Here I am back in the driving seat with another review. I'll be taking over the blog soon.
This time I managed to get along to Su Casa for the Brown Bear and the Bandits EP launch and listening party without Mainy as he was working.
I had been night shift before this myself so it was straight out of my bed and into the car to go and pick up Claire before we took the road to Ayr.
Once in Su Casa we did our usual and grabbed some large mugs of hot chocolate and then jumped upstairs to get some good seats.
I'm glad we arrived early as with every pasing minute the room started to fill until it had got to bursting point.
I'm not sure I've ever seen it that busy before.
First to get up and entertain us was Little Fire.
You would think that seeing him play nearly every Thursday would start to wear a bit thin, but that's not the case.
I love listening to him sing and I can't see a time when I will get tired of watching him perform.
His talent shines through.
His songwriting skills, voice and guitar playing all fit nicely together and you get the idea that this is the full package.
Next to entertain us was Paul McGranaghan who initially regaled us solo with some very well written songs.
Similar to Little Fire he manages to make everything fit together.
That not to say that they sound alike, but instead that both are performing to a very high standard.
Midway through his set a friend joined him, and while I had been very impressed with Paul playing himself this additional guitarist took it all to another level.
He has an album coming out soon and I'll definitely be buying it.
Until that comes out I'll have to make do with the EP that he had with him.
On it are three tracks that go a long way to confirming to me that we have something rather special in Paul.
(A review of the ep will follow)
Through both sets I kept wondering where Jamie and Matt (Brown Bear) find all this talent from.
So far it had been exceptional.
On the down side the curse of the chatter was back.
It's something that I've been becoming increasingly aware of.
There's a bit of balance that maybe needs to be reached.
I don't expect people to sit in reverential silence, but neither do I want them to raise their voices and compete with the act who are performing.
Throughout Little Fire, and then Paul McGranaghans sets, there was a few people at both ends of the spectrum.
Some appeared disinterested and were speaking loudly and maybe they could have been a bit more respectful and took their conversation downstairs, while one woman was loudly shushing people and in doing so making more noise than the people she was directing her shush at.
I don't mean to come across like the gig police and push strict guidelines on gig etiquette, but possibly just make people aware of how their behaviour can have an impact on other peoples enjoyment.
Anyway. That's me had a very small apologetic rant.
The band of the night, and the band it seemed everyone was there to see, were next, and by this time I was at the back of the room and there was no chance of me getting back to my seat at the front.
I ended up standing next to Laura and her friends and even managed to take a guys seat when he wasn't looking.
So much for gig etiquette eh?
When Brown Bear and the Bandits began it was very obvious why they are SAMA winners and a band whose name is on lips of everyone.
They were stunningly good from start to finish.
Their cover of the Talking Heads classic 'Phsyco Killer' was as unexpected as it was brilliant.
On the way home it was still filling my head.
The material from their forthcoming release was rolled out for everyone and it sounded like every single new song has hit stamped on it.
It was a great atmosphere from the start, and midway through their set it seemed like everyone in the room was up dancing and singing along.
As they finished everyone started chanting 'two more songs' and with big grins all round they gave in and played another couple.
I've seen them a few times now and always enjoyed myself, but this time it was a whole new experience.
You can tell that all the pieces are starting to fall into place for them and it was a pleasure to participate in their launch night.
A couple of t-shirts bought later and I hit the road to Kilmarnock with my ears ringing, Psycho Killer roaming about in my head and a smile that wouldn't go away.
Another great night. Roll on the next.