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Friday, 8 March 2013

Brave Young Red - EP Launch - 13th Note - 28/02/13 (Glasgow)

Musicians need to keep things fresh, and over the last few years I've seen Matt Scott doing just that.
With each good performance in front of a receptive audience you can see him stretching his muscles and pushing at the boundaries of the music he creates.
Recently he performed fronting a band rather than solo, and from all the witness reports it seems to have went down very well.
In fact I've still to hear a negative comment about it.
With another ep to be recorded on the horizon, and a more serious attitude taken by Matt in promoting his own career, the future could certainly be bright.
Unfortunately while Matt performed at this gig to his usual level of artistry it was going to be an uphill struggle to catch the attention of quite a few of people who had attended.
Most seemed intent on catching up with each other at a decibel level that outstripped the pa.
This event was the one that was the catalyst for the blog update here.
The noise level had nothing to do with the performance.
If anyone tried to claim that Matt lost them, or failed to entertain, then that would be a very blatant lie.
Pretty much a good solid chunk of those who had bought tickets had cast nary a glance in his direction, and they certainly didn't lend him an ear.
I have a great deal of respect for peoples opinions.
If some expressed their distaste for the entertainment on offer after listening to it then that's fine.
If however they failed spectacularly to engage on any level with it, and then tried to claim it was because of anything more than their own ignorance, then I will shout bullshit from the rooftops.
Give a reasoned response based on the facts or shut up.
That seems fair.
Without being able to back up an opinion with a act just means that the person is spouting so much hot air.

I mistakenly thought that things would settle a little when Jamie Flett began his performance.
The quietness of the delivery and the subtleness of the material certainly could be considered to be music that demanded close attention being paid to it.
Not reverential silence, but to get the best from it an appreciation that actually listening to the songs does help.
Around the closure of maybe the third song - after I had been watching Jamies lips move and not hearing much and straining to catch any of the instruments being played - I will admit that I had reached the point when enough was enough.
So dampening down my abhorrence of taking to a stage to speak I put on my promoters hat and stopped the performance and asked for a bit of respect.

The bottom line is that those who arrange events like this, and I do mean me, put in a great many hours behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The venues equally often step up and provide a sterling service as did everyone in the 13th Note on this night.
From the booker to the sound guy, and not forgetting the bar staff, there was not one individual who didn't pull their weight.
Then we have the artists who are performing to entertain those who have attended.
Prior to them taking to a stage there are untold hours spent crafting what they do.
Learning how to play their instruments, writing material, practising it.
Spending money on their instruments, expending cash on rehearsal rooms, recording studios and more.
So much more that from the outside looking in no one could really claim that they see a lack of dedication.
Often these people also travel miles to play, and it's a harsh fact that they are rarely even compensated for their financial outlay.
They are in fact more often than not paying more to perform than those who who bought a ticket to see them.

So the noise levels had to be addressed, and while I am aware that there were some who felt uncomfortable at being what was described as chastised, I can safely say that for every individual who felt awkward at their ignorance being highlighted there were at least two who shook my hand or congratulated me on taking the stance that I did.

Thankfully in the 'awkward' silence that followed my intervention Jamie Flett filled it with some music that when heard could make you swoon.
Beautifully delivered, his voice just floats on top of the music and paints a very wonderful pictures.
I sincerely hope that some who had previously been filling the air with their own voices appreciated just how talented these musicians were, and even keyed into a bit of maturity on their own part, and who knows, maybe accepted what had been said prior and then settled in to enjoy the rest of the performance.

Brave Young Red as the headlining band were for me the biggest surprise of the night though.
I had high expectations, but they fell short of the reality of the performance from them.
I had this idea in my head that they would be pulling out all the stops and providing us with a great performance, but I hadn't anticipated that it would have been as good as it was.
Augmented with two more members the music hasn't just taken a tentative step forward, but instead burst out of the gates and is now running free.
This was the sound of a band who have found the path they want and have set their sights on a definite destination.
Maybe the cover if the new ep with it's hand holding a compass as the artwork is more literal than some would consider.
While previous gigs have seen them in a sense paying their dues this was the one where they became fully paid up members of whatever club it is that only lets in the unarguably talented.

A sold out small venue like the 13th Note was the perfect environment to road test the new material and band members out in, and now with it left in the past the members can safely assume that they are ready to take what they do wherever they wish.

On a night that to be fair couldn't have been described as one that was one hundred percent positive I would still have to consider it as an evening of sterling entertainment from some fantastic performers in the perfect setting for it.
On that basis I reckon that the artists should all be giving each other a deserved pat on the back.

Note - Unfortunately due to ill health Hannah Jackson had to pull out of the show.
Obviously everyone involved wished her all the best and a speedy recovery.

Get the EP here.

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