Live Reviews

  Eryn Strachan, Martin Livingstone, Matthew Malone live at The Ship in Glasgow

It was a lifelong learning scenario. You think that you won't learn anything that will enhance your intellectual capital of a Friday night in The Ship as Guinness and academic advancement don't usually go hand in hand. Tonight, however, was an exception and this was the night where I learned about walking catfish that eat dogs. Much in the way of truth and knowledge can indeed be found in the words of the woman who serves you beer.

Almost mundane compared with that revelation was Matthew Malone. As neatly as he segued between his own songs and those determined by tradition, he couldn't distract me from the fact that I might be attacked by an ambulatory finned assassin on the way home. Such things, quite rightly, play upon a reviewer's mind.

I have an unexplainably large number of Olivia Newton John records in my collection. Why do I mention this? Because Eryn Strachan had the wholesome qualities that you would associate with Olivia Newton John right down to the prerequisite cover of "Jolene". Showing relentless purity - which must be an Antipodean thing, as Ms Strachan does actually hail from New Zealand (look it up on a map, it is right next door to Australia) -  she also managed to get a Glasgow audience to sing along. That, when I think about it, makes her a bit scary too. Reticence to the point of indifference is, after all, the Glasgow way as we are all cooler than white meter central heating.

From West Lothian, which is considerably less picturesque than New Zealand, was Martin Livingstone who had the opportunity to round off the evening with an acoustic set of songs from the catalogue of his new band Seven Day Sun. He had the mark of a man who should be offered a publishing deal forthwith as he and his comrade in arms knocked out those radio friendly rock songs like they had them to spare. The economics of the music business are harsh these days but Martin Livingstone's future might well have a very acceptable credit rating.

Time knows no master so I shall leave you with one final thought - stay away from expanses of water as you never know what might jump out and steal your kebab.

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