Maybe it was the Camembert? What am I saying? I don’t eat anything that hasn’t been fried. An ethereal voice – it’s not a psychosis, it’s companionship - tells me that you can in fact fry Camembert. Right I’ll be honest – I won’t eat anything French and that includes margarine. What brought on the French rant anyway? Two things. The first was an unexpected – aren’t they all? – hallucination that Charles Aznavour was singing “She” as I cast my gaze towards the barmaid. The second was…
The second was the strange case of Ross Mccrae. The sight of an Apple laptop on stage is usually enough to bring on an attack of the gout as said laptop, being an invention of the Devil, very rarely provides anything of musical value and more often than not serves only to add pretension to the mundane. Tonight, however, said laptop was completely overcome by the bass trombone of Ross Mccrae. As he strolled round the room blowing his horn and filling the collective ears of the audience with a curiously compelling mix of melody and the avant-garde (just like Saint-Saens would have written if he had been on the smack), it occurred to me that, if you added a beret, Ross Mccrae could actually be French.
Altogether more conventional, however, was the sweet voiced Emma Forman. Just a little bit wistful and all the more appealing for it, she provided the kind of bedsit music that would give bedsit music a good name. It wasn’t all broken hearts though and an acoustic guitar was no competition for her vocal charms for, as “Dancing On The Tables” demonstrated, she could easily punch it out with a full band any day if she wanted to. Hopefully, that day will come soon.
Two Rivers did the time honoured boy girl thing. No, not that boy girl thing – the other one commonly known as a duo. Kirsty Reid showed she had the ability to compete but Francis Thompson's guitar skills struggled to keep up throughout making the end result sound more than a bit awkward.
Mount Analogue turned out to be one man and an acoustic guitar. A bog standard configuration in these parts but to his credit, our lone troubadour distinguished himself by displaying superior abilities on the guitar making them the highlight of his set even if you could tell the West End of Glasgow was his spiritual home.
Minor Fifth made the most noise but, then again, they were a band. It didn’t take long to figure out that the brains behind the operation was the guitar player but that did not really detract from Mandy Ford’s laconic take on the role of a front woman. Playing a selection of pop/rock songs with not inconsiderable verve, they were the kind of band that you would want to hear again, especially if it was a serious beer drinking Friday night.
How many days is it to Christmas anyway?