Easter Showcases 2013 Preview!

Don’t worry, it’s just a guy in a suit

Showcase time again in the Ironworks and here I am, extremely late, with a preview for it. Won’t actually BE at the showcases themselves though as the first is on Sunday (the 31st) and the buses are horrendous on a Sunday. No point in showing up then having to leave at half 8. The second on Monday WOULD be fine, but I’m on air doing that radio show thing that I do. Assuming you listen to the show the lateness of this preview won’t actually matter as I banged on about them there plenty.

The seasonal showcases are a great chance to catch some established and not so established acts that you may not have seen before for a handful of pounds. In the past that sentence would have had local in it. This time it’s probably safer to say either unsigned and indie OR Scottish, as I think they are all from this country. Not quite all from the Inverness area but that’s okay. It’s also a bit of a mixed bag on each night which, if you listen to the aforementioned show, you’ll know I’m all for. Maybe not QUITE as eclectic as I can be at times but a nice mix all the same. Anyway enough blah blah, this is who you can here.

Thankfully not playing


Or Easter Sunday, funnily enough. I assume the line up is just the reverse of the poster order as that’s what happens most of the time. Could be wrong though

MIR – I’m not sure if there IS a Facebook page for MIR, so I’ll link to youtube instead. Rock and roll in the traditional sense, 50’s style. Bluesy rock with some surf rock thrown in there for good measure. Whether it’s Miriam solo or the full band I don’t know, but I assume when the billing is MIR she’s got boys with her.
RED RONSON – Inverness’ premier ship builders (come and join us, the more the merrier. No I have no idea why either but it was important last time so I’m in) who also play music now and again. Poppy folk music, you should have heard at least one tune, and thoroughly nice people to boot. Quite a new act and I have yet to see them live. Will rectify that as soon as I can though.
NAKED RED – Red Ronson will then lose their clothes and….oh hold on. No relation at all really. These guys are a funky rock band, more rock than funk and a wee bit 80’s, who I first heard at the LAST Easter Showcase. So good they’ve been invited back again. Regulars on the Inverness gig scene so if you haven’t seen them yet now is your chance.
EMMA MITCHELL – And friends as Emma will have a number of guests with her for her set. Bit of a who’s who of Greenhouse people I think which is no bad thing. First person to play live on my show, Emma has a cracking voice and plays a range of rock, folk and blues type acoustic numbers. When it’s just her. Not sure if it stays acoustic when people join her. Join them and find out! Not on stage, in the audience.
LIONEL – Damned good rock band from Inverness who I first (and last I think though they’ve been gigging plenty) saw during the battle of the bands in The Eagle Upstairs. They were runners up if I remember rightly and if it was held just now would have won as the winners or on hiatus. Some great stuff, well worth the ticket price alone.
AGAINST ALL FLAGS – Dunno much about these guys at all to be honest but they have a couple of videos so now I know a wee bit. I assume they are local, and they play punk. Proper punk with no modifiers like you used to get on cassettes. Punk that’s loud, can be pretty fast, and is loud. Punk. Good stuff.
WASHINGTON IRVING – If you looked up Scottish Folk Rock in a….well it wouldn’t be in the dictionary as it’s 3 words. These guys are someone you could easily point people at as a solid example of the genre though. Not local but Inverness regulars. I’ll admit it was a surprise to me they were playing, but a pleasant one. Or it would be if I could go… *grumble*
IAIN MCLAUGHLIN AND THE OUTSIDERS – It was roughly a year ago that they released they’re first album We Are All Outsiders. It’s bloody good, you should get one. It’s on Spotify if you don’t believe me. Iain has told me a second one is in the offing (think it’s an album) so even if you are familiar with it they will no doubt be playing quite a bit of new stuff. Which I’m sure will also be excellent.

So that’s the first night then. On to….

You are going, roit mate?


