Live Reviews

  Man at the Windows, Esperanza, Rudy Alba live at Stereo in Glasgow

Even the most errant individual will commit an act of charity or humanitarian decency at some time in their life - perhaps without being aware of that element of their doing. Whether they came for the music, the cause, both, or neither, those who made this evening were not to be let down by an evening of fine reggae music which served as a fundraiser for Amnesty International.

Representing the "Scomaicans" (draw your own conclusion…) was Rudy Alba, who was flanked by a quietly impressive woman on backing vocals. Although chanting to pre-recorded tracks, there was no questioning the sincerity of their direction or lyrical jabs and, while Rudy's Caribbean lilt is clearly adopted for performance, it was razor-sharp and convincing. It didn't take a full band performance to convince me that Rudy Alba is the real deal, but should the opportunity arise I'll be among the first to be there. There's potential aplenty in Rudy Alba.

Not-so-quietly making a name for themselves in Glasgow's ska scene are Esperanza. With nine members, the congregation were barely contained on Stereo's normally agreeable stage. However, they managed and how lucky we were that they did. On one hand, there's nary a band in Glasgow that could be more appropriate to entertain a room of students half-drunk on Red Stripe. On the other, there's the fact that Esperanza would've had your grandmother swinging her hips on this showing. Don't believe me? Go and see for yourself. If you think I'm wrong, feel free to have a word with me. But I'm not wrong.

It wasn't going to be easy for the next act. So, full credit must go to Man At The Window, who, despite sounding more reggae-influenced than reggae-by-classification, kept the remaining audience positively captive. By suggesting at pop sensibilities, this act wouldn't sound out of place on any popular music bill. This is probably where the UB40 comparison should lie, but I'll spare them that. Energetic, upbeat, and always danceable, you should go and see Man At The Window. Really, you should.

Judging by all the flailing arms and smiling faces I clocked, just about everybody had a good night. All my charity being spent, I couldn't help but return to my normal cantankerous ways when somebody tried to initiate a conversation on the bus by mentioning Morrissey. But that's another story. Goodnight.

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