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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Su Casa - 19/04/12 (Ayr)

Here I am in Su Casa yet again waiting for Little Fire to introduce the line up for the night and perform a few of his own songs.
As usual words tumble through my head as I consider how best to try and put across how the atmosphere makes me feel, about how the moment is heavy with untold promises of what is to come, but no matter how many descriptive lines come to mind I'm aware that I have written about Su Casa, Little Fire and Alan Frew so many times now that I may be in danger of repeating myself.
Similarly to how I previously mentioned that Little Fire shakes his material up on a weekly basis to freshen the approach I am going to have to do something like that to.
Yet here I am sitting at the keyboard letting words just trip from my head to my hands and onto the screen.
There's no plan, no guideline, no template for me to strictly adhere to.
I keep coming up with one angle after another, but I'm over thinking it.
So instead all I am going to do is let myself go and leave everything that pours out unedited, and in that way I hope I can get across the essence of the night.
I guess the first thing that I should do is just tell you how Little Fire makes me feel.
He makes me feel warm.
His voice has a rawness to it that shouldn't elicit a warm feeling, but there's very little in it that is abrasive so it does the opposite of expected.
There is just enough grit to make it all sound heartfelt.
It's soft warm molasses with crystallized sugar in it.
The rawness could be the grain of sand waiting to become a pearl in the embrace of the oyster.
There's some alchemy at play in how he takes the raw material and melds it into something beautiful.
He only ever sings about one thing.
Positive tales of love sought, love found and the unknown future of two people in love.
Some may think that this is nothing new, but there's a reason why we have written about, and sung about, love since the dawning of time.
It's because apart from birth, taxes and death it is the one thing that everyone shares.
We all have experience of it in some capacity and Little Fire evokes those feelings and seduces us through the familiarity of what he sings about.
Is it a clever ploy on his part?
Is he even aware of the possibility of an angle on it?
I sincerely doubt it.
Witness one single solitary performance and you can tell in your gut that what he does is just express himself in as heartfelt way as he possibly can.
What more could ever be expected from an artist?

Once Little Fire finishes there's a stitch in time.
We slip through a wormhole and find ourselves in the company of Jiezuberband.
Like aliens from out there on the other side of the universe it sounds like they have been listening to the sounds from earth for centuries and weaved a patchwork quilt of it all together, and now consider themselves very clever for recreating our music.
The reality is that it sounds nothing like what we do.
Bits of jazz wrestles with tribal rhythms, a celtic influence manages to hold some gospel down for the count of three and a submission. The blues keep making an appearance ringside and the audience is made up of snippets of every single genre that has ever managed to get a toe hold in our subconscious.
Often mentioned as psychedelic space rockers it's apparent that they could well be if they were plugged in.
Possibly like a cross between Hawkwind and the Afro Celt Sound System, but acoustically it's a whole different sound, and I suspect that due to the free flow nature of the band that you could see then five times and never really get the same performance repeated.
Within what they do is a flavour of what keeps bringing me back to Su Casa.
It's the eclecticism of the artists that appear.
If someone solely gravitates to one genre then they will often enough find something they like going on, but Su Casa is a haven for real music fans of all ages.
Open minded people who are willing to experience whatever is thrown at them find a home there, and Jiezuberband are the sort of band that fit into that inclusive ethos of experimentation.
So how do you really describe such a multifaceted band?
I guess you don't.
Instead you just throw everything into the mix and then tell someone that they really had to be there to get it.

Time for apologies.
I missed Laura Carswell, but Kel didn't and a review will either be added or put up as a stand alone update.

Steve Dunn was the surprise of the evening.
He looked shell shocked, the rabbit in the headlights as he stood up and strapped his guitar on..........and then he sang.
In that instant he was transformed.
The nerves vanished and in there place was a real performance.
There's two people behind the mic occupying the same body.
It works though. The chemistry of the yin and yang is apparent.
One exists with the other.
It's just that in Steve's case they are very clearly defined.
Songs finish and one Steve reveals himself and then when he closes his eyes to play his doppelgänger takes his place.
Some would say that he could be more relaxed and that would balance how he promotes himself to an audience, but I like both personas and he isn't losing anything by showing some vulnerability.

Taking on the penultimate spot was Chloe Simpson who seemed surprised at the reception she got.
I've no idea why though as she is yet another star in the making.
Her smile illuminates the room and similar to Steve she doesn't seem to be aware of how good she is.
There's a hint of the quirkiness of Kate Nash, but while I've always considered Ms Nash to be a bit of a one trick pony this isn't the case with Chloe.
There's a great deal more going on.
Her one woman show is as accomplished as anyone who is gracing the worlds largest stages and has a whole career behind them.
Su Casa seem to be making a name for themselves in finding precocious talent and propelling them into the consciousness of Ayrshires music fans.
First Anna Sweeney and now Chloe Simpson.
While I was impressed with all the material that she played it was her cover of The Courteeners song Not Nineteen Forever that grabbed me and spun me straight back to seeing the band in a tent in Hyde Park.
It wasn't a straight cover, but the same passion was there and for that it has to be applauded.
Rooftops are made for shouting this girls talents from.

Closing the night was Alan Frew.
He's a musicians musician and while I am not one I often find myself transfixed watching his fingers adding weight to the strings on the fret and picking away at them on the body.
I listen to the sounds and I don't really understand how it is done, but my ignorance isn't a barrier to my enjoyment.
As the night is slowly drawing to a close Alan plays a few songs from his own debut album that spread out and infuse the room with a sense of camaraderie.
It's probably because I have heard them a few times now that I associate them with Su Casa, but when he plays his own material it just seems to fit.
Then just as I was getting comfortable and letting the music wash over me he burst into the Johnny Cash hit Folsom Prison Blues that he then manages to effortlessly morph into Junior Parkers Mystery Train.
It's a move that wouldn't be out of place getting dragged out for the patrons of a juke joint circa 1955.

I suppose you could say if Carlsberg made coffee shops................

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