Live Reviews

  Dan Lyth, Billy Bates, The Dirt and Matt Norris and the Moon live at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow

Maybe it is the festive spirit. Oh yes, blame it on the drink. It's usual to blame it on the drink anyway. She deftly uncorks a bottle of Sailor Jerry's with a knife. She smiles but you can see the madness in her eyes. Too many hours behind a bar give her a positively scary intensity. But her eyes still have that purity, that beauty, that entrancing sparkle…

Make it happen with the music. A man needs a distraction after all. Let's start with Dan Lyth. He's come all the way from Dunfermline which is in Fife, as I recall. The snowflakes apparently illustrated his journey here and he shows no fear in his melodic folk flavoured set. Nearly offbeat, he spins the kind of tales that would give him a home in the Fence Collective.

Altogether more downbeat are The Dirt. There's a gallows on the horizon in all their songs but there would have to be something seriously wrong with your soul if their bone dry humour and dark harmonies don't get to you. Veering between spaghetti westerns and absurd conventionalities, this is a duo (or even trio) that will turn your head away from your beer.

Matt Norris and the Moon make the moves that would suggest that they could pull off a buoyant right turn into the territory occupied by exalted Glasgow brethren like Woodenbox. They hit the ground running but too often they stumbled. Nearly but not quite there.

The Billy Bates Trio take to the stage. I was sort of expecting a bit of avant garde jazz - accidentally talking to musicians can colour your perceptions -  but the resulting sound was that of mid range jazz rock. Immaculately played of course and undoubtedly they impressed the crowd with their musical dexterity.

Final thoughts. James Woods is cool. Woody Harrelson is not. Why do people compare my exquisite good looks to Woody Harrelson? Handsome is as handsome does (unless you have access to firearms). Which takes me back to The Dirt. I'm going to build me a gallows and settle a few scores in neck jerking fashion. It's only illegal if you get caught, for redemption needs a sinner to sin before he can be saved.

Review Date: December 21 2009