Live Reviews

  Ballboy, Matt Norris and the Moon, John Irvine live at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow

Ah, the irony! Just outside the Apple store on Buchanan Street there was a rather beautiful young woman playing  the harp. Not a hallucination, for once, but the reality of the early evening in sunshine struck Glasgow. She had class and style and the Apple Store had pretty laptops and iPods and iPads…

Zigzag through the side streets and watch in wonder as a seagull the size of a turkey eats leftover steak bakes outside Greggs. I just knew they were good for you.  Nearly at Pivo Pivo now. Dive, dive, dive into the basement and shout up that first pint of Guinness. As she pours, she tells me that she likes to hang about in parks playing a game called “Fat or Pregnant” (better known as Clydebank Canasta, by the way).  Those azure eyes don’t lie and I feel real, genuine fear as taking prisoners doesn’t seem to feature on her agenda.

Eyes left to the stage where John Irvine peddles his wares. A troubadour with an acoustic guitar is not much of a surprise but the depth and sincerity of his voice is. Whether turning his hand to his own material or covers of well known songs, his rich sonorous tones and interpretative skills shine through. It would be good to see him in a “local boy makes good” type feature in the newspapers.

Matt Norris and the Moon are almost embarrassingly mellow in that liquid Mumford & Sons kind of way. They spin out songs in such a manner that no one is ever likely to be offended and show an eloquence not often seen this side of the Harthill divide (they are, after all, from Edinburgh). It was one of those times where you felt you had been washed clean by their music and that’s not a bad thing in this squalid world.

What better way to end an evening than a bit of nostalgia? Ballboy have been around since 1999 and have brought an adoring audience exactly what they wanted to hear. Wry humour pervades their lyrics and it doesn’t take much to get the assembled masses to their feet to relive the toetapping glories of their past. The man who should know better remarks that Morrissey has a lot to answer for and that’s a pretty fair conclusion to reach when you see this band as Ballboy are quirky in that way that only British bands can be (and we should be thankful for that). Either that or they will drive you to drink.

I order another Guinness …

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