Sunday, 22 April 2007

Green Peppers, Dropkick, Ally Kerr, Chris Leonard - Cottiers

Its been years since I was at a gig at the Cottiers, the bands were playing in the church that time. But tonight, tonight they're playing in the restaurant bar. At the back, where I'm stood, the acoustics are poor.

At the front between the twin speakers of the PA are Ally Kerr and Chris Leonard. Two guitars and two mics, nice lush sparkly music.

There ought to be more candles in here. Oop, I spy Stevie Jackson.

I wonder often, if these songs work. Do they mend the broken heart or return the girl? Or do they serve merely to sate and cultivate hope?

Their final song is the new single, out tomorrow, well an acoustic version. Why is a single?

I thought the sound in here was poor a few paragraphs ago, that the vocals were distorted, refracted and garbled by the time they reached the back of the room. But, between bands, when its just a CD over the PA, the sounds better.

Dropkick, from Edinburgh, started out sounding much like Simon and Garfunkle in mid Boxer-era. They have much in common with the Proclaimers - glasses, guitars, hair. Not sure if they're brothers, don't look like twins. Nice melodic harmonies, inoffensive.

Hmm, halfway through they become a little whiney, kind of gnawing.

Some people come in and join me at the back, they have a dog. Its kind of bored, but every so often it gets all interested in something and wags its tail. I wonder what it thinks of Dropkick... Rowf? Rowf... grrrr...

Its now sitting on the floor, gazing at a wall, timing how long people spend in the toilets..

Me and the dog are bonding, working together to form an awkward baricade to people trying to get out the back door. Man and beast as a team.

I did like the Dropkick's last two songs, some of the best harmonies I've heard since last time, and rather neat decending chord sequences.

I'm skint, I hope they don't try pimping me a CD. My last money of the month is going towards paying customs duty on the Twin Peaks series 2 DVD, not the Dropkick album, sorry lads. Maybe I should fake being on the phone.

Jim McCulloch, a man of many bands, BMX Banditos, Superstar, Soup Dragons and now the Green Peppers, a band of one. Kind of unassuming, he just kind of started playing, no build up, no intro, just throwing himself into it.

A jangly guitar antecedance and more upbeat than the other acts of the night. Something pleading about his voice.

I can't remember if I've seen the Green Peppers before. Aye Superstar countless times, but not Jim alone. How come his songs sound so familiar? Surely not just from hours listening to his MySpace page?

Both riffing off each other, carrying the tune whilst the other noodles, its rare to see man and guitar so in tune with each other, makes my performance with the dog earlier in this review seem positively amateur.

He does a neat drop-D droning thing, there's probably a word for it, but I was off ill for that guitar lesson.

I don't think I like anyone enough to relegate this to background music for a conversation, how can everyone else here?

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