Live Reviews

  Monterey Soul, Jym Ponter and Alexander Murray live at Macsorleys in Glasgow

There is a saying in Glasgow - "Ma heid is bursting". For those of you who are not from the west of Scotland it can be roughly translated as a headache caused by stress, hangover, mortgage arrears, alcohol, drugs, threat of employment or similar. Such was the case with Bluesbunny that warm Tuesday night. Seeking the solace that only Guinness can provide, the Bluesbunny charged into Macsorleys. Looking around, the mist that surrounds the compact and bijou Bluesbunny intellect cleared as he recalled that there was an acoustic night in progress.

On the stage were Monterey Soul. They are apparently are from Aberdeen originally but they wisely omit to mention that. Starting with a cover of "Revolution", it is quite obvious that Ruth Warrander's voice punches well above its weight. She looks slight but her voice could fight its way across a stadium full of rock fans. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and a selection of power chords, Graeme Renwick accompanies her. They mix covers with originals and their confidence grows as their set progresses. In fact, their best performance is given on their last song - "Bad Lovin''. There is drama in there so we think that this duo will give their best with a band and some serious amplification. Then they will rock the house.

Anyway, this old guy walks into the bar. He looks a little unsteady on his feet but he is clearly still thirsty. Before he can even get refused service, a woman storms into the bar and orders the bar staff not to serve him. "He's had enough and he's going home", she shouts. The man meekly complies whilst announcing to the world that he is going to kill her. "I don't care, you're going home now", she declares. Showing that dry Glasgow sense of humour, one of the bar staff notes that it is just so embarrassing when your parents come to your place or work. I'll drink to that!

It is going to be a hard act to follow that interlude but Jym Ponter gives it a go. He starts off with "Gonna Leave You" and his grasp of dynamics impresses. Ok, so he has that hippie chic thing going for him but there is honesty in his performance. The ghost of sixties' protest singers loom large as well but after a few more songs, his voice starts to take on a rather more distinctive character. Failing to introduce songs and looking deep in thought does not help an artist connect with his audience but he picks things right up towards the end with some fine guitar picking in the "Mumble Song". There is power and authority in his delivery now. Cunning plan - save the best to last.

Rounding of things for the evening is the redoubtable Alexander Murray. A regular performer on the Glasgow scene, we know his set list backwards from the political commentary of "City Streets" to the haunting "Everything Stays the Same". Tonight, however, he airs a couple of new songs. "Dangerous Waters" was a surprisingly commercial offering that could easily be turned into a quality piece of stadium rock. "Smile" returns him to the reflective yet passionate territory that he usually inhabits. Getting better each time we see him, he shows a more than a bit of class and there is no doubting the passion he has for music.

Calm once more, the Bluesbunny finishes his Guinness and heads for the door. Now was the time to reflect on one of the great philosophical questions of our time. Will be chicken pakora or will it be chips?

Review Date: July 17 2007