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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Black and White Boy/Andy Bargh/Cabey - PivoPivo - 09/07/13 (Glasgow)

Mid week live music can always be a bit hit and miss.
Especially from the Monday through to the Wednesday.
Party time usually starts to ease in around Thursday, builds up through the Friday and then goes for it big time on the Saturday.
Sunday is of course reserved for fried breakfasts, Irn Bru* and promises of never repeating the excesses of the Friday and Saturday again.
That's not to say that there are more misses than hits though if you do decide that you want to venture out prior to the end of the week.
The line up of Andy Bargh, Black and White Boy and Cabey is a good example, if proof was needed, that quality can rear its head on a Tuesday evening.

With Andy what you get is a pop start in waiting.
An x-factor judging panel would be in the throes of ecstasy if he was to turn up at an audition as he has everything they are looking for.
And I mean everything.
Boy band good looks and a voice that will never need autotuned is really just the start of it.
If you throw this young man a cover he will nail it.
And it is at this point that others would think that while he may be good why should we care as there are similarly others who parade across out television screens most weekends.
The reason you should care is because his talents don't just stop there.
What differentiates Andy from the others is that his own material is a match for any cover that he would care to wrap his talents around.
While it is very obvious that he could fit easily into a manufactured boy band line up it is also obvious that this would be horrendously artistically restrictive for him.
While his set was heavy with covers it was when he moved into his own material that he stood apart from his peers.
With the confidence to focus more on originally penned songs coupled with playing to the right audience he will turn heads.
All it is going to take is for Andy to be in the right place at the right time.

Black and White Boy is a different story entirely.
His set has been forged in the fire of personal loss.
It's a tour de force of raw honesty that covers how we deal with the death of a loved one, about how that period can often be enveloped in a darkness that has a negative impact on those who are closest to us.
It's part confessional, part self analysis, and maybe also a part of it is about reaching out for absolution by sharing something that we will all have to deal with, or will have actually already have dealt with.
No one will manage to dodge a brush with the reaper prior to shaking his hand, and here is Black and White Boy looking to get to grips with that relationship and how it shaped a period of his life.
It's this honesty factor that gives weight to the performance.
It manages to add a sense of gravitas to the material that anchors it solidly in the memory for those who choose to actually listen.
There nothing lightweight about what he is doing, but equally it isn't something that could never be described as burdensome.
You don't leave feeling that a dark period of his life has been passed onto you, but instead that there has been a communal sharing, and with the personal insight he has offered that we are all probably better people for it.

Cabey is yet another game changer.
While Jake Bugg is riding high in popularity here we have our own skiffle/Merseybeat influenced one man and his guitar acoustic act that could give him a run for his money. (And probably to a photo finish to.)
There's a vibrancy to what he is doing that is infectiously timeless.
From his first thrash at the strings the material screams that the very bones of rock and roll have a power all of their own.
If Lonnie Donegan was alive he would raise a smile at some of the young acts who are coming through, but I reckon Cabey could get him up to dance, whoop and a holler.
While others are looking to push the boundaries of technology when it comes to making music he is a timely reminder that going back to basics has it's own powerful allure to.
There's a jubilant embracing of the past going on, but at no point does he lose sight that this is 2013.
It's not a nostalgia bandwagon that is being jumped on, but more a lovingly crafted homage to the roots of UK rock and roll.
His set provide a personal Road to Damascus moment.
A lighting strike that shattered the expectations that I had.
What Cabey is doing keys right into a genuine music fans understanding of the history of music.
You can't fake that.

A Tuesday night, three acts, three styles loosely connected by the acoustic tag, free entry.

I'm struggling to find a downside.

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