Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Gig Review - Julia And The Doogans @ The Captains Rest
It's no secret that we think Julia And The Doogans are the bee's knees and last Friday 13th April they officially launched their stunning new EP 'Diamonds' at The Captain's Rest. And if that wasn't exciting enough, the support was equally exciting with Shambles Miller and Dougie Greig in tow.
Before heading downstairs we were greeted with a optical delight of goodies on offer. Tote bags, posters, fresh copies of the new EP plus free fridge magnets, lollipops and delightfully well advertised cakes. I always enjoy a nice cup cake to go with my pint of oh so delicious beer.
First up on stage was Dougie Greig who took to the stage armed with jovial banter, an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. Playing tracks from his recently re-released on iTunes EP 'Beginnings', which was originally out in 2010, Dougie made effective use of the loop pedal which acted as his backing band since striking out on his own. Dougie's timings were all pretty spot on, and he managed to create a fuller sound than one man on stage with his guitar. Opening track 'World In A Pocketwatch' had a very chilled out feel and 'Victoria', a song about Victoria Park in Glasgow, demonstrated the emotion that Dougie packs into his material. After the dreaded 'having to talk whilst re-tuning' moment the set ended with a track 'Bled' from his forthcoming album later this year, and set closer 'Dancing With The Devil'.
After a quick pop to the bar for some liquid refreshments I headed back downstairs to catch another Scottish Fiction favourite, Shambles Miller. Again, it's no secret that I like Shambles Miller a lot. He's been featured on the blog, had a track on our monthly EP, and even joined us on the radio show. Part of the reason I'm drawn to Shambles, and others obviously too, is his charming likeable onstage demeanour. Kicking things off with 'Things That Make Me Angry' and 'Beer Song', which was quite apt as I had moved onto pint number three by this point, Shambles quickly warmed the crowd to him. Having seen Shambles a few times now, I like that you can anticipate the LOL moments in his tracks, of which my favourite must be "so long and thanks for all the sex". The venue has packed out a bit more by this stage, and after a few more tracks performed with gusto, the time has came for Shambles to bid adieu ending with usual set closer 'Alice's Song'.
With Julia And The Doogans impending appearance drawing closer, more bodies pack into the small room. It was at this stage I regretted giving up my earlier seat, as we ended up snuggled into the corner. I could still see the pretty fairy lights which adorned the stage, turning the whole affair into a very intimate and snug occasion. We were of course here for the launch of the 'Diamonds' EP, and the first few tracks were lifted from that with 'Those Things', 'Bound' and 'Borderline' in quick succession. As always Julia's vocals were effortlessly beautiful, demanding silence from the spell bound audience. Back up trio of Jennifer, Renata and Alice or 'The Girls' as Julia affectionately thanks them as were all equally important to the ambiance and delicate sounds filling the room. Having said that, Julia performed a few stripped down tracks herself such as the crowd requested 'Do You Like Star Wars', Julia doesn't, and new song 'Follow', which displayed the same tender emotions present in the tracks from 'Diamonds'. Another crowd favourite was 'Glasgow', which is a sweetly sung melody about both Glasgow's beauty and less palatable side. Coming towards the end was the airing of the spin-chilling 'Diamonds' and you could almost hear the collective sigh of appreciation from the crowd who were by this time putty in the hands of the band. A slight guitar mishap, meant that a planned acoustic version of 'New York City' became an acapella version before EP and set closer 'Down The Line' ended what was a thoroughly enjoyable gig. If you weren't there then you can pick up the EP now, put up your own fairy lights and relive the experience. Do it, you'll feel better for it.