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Thursday, 12 January 2012

New Years Revolution - Matt Scott, Lynnie Carson, Johnny Barr, Dani Camacho - King Tuts (11/01/12)

This month the infamous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut are hosting their annual New Years Revolution festival where they promote the 'who to watch' talent for the forthcoming year.
On the bill for the Wednesday night was our local hero Matt Scott joined by Lynnie Carson, Johnny Rab, and late addition to the line up Dani Camacho who also comes from deepest darkest Ayrshire.
Dani was the opening act and this time instead of a strict solo outing he was joined by the Banner brothers who were providing a rhythm section to accompany him.
It's difficult to ascertain if this was beneficial to the set though.
From the start the impression that I was getting was of watching a band finding its feet.
As one song drifted into the next it felt like we were watching a practice session being played out in public, a tentative jam session to see where the common ground was and designed to highlight the direction they could go as a unit.
Unfortunately that's not what people want to spend their hard earned cash on when they shell out for a night of entertainment.
In hindsight I'm sure Dani himself will be picking apart his performance and in the cold light of day considering that the gig was about ten solid practice sessions short of being revealed to the public.
There's a great deal of work needing to be done to flesh out the material.
For instance Mik Banner was under used and apart from playing bass he could have been providing backing, or even duel vocals, but that's the sort of thing that would have possibly been incorporated organically if Dani had the opportunity of time to construct a solid well rehearsed set.
That he didn't have the time and went ahead with the set is something that he may sadly live to regret as many members of an audience give a band one chance and one chance only.
I can understand the dilemma that he had though.
No one gets anywhere unless they are out there playing, and when the offer came in his head must have been full of 'should I or shouldn't I' and then he has considered that winging it and hoping for the best was a better opportunity for him and his band mates than not playing at all.
It makes sense, but only when everything clicks into place and the band play a blinder, and unfortunately that didn't happen.
It's a truism that everyone has less than impressive outings on stage though.
The real measure of a performer is how they come back from them.
It's now time for Dani to sit down and plan his return to the fray.
Next was Johnny Barr, who I was coming to blind. Not one note had I heard, nor any whispers of what to expect.
Initially he was alone on stage and playing impressively like a young John Butler.
It's very obvious from the outset that he's a talented musician and then when he sings it is just as obvious that he has the full package going on.
The songs are well constructed, the musicianship faultless and he carries his stage presence with casual effortlessness.
You would think that things couldn't get any better, but they do when his band join him.
This was one of those rare moments when everything simply works.
Often enough I have seen technically gifted musicians playing together and been left completely cold as their no heart or soul in what they are doing.
This wasn't the case here though.
Johnny Barr and his band provided King Tuts with a genre hopping performance that reminded me of why I love live music so much.
It's because every once in a while if you are lucky you manage to be in the right place at the right time and find yourself blown away by the talent on display.
I still know virtually nothing about them, but I will be changing that sooner rather than later.
An exceptional band and one to definitely look out for in 2012.
Next was our very own Matt Scott and this is where I run into a bit of a problem.
What can I say that I haven't already?
I have a similar problem with the bands Tragic City Thieves and Filthy Little Secret.
After a period of time you simply run out of superlative praise to throw at them, and I'm now at that stage with Matt.
From opening the set with a raunchy take on Roadhouse Blues, that probably wrong footed much of the audience who were wondering why on earth anyone would start a set with a cover, he then moved on into his own material, and then within the context of the set the opening and closing of it with another cover - Drunken Nights In The City - made complete sense.
By having two classic songs bookending the performance Matt actually highlights how strong his own material is as it occupies the middle ground without their being any noticeable dip in quality at all.
Next stop for Matt is a set in Inverness this coming Sunday (15/1/12) in a venue called Hootenanny.
So if you are in the area then do yourself a favour and give your ears a treat.
Headliner of the evening was Lynnie Carson who I unfortunately had to duck out on midway through her performance, but what I did see what suitably impressive.
The first song had her vocals very low in the mix, but that was quickly sorted and once the balance was found, the band, and Lynnie, showed themselves to be deserving of the reputation they have.
It's really just a modern take on soft rock with a bit of a country influence layered into the melting pot.
Lynnie's vocals aren't far off sounding like a young Stevie Nicks, but while some may consider that to sound a tad too middle of the road the reality of the live performance would dispel any thoughts that the band peddle a style that is rooted completely in the past.
If the opportunity arises I'll definitely be taking it to see them again, and a second bite at them will allow me to comment further.
Thank to Kelly, John, Ann, Pauline, Taf, Claire and Hoogs for the excellent company that was on par with the artists performing.
(Photograph of Matt Scott by Euan Main. All rights reserved by Euan Main/Matt Scott)


  1. Ahh, New Years Revolution. A cyncial person may say that it's not really about showcasing the ones to watch but merely a clever marketing campaign to pack out a venue in one of the quietest months of the year. King Tuts are in a great position in that every band playing these local shows for them (Summer Nights is the other big one) believes they will get offered major support slots if they do well (sell loads of tickets).

  2. I wouldn't disagree Robert. The name Tuts carries a great deal of weight it would seem, but realistically how many bands in total have been broken from there in comparison to how many have actually played?

  3. Some people may be wondering where their comments about Dani Camacho are.
    Some nameless people.
    It's simple.
    Anonymous comments will not be posted.
    If you want to leave a comment with your name then fine.
    Either I will respond, or Dani himself may do, as as I'm sure he can handle it.
    In fact I have already spoken to him today and he accepts that the comments I made in the review are fair and he is looking to move forward from the performance.
    That's a far more honest and mature response than I usually get when I fail to sing someones praises.
    So fair play to Dani and I hope that in a few months time he comes back with something that will allow myself and others to comment in a more positive manner.
    Although to be frank hateful pish merchants can fuck off.

  4. i dont even know what was said but everyone is allowed an opinion,but at least have the nuts to leave a name??? n cheers again mainy your truly a good guy! :)

    Peace,Love&Empathy - Dani C - P.o.t!

  5. Don't worry about it Dani.
    It was just a three separate comments that were digs rather than constructive critiques.
    I would even let a dig go if it was invested with some humour as I'm sure from speaking to you that you could have responded in a similar manner, but it was just anonymous internet warriors having a pop.
    I get them all the time.
    There was nothing constructive, clever or funny about the comments.
    People like that are wasting their time venting their hate.