It’s after noon so this can’t be a fool. Also, doors are at 7 and I’ll still be on air. Remember that ABC Radio Alness is available on the Tune In App. Bands won’t be on at 7, so I’m sure everyone would appreciate some good music till they do come on. Like playing a very good show through your phone for them to hear. Just saying 😉

When they DO start they’ll be these people:

ALICE BENTLEY – She used to be the front lady of the Young Trees, now she’s just a lady with a front. Had her in for a proper session and she’s very very good so you should make sure and turn up for the start or you’ll be missing out. Poppy folk solo acoustic performing person.
ALL HAT NO CAT – The IW page is wrong, I’m not. Anyway, Adrian and Lucy on guitar and flute respectively (and he plays the mouthy as well) with some singing, mainly from Adrian. Classic style folk music like what was common a few years back. Played them on the show, very good stuff.
DOUGIE BURNS – and the Cadillacs. That being what he’s calling his band, probably down to signature tune “California Cadillac”. And a fitting name for the style of blues rock that Dougie plays. Funky as hell, entertaining lyrics, very fun stuff. Dougie doesn’t have a FB page for the band. I suggested he set one up for his music about 6 months back and he doesn’t know how. Sarah, set up a page for your old man would ya?
BLUE GUM EARS – New ones on me though going by their Facebook they might have been knocking about for 8 years?! Anyway, also going by the Facebook they’re alternative rockers and not bad ones too. That’s all I’ve got.
AILSA JEAN LYALL MATHEWS – Know more about this one though. I’ve managed to catch her twice and she has a fantastic voice BUT isn’t really a musician. So that’s why you may not have heard her much for the last while. Not sure who will be accompanying her or if she’s just been practicing the playing side of things, but cracking voice on her.
THE LITTLE MILL OF HAPPINESS – If you are a fan of local music you are probably a fan of these guys as they’re one of those bands everyone likes. Rightly so. Dark and moody yes, epicly talented also yes. Caught them around a month ago I think and there was a lot of new material on offer (I believe a second EP is in the offing) so if you haven’t seen them in a while get yourself along. And if you’ve never seen them then DEFINITELY get yourself along.
CHASING OWLS – New one on me again, less than usual for a showcase I’m slightly proud to say. Similar GENRE to Washington Irving but not the same. I’d make a bit of a Ben Folds type comparison as well maybe? Also they have a lady person. More indie than last nights second last act. Good stuff though, if I do drag myself up after the show I’ll be looking forward to hearing them.
RED KITES – and I’ll also be very much looking forward to hearing these guys. Not local technically, but they are local in many ways and very much loved in Inverness and the Highlands in general. Honestly I don’t have to say any more do I? Thought not.

Doors on both nights open at 7pm and each night is a fiver. You are TOTALLY ripping them off at that price as each band if probably worth that all by thereselves. I’ve said more than enough, get your ass to Mar….the Ironworks.

Battle of the Bands Heat 2 review

The battlers

Straight to it then as I’ve already spoken about the venue and no sense repeating myself. Once again this looks less arse than normal. That’s down to having pictures by an actual photographer! My partner in crime for these pieces is Mr Ade Young of Adrian Young Photography. They originally lived here

Steve, Cammy and Mo

First up of were Roads to Damascus who had 4 things up against them to begin with. First off, they were all a bit knackered for a very rock and roll reason. A Marillion concert in Edinburgh meant they didn’t get home until half 4 the night, well morning, before. Second they are from Forres (and Keith) so couldn’t really bring along a cheering section. Third, there was a bit of a mic problem at the start so there was an abort and do-over while that was fixed. And fourth….it was a bit dead.

