously claiming that a dog bit them.
We suspect her husband Campbell may have rolled over far too quickly, and without warning, resulting in Vi failing to remove the digits as fast as she would have preferred.
As we were on the subject I admitted to carving myself a large helping of revenge pie once by using a pencil to insert a condom into a passed out guys anus and leaving it there.
He had been hassling women at a party and threatening the men all evening, so once he slipped into a drunken slumber it seemed to be a justifiably good idea to set him up to believe on awakening that he'd been involved in a drunken tryst that had ended with him being ass fucked.
In my defence I was also drunk, and this was way back in time when things like that were called practical jokes rather than sexual assaults.
At that I think we had exhausted the subject matter and moved onto discussing education.
Or to be more specific how education is viewed by the residents of Ardrossan.
Basically they don't want it.
Tosh and Kel felt that they could be considered experts on the matter as they both come from the land that time forgot.
It would seem that the majority view is that being thick is something to be celebrated.
First man. 'School was crap maaan. I did shite at it'
Second man. 'I didnae go at all'
Third man. 'Whits a school?'
That's called one one-upmanship in Ardrossan.
This is really just a rough example of the pre gig banter that we all consider normal.
Nothing is off the table for discussion and it's expected for the humour to be of the dark variety.
When it was mentioned that Colin (Hunter) was looking well he explained that his toned physique was down to doing sit ups and press ups every time he finishes a level in a zombie shoot 'em up game he's been playing, and that he is also in training for a boxing match he is arranging.
As far as I can work out it's a real battle of the bands.
The word is out across Scotland and bands who want to be involved will provide a member who will get in the ring and try and punch lumps out of some random bass player, or whatever, from another band.
I'd like to say that this is all about raising money for a charity, but from the fanatical gleam in his eye I think it's more about his need to show the world that soft spoken indie folk types are not to be fucked with.
I suspect his macho credentials would be seen in a more favourable light is we weren't all aware that after a recent argument with Tosh they decided to resolve their differences by having a dance off.
There's allegedly footage of this and once I have it I can assure you I'll be spreading it about a bit.
Munro appears......hugs everyone...winks at people..........and wanders off again to work the room. He loves everyone and everyone loves him, and it's his birthday, or has been for a few days now.
The point is that he's still celebrating it.
Scott (Faither) announces that the first act is about to come on, and as that's Tosh he extracts himself from the company and becomes Tragic OHara for the next wee while.
It's a very self assured performance. Maybe even the best I've seen him do, and it goes down well.
Cass comments that he finds the albums a bit over produced and that he much prefers the live experience, while Wullie B confides that he thinks Tosh writes songs that are uncannily relevant to his own fucked up life.
I can see his point as lyrically Tosh is a product of his environment, as are we all.
So it's little wonder that it resonates so strongly.
Sometimes it is like a communal biography.
His story, our story.
It was broached once that this ability to paint the familiar in words was maybe too parochial to be appreciated by a wider audience, but I would strongly refute that.
Springsteen does the same thing and it doesn't seem to matter that he is singing about small town USA as strip that away and he is simply singing about people. The location of the story isn't where the magic lies.
The same could be said for Tragic OHara.
After a few originals he slips into a cover of an Ol' Dirty Bastard tune that has become a live favourite of late.
His looping of layers of simplistic guitar work serves him well as an accompaniment, and around me a few new fans have been welcomed into the fold of all things Tragic.
Job well done.
For an opening act he gets a rousing and well deserved reception.
Colin, he of the Sutcliffe facial hair, Hunter doesn't fare as well with the audience.
The attention seems to wane a little and I'm not sure why, maybe they just don't want to applaud someone who has a serial killer beard.
Personally I love what he is doing.
It's all little kitchen sink vignettes that are beautifully crafted. There's a raw bruised quality to them that is expressed with a great deal of passion and I genuinely do struggle in trying to reach an understanding of why people are transfixed by his performance.
Prior to Jackie Leven coming on Robbie Mills and myself get a chance to catch up.
We share a loathing of bullshitters so it is always good to share a five minute vent at all those who do a great deal of talking, but fall far short of doing anything else but talk.
Robbie reserves a great deal disgust for those who claim to have been to legendary gigs but are very obviously spinning a tale, and we both have little time for those who will readily spend money to see a tribute band to recapture a youth they didn't have while simultaneously claiming all modern music is rubbish.
Jolly's, by providing a stage for original talent to promote their music from, is his oasis of calm in a mad world.
It's people like Robbie that makes the bar so special, or maybe it's because the bar is run so well that it attracts the good guys like Robbie.
I doubt many men could have halted the flow of our conversation, but one who could is Jackie Leven, and as he took to the stage the words died on our lips.
Jackie Leven is a shadow of his former self, and I mean that in the kindest way as he is literally a fraction of the size he was.
