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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Matt Scott, Tragic OHara, Nicky Smith, Masters of the Sea, Taylor Buntain - Jollys 14/10/11 (Kilmarnock)

I really should write the reviews within a couple of days of the gigs.
All the little mental notes I make seem to have slipped away between then and now, but here goes.
This was the first of a couple of gigs that my good friend Wullie B has organised to raise funds for the McMillan cancer charity. A very worthy cause as I'm sure everyone would agree.
First performer of the night was Taylor Buntain who I have come to know since giving a less than positive review many moons ago.
He's a nice guy and technically the best guitarist that we have locally.
His drifting is very well done as is everything else he does as his fingers dance across the frets. Think of John Butler or Newton Faulkner for a reference point.
I'm sure that fellow musicians must sit slack jawed in admiration when watching him, but there is a problem and that is that his voice isn't managing to match his skills on the guitar and banjo.
No matter how good the material is it is always going to have attention drawn away from it due to the vocal delivery.
Within another project, out-with playing solo, his abilities would allow him to shine more.
I would love to sing his praises from the rooftops, but as long as it's a one man show I don't think I'll be able to.
He has said that he is exploring other options so it is probably only a matter of time until he can come across with the goods. The talents there. It's just a matter of getting it across to an audience in a form that they can get on board with.
Now this is where my memory fails me.
Was it Masters of the Sea next or Nicky Smith?
Lets just say it was Masters of the Sea.
It's been a while since I've seen such a drunkenly consummate performance and I loved it.
Friends have been urging me to see these guys, and all their superlative praise has been underplayed to an extent.
Simply saying a band are great and you need to see them doesn't really convey just how great they are. Even within a stripped down acoustic set what they do is rock solid.
There's very little point in trying to offer a name forth that could allow someone to get a rough idea of who they sound like because they don't sound like anyone apart from themselves.
Of course the music is in a recognisable framework and they aint banging randomly and discordantly on things, but instead what they have done is taken a bunch of influences and distilled them through their own take on what a song should sound like and what they have come up with works.
The fact that their front man could barely bite his fingernails never mind remain balanced on a stool added to the performance rather than detracted from it and his drunken state was really on apparent when talking between songs.
As soon as he was need to sing and play guitar that drunken part of his brain must have been sectioned off and his fingers and vocal chords went on and done their thing.
There playing again soon and I'm now gagging to see the full electric experience.
All hail Masters of the Sea.
Nicky Smith who was up next was another surprise.
Just guitar and vocal, but very well done and while much of the performance has slipped from my head I did enjoy the set and have mentally logged the name away to check out again.
Tragic OHara followed Nicky and once again anyone witnessing his slot must be left asking when is he going to make that leap into the wider public's eye.
Everything is in place. It really must just be a matter of time.
Due to the headline act 'All my logic' failing to make an appearance through reasons unknown to me local artist Matt Scott assumed the position, but unfortunately by this point the downing of pints and shots had laid waste to may of the audience and Matt was left to perform his set in front of a crowd who were paying him scant attention.
It was there loss as he really is a fantastic talent.
There's some Tom Waits in there. A bit of Dylan and Springsteen and a whole lot of Frankie Miller.
Yet he isn't a patchwork quilt of their talents, and instead has his own personality to push.
I've missed blues imbued vocalists who have the rock and roll attitude, and now with Matt we have one of our own.
Note his name down and keep an eye out for him playing.

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