Not for long though. If you play it, they will come. Over the course of their set a decent crowd gathered to enjoy the show. And it is a show. Tech issues, tiredness and a busted foot were forgotten as front man Steve started rocking the now working mic. He’s a front man who KNOWS he’s a front man, very energetic and all over the place. A bit like a caged tiger due to the size of the venue. Vocally he’s a bit like the front man from the Crash Test Dummies but an octave higher. Still deep, but that guy is really deep. I mean more tone really. It was a striped down version of the band for this show, so bass, drums and possibly an extra guitar were produced by a wee box. The important people were there though (only kidding, the rest of the band). In addition to singing Steve we have Mo “on the Hammond” Hammond on keyboards, amazingly fitting name. And plural, there’s a stack going on. If you are familiar with the synth and organ sound of Tangerine Dream from the 80’s then you know the kind of thing she’s bringing to the band. If you aren’t then go and watch Near Dark. And on guitar and pushing the buttons for the absent ones Cammy. You know the intro to “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”? Or “In Time” by Robbi Robb that plays in the future in Bill and Ted? That kind of guitar. Absolutely wailing it too. He and Johnny Gash could have a guitar off like Steve Vai and The Karate Kid do at the end of Crossroads and it would be quite the epic battle. All together they produce a proper late 80’s proggy rock sound that wouldn’t have gone wrong on some of the horror soundtracks of the era. And I loved the hell out of it. I’m well aware that kind of thing isn’t everyone’s bag, but if it’s yours then get along next time they’re playing in Inverness. I’ll probably be sat next to you. Might be a while though as Mo tells me that Steve has cracked a bone in his heel. His antics on the night probably didn’t help that!

Emma Mitchell doing what she does wonderfully

The rest of the night has acts that were a bit closer in genre wise, and geographically too. Second up was Emma Mitchell. Now in my head I think I just instantly lump anyone who plays a guitar and sings in to folk. I did that with Emma. She isn’t. You could probably take her songs and vocals, put some less good music behind it and throw it in to the top 40 without anyone noticing too much. But music wise she’s pure acoustic rock. So a solo acoustic pop rock artist then. And a damned fine one to boot. Emma represents an artist who knows both of her instruments intimately and is well aware of exactly where her limits are with both. I can’t recall any finger plucking twiddly bits in her playing, but she was up and down the frets chord wise with some very interesting arrangements. And that voice…. Seriously, where most acts have the odd stumble is vocally. People try and singing slightly outside of their range or don’t get how difficult the quieter bits are. Emma knows. She’ll skate right up to the edge of where her voice can go and no further, and she has quite a range. Whether it’s high, low, quite or VERY powerful there wasn’t a bum moment. And I believe that’s with a bit of a cold. Well to be fair she did fuck up once. But she stopped, said she’d fucked up, got a cheer and fired back in to it. And she does a little bit of something I tend to enjoy, gives a background for her songs. Actually it’s generally a setting. “For this song picture that you’re on an enjoyable fancy train journey” “picture you’re on the beach”. Nice touch. She’s an artist who knows what she’s doing and is comfortable doing it. I know for a fact that she made a couple of new fans this evening, and….well we’ll get to something else in a bit.

Secret Weapon Retro Stevie Smith and Mr Dougie Burns (clearly enjoying himself)

Because third up it was time for Dougie Burns (you need to set up a fan page!). Switch from acoustic pop rock to acoustic blues rock. And he was living the blues lifestyle for this one, drugs and alcohol. Yup, mixing his benadryl with some Guiness as he was a bit choked up. Can’t say I noticed during the set though. One thing I and a few of the musicians DID notice was the wee pint holder attachment on the mic stand though, brilliant idea that. Dougie has a number of things going for him. First off, as I said with Emma I like a wee story setting songs up. Dougie gives you a proper bit of background for each tune and gets a bit of craic as required. He plays a powerful blues rock guitar, a lot of the time what I call in my head travelling blues. Think of the rhythm of a train steaming along, that stuff. He also has a powerful bluesy voice. And his songs have a fair bit of craic to them. They sound good AND they’re entertaining to boot, something that makes a change from a lot of the “look how serious we are, listen to the lyrics” acts that you get. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Luckily the crowd had filled up a bit earlier and were still around as participation is required, well asked for, on the chorus’ of a couple of tunes. I’ve seen him a few times and on signature, yes I’m sticking with that mate, tune California Cadillac everyone is encouraged to join in on the chorus. This was the LOUDEST I’ve heard a crowd sing along. As I’d hoped he did have his secret weapon along, Retro Stevie Smith on the harp (mouth organ for non blues folks). The weapon was only deployed towards the end to up the blues level but he was in fine form. I enjoyed the hell out of everyone (don’t I always? Think I may be an easy audience) but Dougie’s set was the best craic of the night.

