You know every once in as while an amazing gig turns up and you think I am NOT going to miss this.
Well last night was one of those nights, but there was a problem.
Like the bus we wait on that’s late only for two to then arrive at once I had the option of two shows.
What one to go to?
Well of course I did what every good music fan would do and hot footed it between them to catch as much as I could.
The first performance was from Jim Dead who was playing in Pivo Pivo.
I managed to get in early doors and grab a beer and play catch up with some folk early doors including Jim before he took to the stage.
As I took a seat Jim casually walked on stage and began tuning his guitar. There was the usual people chatting as is the way of things. Then suddenly Jim looked up and with a simple strum down the strings he begun.
Right from that moment everything changed.
His set consisted of some songs from his new EP ‘I’m not lost’ and other stretching back through his extensive back catalogue. Songs that I am familiar with, but it was obvious I was in the minority as those around me were wakening up to what Jim does.
Then as he came towards the end of his set something amazing happened and it’s not something I have very often seen.
He stopped strumming his guitar and began to sing acapella. It was totally unexpected, but in that moment perfect.
It is a sign of real talent when someone can hold a rooms attention just with their voice and no accompaniment.
Taking a glance around I noticed that even the bar staff had stopped to listen to this.
I have seen Jim play several times but never have I experienced such emotion in an audience of his.
Amazing probably doesn't come close.
A better adjective for it, to quote the man next to me, was captivating. On form like this I can’t fathom why Jim doesn't play to larger audiences, but then again maybe that’s not what it’s all about.
A bigger venue with a larger, and noisier, audience would probably take something away from it.
The intimacy would be lost.
The connection made stolen from the moment.
So in hindsight this has to be described as special.
I hope that it can be repeated given the right situation, but if not I am very pleased that I witnessed it.
From Pivo I did the mad dash up the hill to King Tuts for a 4 band bill featuring The Likely lads, Stonehouse Violets, Soldier on and Steady State Regime.
As I arrived at the venue the latter of the bands were taking the stage.
Steady State Regime could be described as Kasabian meets The Stone Roses.
Not a bad thing in my book.
I managed to take in most of their set which consisted solely of original tracks.
I was surprised to be told that this performance was after only two rehearsals with their new drummer Paul Slavin.
I was highly impressed with how tight they were albeit with a few stage winks. Bands shouldn’t be up to speed so fast when breaking in a replacement, but they carried it off without breaking a sweat.
There’s already some tracks recorded and very soon I will have them aired on the 3rd Class ticket on Mesi radio and others can pass on what they think.
Literally diving onto stage with some obvious hunger were Stonehouse Violets who similar to Steady State Regime were bedding in a new drummer.
Not that you would pick up on the change, unless of course you were looking. Mikey looking forever the rock front man told the crowd ‘we don’t have long here so lets get on with it’, and then did just that.
Thrashing through an upbeat set it was back to their best for the Violets who had slightly let me down last time with a performance that may have dipped due to some over indulgence of spirits on their part.
I said when the previous drummer Scott left that they had big gloves to fill, but Matthew has brought a different style and energy to the band and he has to be applauded for slipping in and making the drum stool his own.
Seeing Stewart jump off stage and play a solo in the crowd was another highlight of a far too short set.
A short sharp burst of rock and roll that hinted again at the band being one to watch.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to catch The likely lads set due to being caught up in conversations about future airing and possibilities of sessions in the future. Watch this space for updates!!!!
I headed back into the venue with an expectant crowd for the appearance on stage of Ayrshire mod band Soldier On, and they didn’t disappoint with an explosion of colour and sound from the first beat.
There’s no reverse gear with these guys. It’s all full steam ahead.
Over the last few months they have worked hard at building up a solid fan base and they were out in force and with their usual mix of upbeat originals and covers the band whipped them into frenzy.
The band know how to work a set and there’s no lulls. It just starts hard and fast and builds ever stronger as it progresses until they bring the curtain down on yet another fantastic night for those lucky enough to see them.
A night to definitely remember.