Thursday, 29 March 2007

Conor Mason, The Just Joans, Willy Campbell - Out to Play - Brel

Brel, and I swear there's only ten gig-going people in this town. Colin off of the internet is here and a couple from The Hermit Crabs.

So I wandered in about two songs into the first guy's set, Connor Mason, and got busy scoping the crowd and the venue. We're in a conservatory, laid out with rows of chairs reminiscent of Sunday School. I was being distracted by flashing lights and poorly placed pot plants, but caught the odd glimpse of genius from the stage.

He was sat on a deck chair with semi-acoustic guitar abnd a harmonica round his neck. The sound in here is amazing, he was barely whispering but it came through clear and beautiful. Winsom and drify, caught floating through a dream.

The quiet bloke from the door shuffles to the front, near the stage and takes an empty seat in front of the whole audience, and indicates "one song left".

I make CDs for The Just Joans. They have poignant writ right through. Here, tonight, playing in the shadow of Glasgow university, Dave starts with 'Friday Afternoons', about drinking in the union as an undergraduate.

Och, Cool uncle Stu is here and possibly a member of B&S near the back, Ali's passing out fliers for Drunk at the Pulpit, I hardly recognised her with new hair style.

The whole Just Joans vibe sounds confessional, getting dumped, drunken indiscretions, losing friends, its all been carefully honed over the years. Chris on lead guitar, has played in countless other bands, tonight my favourite bit of his guitar craftis the wee descending line in 'Lookin' like Rain' on the third rep of 'Dumped by my lassie, down at the Strathy'.

The headline act of the night is Willy Campbell, with a backing band. I thought he sounded a bit like Joe Mac from Superstar, some weird pedal-induced vocal effects. Despite proclaimed nervousness, he had great rapport with the audience and his band: keyboard, second guitar and cello.

Actually, the girl on cello looked kinda familiar, I think she was an MSN contact of mine for a month or so two years back, we never spoke in real life, I think I once made eye contact with her twice at a gig, which is almost the same as talking.

Kind of magical songs, he kept on drifting away from the mic, but sang out so he barely needed it.

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