Lucy and Adrian, just below shot Adrian’s funky trousers. Not pictured = hat.

And finally, All Hat No Cat. Actually no hat at all so Adrian renamed them All Snot No Cat. Yes the lergy was all over the place. Actual folk here. In fact not even your modern folk music that there’s lots of, proper old school folk music. A bit political at times, light hearted at others. And a bit of background before and a story during as well. To my mind Adrian looks like an encyclopedia picture of a folk artist. He’s on the guitar and singing, joined by Lucy playing some very lovely flute which you don’t get a whole lot of really. I mean in general, there’s loads in the act. I think on every track but one. She was given a break for one tune where Adrian used a loop peddle to play guitar along with himself, and sing along with himself, while also whipping out a harp (think it might just be mouth organ for folk actually). If I hadn’t seen Esperi at the weekend I’d say it was the best use of looping I’d seen all year. And for a couple of the tracks they actually got quite rocky. So All Hat No Cat gives you quite a varied experience, more traditional sounding songs along side more contemporary type stuff, some craic and some semi-serious stuff, a wee story to set things up and a flute. Nice.

So gauntlets have been thrown. Battle has been done. Clap-o-meter has to seal the fate of the combatants. Putting that aside for a second, if I had to actually judge tonights competition I’d be stuffed. Everyone was genuinely excellent and no two acts could be directly compared to each other fairly as they all brought something a little bit different. The standard was exceptionally high. Little bits and bobs of issues, and a damned virus, aside it was pretty flawless musically. Thankfully it’s not up to me, it’s up to the noise. And the clear winner….didn’t happen. First round there was .1 of a….whatever the meter registers between all 4 acts. So a stand off between Dougie and Emma then. Round two, things got louder….for both of them and it was a tie again. Ruh oh. Round 3….same again. Until, finally, Emma squeaked just ahead. And I can’t argue with that at all. From my point of view Roads had the best guitar playing, Emma had the best voice, Dougie had the best craic and All Hat No Cat had the most interesting arrangement moment. But while this is a bit of fun when you get down to it, and that’s how everyone is treating it (Emma’s loudest cheerer may have been Dougie) not everyone can go to the final.

As it stands the final is now The Ragazzi and Emma Mitchell. Two down, two to go. Already I have NO idea who’s going to win it. Keep an eye out for a preview piece for part 3 in the next couple of days, and get your arse down to the Eagle if you aren’t already as you’re missing out on some FANTASTIC music. For free. And the booze is cheap.

Battle of the Bands Heat 2 preview

Yup you read that right, a Battle of the Bands! The Eagle, to celebrate the impending opening of up stairs as a newly refurbished gig having place are hosting a Battle of the Bands throughout September, with a final in October to decide who is the supreme ruler of music in the entire Universe and also who gets 3 days of recording at StrathSound. Mainly the second bit as everyone knows the best music is Zathrok on Blergon 7. No offence locals. Anyway, here is who you’ll be hearing on the 12th of September in The Eagle. with times and everything. 30 minute sets, 10 minute turn around.

Yeah, I did nick that first paragraph from the Heat 1 preview. I’ll use it again in the other 2. YAY FOR LAZINESS! On with the bands:

From 9, Roads to Damascus. Coming all the way from Keith, or possibly Forres, to do battle. From discussions with their keyboard player Mo I don’t think they’ve played in Inverness before. Not sure why, they’re rather darned good. Self described as progressive rock and I suppose that fits a bit. As far as I know they don’t have 15 minute long tracks though. I’ve heard a couple and it’s pretty mellow rock stuff. You know that scene where Bill and Ted are in the future in Excellent Adventure? Bit like that without dudes with shades doing slow air guitar. Well I could be wrong there actually, the lead singer has a taste for the theatrical and has been known to don some crazy make up. So a bit retro rock, new wavey maybe? Nice sound to them.