He could be used by weight-watchers in one of those before and after pictures.
The sort where he holds a pair of year old jeans up while claiming that he could currently reside comfortably in one leg of them.
The most important thing though is that his voice hasn't changed.
It is a rare thing of beauty and Jackie knows how to use it.
Brutally self analytical at times, his therapeutic evisceration of life could be considered too difficult to contemplate enjoying as a form of entertainment, but his soulful voice and lulling guitar serve to smooth the jagged edges and act as a buffer.
Similarly his patter between songs act as an entertaining distraction from the brutal honesty of his lyrics.
It shouldn't really work this mix of serious artistry and wry humour, but it is the yin and yang of Jackie and what makes him such a compelling live artist.
Unfortunately some people at the back had no interest in the performance or held any respect for the people who did want to hear the shows.
The cry of ugi, ugi, ugi, oi, oi, oi was particularly out of place.
It turned out that the small group were led by an ex Kilmarnock football club player.
I've always said that we celebrate failure too readily here, but a failed sportsman still in his early twenties having an entourage is taking the stereotype that bit too far.
They are all pretty pissed and even a plea to be a bit more respectful is ignored.
During Poorton rumblings of discontent start to roll out around me and the chance that this small and unruly group may well get a slap increases.
Jackie studiously ignores them and continues with the show, but I this is no way for a man of his talents to be treated.
When the drone and the shouting continued as Jackie explained how we hold a part of our hearts aside for the death of a parent, but don't for a sibling my heart was heavy.
It's difficult to hang onto charitable thoughts about the village idiots when they are so willing to show that they are undeserving of them.
While Jackie Leven's performance was as fantastic as you would expect, the behaviour of this minority tainted it.
The disrespect shown by them for their environment throws up the same questions as to why people would riot on their own doorstep.
They simply don't give a fuck.
The anger from Cass is generating heat and he's obviously questioning why he even bothers going out in his home town.
He doesn't have to say it. I just know. Probably because I empathize.
In my opinion Jolly's is the best local bar by far.
A safe, relaxing and fun bolt hole where you can leave all the detritus of life behind, but even here they aren't immune to having to deal with the odd arseholes.
It's rare.
So rare that it bugs me to mention it here, but this is often enough the reality of a night out in Kimarnock, and while the bar casually avoids the norm it's a shame that sometimes it is unavoidable.
Roscoe Vacant ends the night and valiantly battles against the apathy.
People have left as they were only there to see Jackie, others remain as they are more interested in consuming more alcohol, and then there is the fannies – The collective noun that is used to describe a grouping of cunts – still hanging about who are oblivious to his performance.
By now drinking is of secondary importance to pulling a 'burd'.
There sparkling wit is tried out on Kel when she is at the bar.
'You got a boyfriend?' 'Yes.'
'Is he here?' 'Yes.'
'You want to come home with me?' 'No'
It was an uncomfortable encounter due to the tone used, but as I was elsewhere at the time Munro and Wullie B eased in to give the physical appearance that Kel was actually with company.
Within ten minutes most of the women in the bar had been propositioned in one way or another and the desperation was beginning to come to the fore as aggression.
What else do these troglodytes understand.
Morna and Carolyn out on a ladies night are I'm sure well versed in fobbing off unwanted attention, but when one hulking member of the group approached her it was a bit too much.
You could see he was the type that once a few drinks were had he loses the ability to hear the word no.
Most people at his age have their name down on the council house list. He's waiting to be included on the sex register.
Well if he could see himself as others do then even he might not be able to offer up a counter argument.
So I edged forward and wrapped my arm around Carolyn's waist and he took that as his cue to seek pastures new.
I seriously hope that he didn't meet any woman lying comatose in the gutter as it's possible that he would consider that a come on.
As Roscoe finished his set I'm pissed off at the distractions that blighted Jackie and Roscoe's performances. So much so that while I did watch Roscoe Vacant it was with one ear as the continued selfish behaviour of a very small group was akin to being tapped on the shoulder every couple of seconds by a drunk demanding some attention.
As performances go we got the best that Ayrshire has to offer along with Jackie Leven. So that's a bonus, and as a night for catching up with friends goes I can't complain either.
It's just a shame that as an evening out it was partially tainted by cunts.
Wheres a pencil and a condom when you need it?


  1. Very well written Mainy.
    Those cunts really did take the shine off what was a really good night of music.

  2. Flies in the ointment Cass. Funny how you can have so much that is positive ruined by that very small minority.
    It's like how you can have a great day, but one singular rude comment can cast all the positive stuff under a shadow.

  3. Thanks for the write up (as promised) Mainy, just sorry you didnt write more about Jacky in stead of about a bunch of wankers ruining a nice gig. Ah well, i know you have to vent at times... :-) Roger

  4. Jackie was as good as expected. Doesn't matter what expectations are formed beforehand as he will match them every time. Haunting, funny, a rare entertainer.

  5. excellent as always mate! Mon The Pencils,,erm,,,wi a rubber oan the end off course,,hoho;-)