Showcase time in the Ironworks again, they’re spoiling us this summer with 8 of them!. A chance to see new and more established acts. Tonight was a rather relaxed affair, the tables were out, as it was more or less accoustic. Sorry to all involved for the dodgy pictures, and the Galipaygos as I don’t even have a half decent one of them. Not a photographer, need to get a decent camera…
Ailsa Lyall Mathews and Greg Barry
First up was Ailsa Lyall Mathews. She’s a fantastic singer with a powerful throaty voice somewhat reminiscent of Birdy (just to give you an idea). She also plays the keyboard though nothing particularly fancy, more like a guitarist playing chords. It doesn’t NEED fancy piano though as her voice more than carries the act. This was only her second gig but any nerves didn’t show. Most of the set was original tunes, well written in the heartbreak vein of things. Ailsa was backed by the excellent Greg Barry on guitar and harmonising vocals. Greg wasn’t new to me as I’d seen him at the Greenhouse a few times. The two dueted on an excellent cover of Somebody I Used To Know by Gotye, and he solo-ed on an old folk tune (possibly Motorcylce Song by Steve Goodman? I neglected to write it down). Both performers are ones to watch. Greg is already an established session musician and we all have to try and coax him in to performing some original stuff on his own. Ailsa is just getting started and with a voice like her’s she shouldn’t stop any time soon.
Imke Henderson, Maryann Frew, Bev Fraser and Liza Mulholland
Next up were Dorec-a-belle, a funky jazzy girl quartet. Due to the sax and squeezebox there’s occasionally a French cafe type vibe to their tunes. The ladies produce some lovely harmonies and somehow produce a way more powerful sound than four instruments should. Occasionally you’d swear half an orchestra was up there. Most of the set was original, including tunes from the sampler for their forthcoming album (need to get my hands on one of those) though they also played a cover. The cover was mellower than the other tunes they had played so far but still very good. It was paired with a mellow one of they’re own proving they have quite a range. And I was treated to something I haven’t seen before and something I haven’t seen in a while. Second thing first, a guitarist tuning by EAR rather than using one of those tuning machines (very happy to see that). And new to me was when Bev picked up an electric banjo for part of the last tune. I had no idea such a thing existed. Brilliant!
Awful pic, lights blinded any others. Anyway, Andy, Barry, Ryan and Martin.
Following the Belles were that guy Barry Mackay (saying it because it rhymes) and regular performing buddy Ryan Golder. They also had Andy from the Whisky River Band on djembe and harmonising, and Martin from the Parma Violets/Jyrojets (take your pick). I’ve seen these guys perform before and the additional members enhanced the act without distracting at all. The guys voices complement each other very well and their material is rather mellow (The La’s “There She Goes” is a good clue to the general sound, though isn’t 100% fitting). This is capped by their 4 chord medley, essentially a shorter version of this video by a completely unrelated act. The set was closed off by Ryan playing his tune Forever Criminal which you can see a version of here. Great as always, if you get the chance check them out. In whatever combination, solo or together.
The evening was closed by The Galipaygos. They’ve been an Inverness fixture for a long time now though the line up has changed from time to time. If for some reason you’ve managed to never hear them they’re a mellow folky band, more on the Americana side of things than British folk. A little bit country with some great harmonised singing. They’re currently workong on a new album and we were treated to a preview tonight. Great stuff as always. They have a couple of albums already out that you can have a listen to to whet your appetite. If you like nice singing, some finger pickin and a spot of mandolin (or fiddle depending on the tune) they’re for you.
I had a fantastic night. All the acts were on form and the crowd were appreciative (if a little too chatty at times). And all for 3 quid. There’s a few more showcases to come so get along and check out some new bands, you won’t regret it.