From 9.40, Emma Mitchell. The next couple on are actually Greenhouse regulars so I’m rather familiar with their work. May only have really heard Emma perform once in the showcases though. Couldn’t find anything to hand to stick in my ears so this is from memory. I know for sure that Emma has a fantastic voice. I know for sure that she writes a damned fine song. I can’t remember for the life of me how elaborate she gets with a guitar. So whether there’s a lot of twiddly finger bits or if it’s more simple than that I can’t say just now. Either way, if you like some girl with a guitar folk music then you’ll love Emma Mitchell. And if you don’t like that kind of thing there’s something up with you, it’s lovely.

From 10.20, Dougie Burns. Now that link will take you to Bluebelly, which Dougie is half of. It’s an indicator, but a bit different. Dougie on his todd has a wee bit better singing if you ask me. Damned fine blues rock. He can tell quite a tale with a tune and just after hearing him play once I had a couple of tunes rolling around in my head the next day. Be prepared to sing along a bit to his signature song California Cadillac (it’s easy, even I can manage). And if he has Steve Smith with him to there’ll be some truly impressive mouthie to boot.

And finally from 11, All Hat No Cat who I managed to catch a piece of at Jocktoberfest. Having trouble with band pages tonight but lucky my brain wasn’t too beer addled by that point. So they are Adrian on guitar and Lucy on the flute and they play proper old school folk music. Songs that tell a bit of a story and you can tap a toe along to. Including another one that might have people singing along, To The Yeast which is an ode to the Black Isle Brewery.

Basically it’s going to be a bloody battle this one, 4 damned fine acts who are good at what they do. And now to steal my last paragraph from last time. I’m getting meta this time in case someone calls me on it but next time I’m just doing it without saying a word. I’m a lazy lazy man.

Scoring is decided by the latest in clap-o-meter technology. The louder the response you get, the more likely you are to win. Winners from each of the heats will go on to the final and win the prize wot I mentioned at the beginning. It’s free for nothing and there’s a bar and music, nothing stopping you. See you there then, aye?

Music News 17/08/2012

Hey kids. Here’s what local bands have been saying for themselves/doing/releasing over the last couple of days.

Local band snapper and “doesn’t blog” blogger Houdi has been rather prolific over the last few days. He’s developed an obsession with The Outsiders feet, before getting round to describing his Bella experience. First Friday aaaaaaaaaaaand Saturday isn’t done yet, when I started writing I mistakenly thought I’d seen a link to it. It’s possible I was just confusing it with the piece on last nights Showcase and Mad Hatters action. Mine, minus the Hatters, is here. All, or at least the last two, posts by Houdi contain links to large numbers of pretty pictures.

While I’m linking things that other people have written, here’s Margaret Chrystalls review of the fifth Summer Showcase. My one is here but chances are you’ve already read it as it’s the most popular post on this site.

Give your eyes a break and your ears some work, The Ballachulish Hellounds have uploaded a “Lofi Jockgrass” (their words) track called Lonesome Without You. It went up 2 weeks ago yes, but first I’ve heard of it.

How about a couple of videos? First up Estrella teamed up with the RockIt! Dance belly dancers for a Do It Til’ We Drop video. Followed by a scrappy live recording of The Cleavers from their gig at the Ironworks on Wednesday. Sounds a bit ropy and thankfully they keep their bellies to themselves. I’ve so far failed to catch them live, must fix that sometime soon. I love how some of the suggested videos on the right are for a US politician…

It’s a long shot that people reading could use it, because geography, but would you like to see Rachel Sermanni playing at the Reading Festival? If so she has 2 tickets to give away. Just email competitions@rachelsermanni.ne​t (you’ll be added to her and Reading’s mailing list so forewarned) and a winner will be drawn on Wednesday the 22nd. You also get a signed copy of her new album, but don’t be a dick and enter just to get that.

