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Friday, 28 December 2012

Final post of the year. The December round up.

December is a busy month for everyone.
I'm no different.
Between work, scurrying about shops in a panic and dealing with a million and one other things I've neglected the blog to an extent.
So in lieu of individual reviews here's a round up of what's been going on in the last months of the year.

01/12/12 – Rancid in the Barras.
Less a gig and more of a social occasion for the punks of Scotland.
A gathering of the Clans.
I missed both supports as it was virtually impossible to walk three feet forward without being accosted by a face from the past.
If I was to start listing people I would be hammering at the keys for hours on end.
By the time Kelly and myself extracted ourselves from the 13th Note and pushed our way to the bar the lads from the Bay were storming the stage.
Lars carried most of the set with Tim guesting on a few songs, but I doubt anyone was complaining.
They pushed it hard and had the Scottish crowd eating out of their hands.
Sort of a punk 101 class.
Similar to SLF always doing a St Pats night in the legendary Barrowlands Rancid should consider a yearly hit and run visit.
Utterly mind blowing.
Less a retro fest and more a statement from the punks that they aint going anywhere.

13/12/12 Shelf:Life

Here's one I did manage to review.

15/12/12 Burnsfest.

A mighty oooft. Twenty two acts over two stages. One electric and the other acoustic.
Johnny Graham who organized this did himself proud.
A few weeks prior to it he asked if I would lend a hand so I don't want to really push how good it was as there could be accusations of solo trumpet playing, even though I had no involvement at all in the organizational side of the event.
So now that's out of the way here we go with a take it or leave it summing up of the day and night.
Holy Pistol Club were everything I expected them to be. Some dog is sniffing at an open wound right now as these guys are off on their heels with its bollocks.
The Holy Ghosts were as usual firing on all cylinders and I would recommend that everyone get on board with them as 2013 has to be their year.
The OK Social Club was a minor let down. I have no idea what the score was, but there was just something missing from the performance.
Maybe the band were tired, maybe there was some behind the scenes issues, or possibly one of many little problems that can take the edge off a performance had reared its ugly head.
None the less the set didn't have the energy that I know the band have so I'm chalking it down as a one off minor slump and I'm sure if others hadn't seen them before then they probably didn't notice.
Soldier On were and mods dream band.
They have a solid foot in the past and a hungry attitude that's bristling to grab the present and give it a shake.
I can see them being the Scootering scenes darlings of 2013.
In fact if anyone involved in the rally scene is looking to book a band that will deliver on every level then they need look no further.
Another highlight was the very young Purple Corruption who opened the day and then filled in later for a second, and better, set for a larger audience.
They're still raw and there's enough rough edges to make them slightly abrasive, but there was also far more future promise displayed than is normally expected from a bottom of the bill event opener.
The elevation up the bill was less a by chance opportunity that they grabbed and more a well deserved break.
I was mainly covering the electric stage, but highlights from the acoustic stage as mentioned often in the frame of 'you should have seen.....' were the sets from Anna Sweeneys, Andrew Nicol, Alan Frew, Matt Scott, Mairi Kerr and a Band Called Cadence.
Over all Johhny should be giving himself a pat on the back and considering the whole day a huge success.
Roll on Burnsfest 2013.

16/12/12 – Molotov Jukebox/Dixie Fried/Callum Beattie.

Bit of a last minute gig for Kelly and me, but one we are very pleased that we got to see.
Dixie Fried will no doubt draw comparisons to The White Stripes as it's a guitar and drum duo playing the blues, but that's about as far as the comparisons go as Dixie Fried have a real drummer and vocally there's no White Stripes angle on what they are doing.
Instead they are more akin to a stripped down Led Zeppelin on a busmans holiday to the Delta.
That they aren't sitting on the banks of the Mississippi drinking moonshine and dangling their feet in the muddy waters is probably something they cry themselves to sleep about nightly, but the loss of the state side juke joint is our gain.
I have no doubt that I will be seeing these guys again.

Callum Beattie is a rock star in the mould of Bon Jovi in the making.
Every song he played could be sitting comfortably on a Top Gear CD, and in no way do I mean that disrespectfully.
He has the star quality, the voice and the looks to make it big, but of he doesn't in his own right then he's a songwriter that bands of a certain ilk would pay big money to get a slice of.
I have no idea what the future will hold for him, but he's deserving of a bright one, and I'm sure that the many people who travelled through from Edinburgh on a Sunday night would agree.

Molotov Jukebox, I would presume, are one of those bands who have to deal with the double edged sword of public perception daily.
With Natalia Tena fronting them the first thing that the mind springs to is her acting career, and the successful appearances in the Harry Potter films and Game of Thrones television show that she has enjoyed, but while that undoubtedly brings people to the door the band are then left to usher them through it on their own merits.
Not an easy thing to do as we have seen from so many thespians who have dared to branch out and stretch their vocal chords as credible musicians/artists in the world of music.
However for me Natalia will always now be the front woman of Molotov Jukebox who also acts.
Flamboyantly eccentric the band are a gypsy carnival in full flow who incorporate every single sound that those of a nomadic disposition could pick up on.
They are a twelve legged salsa ska disco punk behemoth of immense talent and I reckon that anyone who fails to let loose and dance to their energetic performance really needs to get a medical check up quick as I suspect they might be dead and just haven't realized it yet.
In fact scratch that.
If any band could reanimate a corpse and get it to dance then this is the band.
From start to finish they are a cardio vascular workout that you can enjoy with a smile on your face, a big muscle stretching and face aching smile.
If you can wrap your head around what is in essence and accordion and violin led party band then this is for you.
Far more accessible and enjoyable than Gogol Bordello who may be about the only other band that you could name drop comfortably next to them.

27/12/12 - Little Fire/Rose Parade - George Square Glasgow

I really thought that the Molotov Cocktail gig would have been the last of the year, but we managed to squeeze this one in.
The whole Christmas fair thing was in full swing.
The lights, the outdoor ice rink, the carousel and exorbitant prices - £3.50 for a thimble full of hot cider – screamed seasons greetings, and right in the middle of it all a tent with bands and solo artists performing.
We arrived just in time to catch the last few songs of Little Fire.
The difference in seeing him perform on a stage with some excellent sound instead of in bars and clubs was drastic.
It took me right back to when he had the support slot to The Secret Sisters in the Oran Mor at the beginning of the year.
So that's two great shows to bookend 2012 from him.
Similarly Rose Parade once again showed people why they are being touted as a band to watch out for.
The addition of Oscar on bass can't be understated and the whole sound has swelled to a level that would be exist comfortably on any size of stage.
There's a whole host of bands that I have seen in 2012 that with a nudge from Lady Luck will do very well in 2013 and both Little Fire and Rose Parade are up there jostling at the starting line and looking at the new year as one that they can grasp with both hands and use to cement a wider reputation that takes them from being local heroes to names that are known nationally if not globally.
I wish them all the best.

Now here's to 2013. It's soon going to be ours. Let's be havin' it.

Apologies to Twisted Illusion who were mistakenly referred to when it should have been Purple Confusion when this was first upped.
I really should have written something more in depth the morning after the night before.

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