First off sorry that the pictures are crappy, general disclaimer that I don’t have much of a camera and I’m not a gig photographer. There were some actual photy takers there, could well be links in future news posts.
SO I arrived in Inverness just after 8 and my teeth were floating, so it was a bit of a brisk walk to the Ironworks. I’ll bet you are glad I’m sharing that with you. I have my reasons though. As I rounded the door of the Ironworks and hit the counter for my ticket I was met by a rather glorious sound. Proper rock music.
Tony, Andy, Garth and Jamie in the back there
Or what I class as proper rock music. I took care of business, no details, and headed for the venue proper again briskly as I was being drawn in like cartoon character riding the smell of a fresh pie (one last aside, I was barely in through the door, think I said hi to someone, when I turned to the bar and a beer was already being popped and poured for me. Thanks barman who’s name I haven’t gotten yet, you sir are a star). I grew up in the 80s and 90s, so when I say proper rock music I’m not talking Buddy Holly type stuff. And I’m thinking more in the 90s vein for these guys. Naked Red play what in my head would be referred to as California style rock. Not quite surfer or punk stuff, just good solid rock music. The origins or rock are solidly in blue music and they certainly have some of that in spades courtesy of Tony on guitar who treated us to some truly amazing licks. When they’re playing a loud tune it’s the good kind of loud, fills you with energy and makes your feet tap and head go. When they play one of they’re mellower tunes it’s more of a Memphis vibe, your head is still nodding but it’s more in agreement. And they have some dedicated fans. When they fired up Little Sister, a cracking one of the mellower tunes, a guy came charging out and did dancing laps of the floor. Half of his pint ended up on it, and his arm, but he certainly looked happy. As did everyone else, great start to the night.
Caroline Truslove with Andrew Morgan as the devil on her shoulder, Dave Smith, Gary Thain and Steve Robertson. Not pictured, your man on trumpet (sorry mate)
Then cometh Kobi. All vibrating bass and power licks, though that was just them tuning up. When that was over they started it off subdued and mellow, needling instrumental music lulling you in to a false sense of relaxation before kicking you in the face with a wall of noise. Damned good noise too. While I stand by my description in the preview piece for this gig it kind of only covers half of Kobi’s stuff, the lighter half. On the flip side they are also a full on rock band with capital RAWK. Powerful riffing, banging drums, slapping bass and in this instance a brass section. I know that Andrew Morgan from the Leonard Jones Potential was blowing the trombone for this throughout. Unfortunately I don’t know who it was on trumpet or if he was there the whole time as he may have just been blocked by the speaker in my original standing position. Whatever the case, the horns augmented the music wonderfully and if it ISN’T a regular feature it damned well should be. In addition to playing some damned fine music, Gary Thain is a very energetic front man, bouncing around and dueling axes with Steve Robertson on Bass while Caroline Truslove just looks on at the silly boys. She’s not just there to look pretty, she’s there to wail. They all were, damned powerful middle.
Btw, I know I haven’t gone track by track or anything but I can’t take that many notes!
Pete Macdonald, Willie Macaskill, almost hidden Craig Aitkenhead, Steve Obern, Ali Brown and pretty much totally hidden Matt Campbell. Was a bear getting a band pic as you guys drew people to the front!
Just one more band to go for this evening. The mighty Little Mill of Happiness. “We’re here mother fornicators, you’ll like us whether you want to or not!” And you’ll want to if you know what’s good for you. Pulsing bass, dark throaty lyrics, thumpings drums and some amazing guitar. When most bands are finished playing their instruments get packed away for the night. When Little Mill are done playing the instruments need to have a cigarette and be left alone for 10 minutes to recover. It might just have been a setting up issue but the bass drum was literally escaping the kit at one point. Super fan and fellow musician Megan Blyth was there, it was her birthday, and they dedicated Article of Faith to her. Interestingly enough last time I saw Little Mill it was MY birthday and she was the support act (okay, maybe not that interesting). They followed it with my favourite which is called Drying Out Wishbones on the EP but was originally titled Sharks Enjoy Hearing The Prayers Of Capsized Sailors. Basically makes it the EP title track, which is nice. If you haven’t heard the EP yet then go frikkin buy it. I’m essentially done writing anyway and would just leave you satisfied with nary another word Little Mill style, but I have another paragraph to go.
It was a truly amazing night tonight. 3 extremely good rock bands showing different aspects of that genre without being easily pigeon holed in to any sub category like alternative or indie. I would, and will, happily see any and all of them again at the next possible opportunity. And if you have the chance you should too as you sure as hell missed out. The only excuse I’ll let you away with is that you were at The Greenhouse, where I would have been if it weren’t for this gig. Otherwise be slightly ashamed and write “I will not miss good local gigs again” on the blackboard 100 times. Thanks for reading 😀