Do you want to be an events co-ordinator when you fail to grow up? Bogbain Farm has a paid internship going. Brew at the Bog was extremely well planned and run so you could do worse for a learning experience than that place.

Aaaaaaaaand I’ll finish off with some gigs over the next couple of days. If you are reading this RIGHT AS IT GOES UP then you could do worse than head on over to Karma Lounge in Inverness. They’re balancing the Olympics karma by playing the great British rock that was largely ignored (or RAPED BY JESSIE J) during the closing ceremony. Alternatively head on through to Dingwall, go to The Mallard and check out Dougie Burns, The Oxides and Purple Divide who are hoofing it down from…Wick I think so may be a bit knackered.

If you AREN’T reading this right away and it’s either too late on Friday or early on Saturday, Dingwall is offering up two things and you can technically go to both. First off there’s the National Treasures Music Event at the National Hotel. In a vain attempt to get me interested in football, you can catch The Ragazzi playing, go watch County playing Celtic, then come back for some Last Summer Effect (accoustic style). Jokes on you, no way I’ll be up to make it to Dingwall by 11. Half 2 I can do though, so maybe some LSE and then probably (this is in case I fail to get through at all) some Slim Panatellas at The Greenhouse. You can do both, at least partially, as Rob is going to the match and they can’t play without him.

And if your in Inverness, saunter along to the Mark and Spencers general area and you’ll be able to catch dorec-a-belle playing to raise money for hospital radio (which is nice of them). And you’ll also be able to grab a copy of their CD, which is nice for you (review here).

That’s a whole lot of reading, looking, listening and going to there. PHEW! Remember you can subscribe to the site below, and there’s now a Facebook page where all the latest updates will post by internet magic. Now go tell your friends.

Green Iron House Works this Thursday

I’d make a joke about waiting for a bus and two coming along at once and how gigs are like that, but it happens all too often around these parts. This Thursday presents this dilemma. In fact it’s possible it’s WORSE than that and there’s even MORE on but I’m just going to talk about two that happen simultaneously and a dozen or so miles apart. It’s one thing to have to jump from one band to another in the same town, but I’m not fast enough to go from Dingwall to Inverness in any kind of suitable time frame and I don’t drive.

Before I get stuck in, this site isn’t and probably never will be in the business of gig listing and I won’t be plugging everything coming up so please don’t be offended if I don’t mention your gig. If I’m at it I’ll probably review it though. Anyway.

Every fortnight The Greenhouse in Dingwall hosts an open mic session. I love The Greenhouse, it’s probably my favourite venue in these here parts. Mainly because it isn’t really a venue. Gigs are held in “The Tea Posy” for the most part which is a tea/coffee shop. But there is a dedicated wee stage and I’ve never been there NOT for a gig so I guess it IS a venue. The furniture miss matches as it’s all “vintage” (pre-owned, random, pick a term), the tea comes in fantastic china cups and the staff are all friendly. It’s small, once you get past about 20 people seating gets a bit tricky, but that just leads to very intimate gigs. And next to this, behind the curtain if you will, is a massive array of second hand books, clothing, vinyl, CDs, DVD and random brick-a-brack. While walking to the Bella fringe event a few weeks ago with some Brew Dog in a Tesco bag (it’s not licensed but it’s okay to bring your own adult drinks) I over heard some people referring to it as “a meeting place for hippies”. That’s not STRICTLY true but it isn’t far wrong either.

