Search This Blog

Friday, 16 September 2011

Su Casa - Shambles Miller, This Silent Forest (solo) , Celine Brooks, Pammi Quinn, James Fole and Little Fire - Ayr (15/9/11)

Well I finally made it to Su Casa, and what can I say? I'm impressed.
Take some aspects of the New York Coffee Houses and throw in a bit of how the Cubans in Havana will open up their homes to serve as restaurants and you can get a feel for what Su Casa are doing.
While it is a business it seems to me to be run on the highest ethical standards, and that allowed me to settle into an oasis of communal appreciation of the music that was being provided in an atmosphere that went some way towards evoking a sense of it being designed to give respite from the capitalist rat race that exists outside its walls.
The set up is simple and very inclusive.
All ages, five pounds entry, bring your own bottle, six acts and free nachos and cheese at half time.
I had previously heard whispers that it was a bit pretentious, but now that I have experienced it I can firmly say that anyone that considers it as such are really just promoting their own insecurities into the public domain.
There is frankly nothing pretentious about SuCasa at all.
If you want a night relaxing and being entertained by some fantastic musicians then this is the place to go.
On arriving we took our seat midway through a performance by Pammi Quinn.
She's got a bit of country in her voice, but it isn't country music. Instead I kept getting a feeling of the rhythm of how Adam Duritz of Counting Crows pushes his lyrics. It's not blatant, as Pammi's crystal clear and feminine vocals distracts from it, but I reckon it's in there.
It's all rather lovely and faultlessly executed. She's a very talented young woman who I hope to see again.
Next was Squirrel of 'This Silent Forest' who had a nice easy manner about him.
It's all pretty much a relaxed performance, but there's a bit of fire pushed to the fore at times when his foot comes down harder on the beat and the strings are hit with a bit more intensity.
It helps shade proceedings and manages to give it all a little more than is normally expected from a certain style of solo acoustic singer songwriter.
Celine Brooks, a Canadian currently residing in Glasgow took to the mic after Squirrel and took things down a bluesier path in the vocal delivery.
As with all the other acts booked to appear it is still single guitar and voice, but Celine helped to show just how broad a palette of styles can be sampled from the barest of accompaniments.
It was a set that added another eclectic angle to the evening and if I have my way I hope to get here to visit Kilmarnock and play a set for us here.
Everything moved in yet another direction when Shambles Miller stepped up.
I once seen the Barenaked Ladies do an acoustic set in Glastonbury around the time that their album 'Gordon' came out and I got that vibe from Shambles.
He has that same clever and witty lyricism down, but with more of the raw Scottish twist to it.
Fascists get a bit of a drubbing - Hurrah - during a line in 'Things that make me angry' and the national hangover cure that is a fry up and Irn Bru gets a mention in the rather entertaining 'Beer song'.
Both bits of social commentary that I can easily get on board with.
There was one problem with his was too short. Not really a criticism that will bother him though.
Straight from his work to entertain us came James Fole who is warming up for his ep launch that will take place in SuCasa on the 30th of September.
He classes himself as someone who plays acoustic folk, but I would say that limits how people could perceive what he does.
Unheard it could just be filed away as a run of the mill, seen it a million times, yet another young guy with a guitar warbling about nothing much at all, but that is the polar opposite of what Jamie does.
Relationships between the sexes are pulled out into the light and quietly dissected with great aplomb. The hypocrisy of social interactions are laid bare and the whole set is admirably held together in an effortless manner.
There is nothing lightweight about this performance and it will be interesting to see how it works out with a band backing the material.
The end of the nights is easily reached as Little Fire and Shambles each play a song and in some way that book ended a marvellous evening.
There is no doubt that I will be back in Su Casa.
Next time I'll be there earlier to ensure I get a goods seat.


  1. Sounds like the sort of place that every large town and city should have,
    An ethically run franchise that served the community.

  2. My thoughts exactly. If there was more of them it would also mean that there could be touring potential between them all to.

  3. You are going to lose that bastard tag if you keep upping reviews like this.

  4. I suppose I will just have to get up extra early to practice being a bastard then.