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Friday, 24 February 2012

Su Casa - 23/02/12

I don't often review gigs or do interviews and tend to leave that to Mainy.
My main involvement over the last few years has been with putting on the gigs with him, but as he wasn't at Su Casa last night and I was I've decided that I'm taking over the blog for the day.

There's no order to this. Just thoughts on the high standard of entertainment provided by what is probably my favourite venue in Ayrshire.

Pammy Quinn - Last time I seen Pammy play she was heavily pregnant and had a guy accompanying her on guitar.
I enjoyed her set at the time, but I don't remember it as something that made me sit up and really pay attention.
Now here she was completely solo and it's a whole different story.
From the start I was captivated.
Her singing is just so strong and has a purity to it that is astounding.
She reminded me of The Secret Sisters. Not in style or attitude. Just in the clarity of her voice and how she manages to personally connect with an audience.
Lyrically I was also impressed to. There's nothing throw away about her songs.
She touched on the fairy tale expectations of relationships and it didn't sound like one of those songs that a writing team comes up with that's designed to hit all the buttons, but instead it did the same job by sounding honest.
This is why I never write people off when it comes to going to see bands and artists perform.
If I have seen them once and they ranged from being not too good to good, but nothing special, then that doesn't necessarily mean that will always be the case.
In the two performances I have seen from Pammy one was very good and while I enjoyed it it didn't prepare me for how good this one would be.
I absolutely loved it.

Robin Adams – This was my first time seeing Robin play and I was quietly impressed but not blown away. Maybe in the same way that I was with Pammy Quinn when I was first introduced to her music.
Something that Mainy said to me sprung to mind about how commenting on music is subjective because you can watch someone and see that they are talented musicians, have a great voice and strong song writing abilities, but while you can hear all that none of their talent is moving you.
There's nothing wrong with it at all and you can understand why others find it appealing, but you don't personally.
This is what I started to get to feel with Robin.
I started off liking him but as the set went on I was looking for it to have a bit more shading to it.
It's not that he's short on talent. It's just that what he does didn't make a strong connection with me, but I would like to see him again as I have a feeling that what he does just needs to bed in with me and then it will click.

Johnny Graham – Wow.
Johnny has the same set up as Ari from Rose Parade when he is playing solo. It's just guitar and drum, but that's where comparisons end.
How two people can use the same basic instruments and make something that sounds completely different astounds me.
He's from Irvine, so another local artist who is stepping up to showcase there talents and yet another doing it with style.
His cover of The Killers song 'When you were young' was a fantastic example of how an artist can take the music of another in a different direction and in some way make it just as relevant, or maybe more so, than the original.
From now one when I hear that song it could very well remind me of Johnny rather than the Killers.
Now I'm thinking it is unfair to comment on that and not say how enjoyable the rest of the set is.
If you make the effort to catch Johnny play somewhere soon then you will not be disappointed.
I love it when I personally discover someone new. Not discover them like find them for everyone else, but for myself.
He has an album launch coming up, but unfortunately I'm working.
So all the best to him with that and I'm going to bend Mainy's ear and get him to buy a copy.
(Edit – I've just seen there's a post about Johnny on the blog. My partner tells me nothing.)

Alan Frew – I never know what to expect from Alan. His sets have his own material at the core, but he always throws in some covers that make every show completely different.
Sometimes there's a laid back bluesy feeling to it all. The other week it all ended on traditional blues based rock and roll stompers.
But it's on his own song 'Moonchild' that he makes me wish I could play guitar. It looks like the instrument is an extension of Alan himself when he plays it.
He has a great reputation and when you see him you just know it is well deserved.

Little Fire – As Jamie is a mainstay at Su Casa I should be starting to get tired of him playing, but familiarity isn't taking anything away from what he does.
His songs are ear worms. I just love listening to him and I've yet to get bored of his performances.
There was some problems with his sound during his set, but nothing to complain about and in a little way these hiccups are all part of the intimate nights that Su Casa provide us with.
It makes me feel that there's no barrier between the acts performing and the audience.
It's just a bunch of like minded people in a room enjoying music and I like that.

Mike Nesbit – I don't know if it was just me, but Mike sounded like am cross between Bruce Springsteen and the band James.
The harmonica was what gave it the Springsteen sound, but his vocals were like Tim Booth.
I'm a fan of both so I was quite happy with this, but I'm still trying to get to grips with it a bit.
I'm going to have to check out youtube, bandcamp and facebook and come back to him.
What I will say is that he was yet another talent that Su Casa has brought to Ayrshire and credit has to go to him for travelling all the way from Oban to entertain us.
His dedication to his art is much appreciated.

(Kelly Conway)

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