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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Little Fire, Alan Frew, Bob - Su Casa (05/01/12)

First gig of 2012 for me, and also for Su Casa in Ayr.
It's a quiet affair to.
Not so much hitting the new year with a bang, but more easing into it slowly.
Maybe Little Fire and Alan Frew were taking into consideration that some may still be nursing extended Hogmanay hangovers.
While I'm not one holding onto a cranium full of jumbled flashes of 'God did I really do/say that' I am thankful for the relaxed atmosphere.
I think as last year ended I was becoming a little jaded, maybe even burnt out with going to see bands and acts here there and everywhere.
So this reintroduction to live music was just what was needed to reignite my passion for seeing original artists perform.
This is the first time that I've seen Little Fire do an expanded set, and the first half is very nicely done.
Instead of a random selection of his original songs he instead introduced them in the order they had been written and added little insights as to how each was tied into a specific part of a relationship.
It's a well constructed and casually intimate way to reveal the material and with a bit of work it's a direction I think he should pursue.
The little revelations link the material together and allow the audience to feel more of a connection with the performance, and Jamie as a performer, than the simple run through of singing the songs.
Each time I see Jamie he confirms that he is a talented young man who is deserving of being on the cusp of some good things happening in 2012.
His second set was a mix of older material that he had dusted off with much of it being new to my ears.
It's rock solid, and over the course of the night it becomes obvious that he has a full albums worth of material that needs to be laid down in a studio and released to the public.
Alan Frew's sets were very different to Jamie's, but equally as entertaining.
There's a wealth of original material for him to play, and a few nuanced covers are slipped in that that fit in well with the flow of his performance.
As an introduction to him as a performer these two sets admirably do the job.
Previously I've only ever caught the tail end of a show and within the couple of songs I heard there was no originals.
So while I did enjoy what I had seen it didn't really convey how good he is as an original artists.
This time the full scope of his talents as a guitarist, singer and songwriter were on show and he effortlessly showed that the praise I've previously heard showered on him was well justified.
In fact I was so impressed that I jumped at the chance to pick up his album 'Go Easy' and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who appreciates well crafted songs delivered with a real sense of commitment to the material.
It's been said often recently, and with a negative tone, that Ayrshire is awash with singer/songwriters, and while this is true I could argue that the dearth of venues that can accommodate full electric bands has led to a local music scene that is top heavy with solo artists I honestly don't think people should grumble when it has led to artists as talented as Alan to flourish.
Apart from Little Fire and Alan playing we also got to see a member of the audience called Bob play.
There was something very basic about the songs he played, but I found myself quite taken by them.
The simplistic honesty that they were imbued with had a power and attraction that is difficult to convey, and they evocatively reminded me of the cadence of old folk songs that would be sung to children.
It's maybe not the sort of thing that many people would appreciate, but I think it carried it's own worth and in all honesty consider that there would be a niche market for this.
He finished with a gospel tune that was played in the same manner as his previous two songs and all in I'd say it was a pleasurable experience.
(Now someone is going to tell me that the first two songs aren't originals, but actual old folks songs I suppose)
So there we go.
First gig tucked under my belt and some solid foundations have been laid for the year ahead.

(Su Casa hosts a night of original artists every Thursday from 8pm till late. It's £5 entry, all ages are welcome and patrons can bring their own alcohol. Coffee, hot chocolate and cheesecake is for sale, and if you're lucky you might get some free natchos)


  1. Alan Frew is an awesome guitarist. He makes it look easy too ! Lost's of technical stuff done in an easy relaxed manner....

  2. I was very impressed, and a very nice guy to.