Thursday, 29 September 2011

Gig Review - Aye Tunes Presents @ Captain's Rest

Given that I had plugged this gig a fair bit, I felt only right that I actually parted with my money and attended. Given that Ayetunes' Jim didn't have a black eye or any facial swelling, I'm guessing no one took him up on his offer to punch him in the mouth.  T'was a good night of music at the Captain's Rest, the one disappointment I guess would be that more people didn't experience it. C'est la vie...

First up was Kevin P. Gilday putting aside his How Garbo Died day job to deliver some poetry and spoken word pieces. I must admit that this 'genre/format' is not always my favourite (although I did enjoy John Cooper Clarke at The Arches earlier this year). However credit has to be given to the passion and vigour with which Gilday delivered his pieces. His vocal style reminded me of Aidan Moffat. Highlights were a piece about the pain of working in a call centre, which with I emphasis only too much, and a personal piece called 'I Am My Father's Son'.

Up next was my personal highlight of the evening. Mr Miller. Mr Shambles. Shambles Miller to me and you. Starting his set with a favourite of mine 'Things That Make Me Angry', Shambles was full of lively banter and crowd interaction from the start. Following the next track, 'Beer Song' the crowd as asked to accomodate a longer applause, thus given our plaid shirted guitarist some additional time to slug some more beer. A reasonable request if ever I heard one. Comedy is a huge part of Shambles music, and it's his ability to make us chuckle that draw his music closer. Ever the publicist of course a solitary flyer is passed round with the instructions to memorise it's contents, pass it on, and return it back. Times are tight of course. I'm later reliably informed this flyer has survived seven gigs now. That's a healthy return for money invested! Continuing on the theme of light heartness, we are treated to a song NOT about a break up containing possibly the best line I've heard in a song in a long time. All in all, it was a great showing, and hopefully it won't be long until that flyer clocks up gig number eight.

(Shameless plug here. Read Shambles Q&A for the blog here.)

Next up is Edinburgh band The Spook School. It's clear from looking at them how they chose their drummer, as even sitting down drummer Niall is still about three inches taller than the rest of the band! They have put out one of the catchiest songs of the year so far in the form of John Cleese referencing 'History', so I was keen to see what other aces they had up their sleeves. Taking to the stage with lots of energy and drive behind their maiden Glasgow performance, they have an interesting mix of distortion, twee and all round indie-ness. It's clear that the band have spend some time honing their sound, and during the obligatory ukele tracks the sound is very atmospheric, filling the crannies of the basement of The Captain's Rest. If set closer 'History' is a cheery friend who makes you smile, then 'Hallam', which was snuggled in mid set, is the gloomy nihilist. You can download both for free here (or you could be really nice and pay for them. More on this in a bit...) Once the ukele is packed up, and our ears are sonically pleased by the afformented 'History', there's a brief flurry of 'taps aff!' and then done. These guys will do well, watch out for the name.

"Why do they put the old guys on last?" muse tonight's headliners The Sea Kings. Well they might be older, but they certainly don't slow the pace any. It's clear from early tracks, including 'Scarecrows' that the band have a well honed sound, and are very tight as a unit. 'Scarecrows' comes with droony guitars dipped with a country tinge. 'In And Out And Gone' and 'Night Of Broken Glass' both stirs feelings of a Grinderman / Bad Seeds influence, and with a little bit of The Coral too. The lead singer has a good stage presence, staring into the crowd almost seductively as he jives away on stage. 'Bible John' is a worthy foot stomper, a hard hitting track which wears it's morbid undertones proudly. The band go onto to promote their EP 'Some Dark Matters' (which you can buy here) by recalling a story of a guy asking for a refund after accidently buying the CD instead of a download. Here's where things get akward... That guy was me. Read about why here. (Not now though, finish the review then go. Ok I'll remind you.)

Overall great performances by all artists on the bill, and big thanks to Jim from Aye Tunes for putting on another fantastic bill. Check out more about all the bands playing below:

Kevin P. Gilday
Shambles Miller
The Spook School
The Sea Kings

Oh and don't forget to read my no-buying-CD's justificaton post.

1 comment:

  1. Top gig. All acts were brilliant and, like you say, just a shame that there wasn't more folk to see it. Plaudits indeed to Ayetunes for organising such a good gig.