As I’ve said it’s not licensed so it means any artists don’t have to deal with people who are hammered. It’s a relaxed joint, but there’s some unspoken rules. Shut the hell up, or at least keep it really down, when people are playing and don’t come in the door unless it’s between songs. In return you get some great music and a smile on your face. This holds true for the open mic sessions as much as any other gig. When I first went along to one, maybe 5 months ago, I hadn’t really been to an open mic so I expected…well not much really. Boy was I wrong. Yes, over the however many I’ve been to there’s been the odd slightly ropy performance by someone inexperienced who’s a bit nervous but I’ve never seen anyone BAD. And even if you ARE a bit shaky at times it’s a friendly crowd, your mistakes will be laughed WITH not AT (most of us have BEEN there) and you’ll get a round of applause after.

There’s also generally a guest star of some kind. I’ve missed a few, had to skip out a bit early with others, but they’re always good. This weeks guest is a Greenhouse regular, Dougie Burns who you can hear some of right here. That first tune is somewhat of a signature, singing along is encouraged. Who else is playing? Well I dunno, it’s an open mic. Whoever turns up. Maybe you. Gwan. The whole thing is to raise some funds to help the Red Hook Rapids go on a tour around the pond. See, a hat gets passed around and you chuck in whatever you think is fair for the guest star and that’s what they get to take home with them that night (how awesome is that, it’s a pretty kick ass hat too, kudos to Rob Ellen). Dougie is donating his hat contents to the Red Hook Rapids, very kind of him.

Further South at the Ironworks it’s Summer Showcase #6. Now before I get to that I should probably say something about the Ironworks. It’s an actual venue, so….there ya go. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place. It also has friendly staff and it has a license so there’s booze on sale. It’s great for big rocky gigs as there’s loads of space for everyone to bounce about (unless there’s loads of everyone, then it’s tight bouncing about). And if there’s a more mellow folky gig there’s a bunch of tables out and tea lights on each table, somehow making what is basically a big room feel pretty intimate. The stage may be a might bit too high but apart from that it’s a place BUILT for music. Which is nice.

What does Showcase #6 have in store for us? Rock. First up it’s Naked Red. I have to nab their own description for this. Rocking, rolling, funking, folking. Ace. That sounds like a bit of a tall order really but once you’ve listened to a couple of tunes it’s pretty much accurate. Their a bit too rocky to just be folk, but they’re too folky to be a pure rock band. Wouldn’t say they were funk though but it doesn’t really work as well without that in the description.

They’ll be followed by, and this is assumption based on the running order of the last couple of showcases, KOBI. Not sure if the name is an acronym, but it is all caps. They describe themselves as alternative rock but that’s always a little vague. There single “Fight” is the musical version of a sunset, all twiddly guitar and steady beats. In fact I’d say that the general vibe that they give me is of travelling somewhere, the preparatory calm before some kind of storm. And, and hopefully this will be taken as good as it’s what I mean, a wee bit gothy. Wouldn’t go amiss on a Vampire movie soundtrack. (I said “and” twice at the start of a sentence there, possibly killed a few English teachers. I write how I talk, it’s a blog, sue me (don’t sue me)).

To round things off it’s The Little Mill of Happiness. Bit of a an Invenerness super group that’ll blow your ass off. I’ve listened the hell out of their EP since getting it in March after a great gig in the Market Bar. I’m completely blanking on the main comparison I’ve heard, but it’s mainly down to singer Steve’s throaty voice. They’re lyrics don’t compromise, there is some amazing playing all round and “Drying Out Wishbones” is one of my favourite tunes of the year.

All that will cost you £3.

What is a boy to do?! Well technically I shouldn’t go anywhere as I’m pretty skint, but I’ve already taken the money out and it doesn’t cram back in to an ATM. Just hold on to it you say? Crazy talk! I COULD go to the Greenhouse for a bit, give my apologies to Naked Red who I’d probably miss all of and Kobi who I’d miss half of but turn up for the second half at the Ironworks. Or I could go to one or the other. To add to the dilemma it’s a mates birthday and she’ll be at the Ironworks. SO I’m not sure what I’m going to do either. And I thought I’d share that joy with the rest of you. Now you have two things to choose from on Thursday. My kingdom for a TARDIS…