Fatherson@Ironworks 11/10/2012 review

We’re back to dodgy phone pictures again and apologees (I know that’s not how it’s spelt but the correct spelling makes no sense) to Purple Divide but I didn’t have my head screwed on so there’s none of them. SO one for Midnight High, and some Fatherson liberally sprinkled about then.

See? Dodgy pictures. There are better and worse though

I was also a bit late so I missed the start of Purple Divide‘s set. They’re a local indie/alt rock 3 piece who I don’t believe I’d seen before. Occasionally a bit moody (song wise, not the guys), a mix of mellow and full on rocky with well structured tunes. Good use of peddles to vary the lead guitar. They have an excellent bassist and a cracking drummer, with songs constructed in a way that everyone gets a chance to shine now and again. Crucially, as it’s often the weak point in bands at this level, they’re lead singer has a good set of pipes on him. While they can be a bit anthemic at times they’re a solid wee rock band. Glad I finally managed to catch them, look forward to making a whole set one day.

As is the fashion there were two support bands this evening. The locals above, and some locals for the main act who came along. I assume it’s the first time that Midnight Lion have played up here but I could be well off on that. I really wasn’t all that sure what they’d be like going in to this either as I hadn’t checked them out ahead of time. They’re a mix of electonic music and rock, a wee bit like the Capitals. Actually the band that really came to mind as the set went on was Ah Ha. But a rockier Ah Ha. And if you’ve only heard Take On Me, not that. Other stuff. Standing out for me here was the drummer. Don’t get me wrong the whole band are damned good and they brought some personality along so there was nice banter (same goes for all the acts this evening). It’s more of an equipment (EASY!) fascination than anything else really, though he had a bit of mental Animal drummer about him. He had a kind of synth drum thing for producing electronical and clappy noises BUT from what I could tell he never actually HIT it. It’s was theremin-like. Whether distance makes a difference or not I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty kick ass. Love seeing gear I haven’t seen before. But getting away from that, pretty anthemic, big sweeping tunes, a song called Fatherson (panderers) and at one point enough bass to rattle some of the barriers. Great stuff, check them out if you get the chance.

And finally the main men (and lady) themselves, Fatherson. Regular visitors to the top half of the country this year but first time I’d really managed to see them properly. Missed the set at Brew at the Bog unfortunately, wasn’t at the same other fests also unfortunately. The set starts off with band leader and epic beard wearer Ross Leighton on his todd with a guitar, before the band join him. I’m not one for writing down song names and stuff really so I’ll just over view the sound. They’re a mellow band. They’re a very loud band. These two aspects are blended wonderfully to give their tracks variety, nuance and something to jump along to. Ross has a fantastic voice. The song writing is great. They clearly enjoy what they are doing and are friendly with the crowd. AND, capital and for a reason as this is a real stand out for me, they have a cello. That would be the lady. Essentially a rock band with a cello. Much of the time it’s augmenty for the mellow bits lovely cello, but a few times it’s ROCK CELLO. Brilliant.

Rock Cello!

There’s also some keys in there too which is nice. So I guess they could be tinged with folk, but they aren’t really. Truly alternative rock if you ask me. Alternative meaning different from the norm and not just different from mainstream rock bands (that would be indie in my books but what do I know). It was an admittedly modest crowd, dodgy weather probably being a factor but I heard more singing along at this gig than pretty much any other I’ve seen at the Ironworks. That says something. Dedicated fans, well earned if you ask me, for a band that will pretty much certainly go on to quite large things. An album is in the works, some time next year probably but they aren’t ones to rush things. If you missed this gig that’s you stuffed for the year. But next year if you see the name Fatherson on a poster somewhere walk up to the ticket booth and tell them to shut up and take your money. You won’t regret it.

This gentleman also plays keys/with his laptop

Summer Showcase #7 and #8 Preview

All damned summer the Ironworks have been treating us to weekly showcase gigs. 2 months worth. I would say that they feature the best the Inverness scene has to offer but…that’s not entirely true. Now I’m not saying that the bands playing aren’t very good, what I’m saying is that there are SO MANY good bands around here that we’d probably need another half dozen showcases before you could safely say that. And then you’d probably go “oh wait, what about those guys”. They have featured SOME OF the best though. And there’s two more to go, featuring some more of the best.

The summer block has featured similarly themed bands which takes care of the occasional jarring changes that happened during the Easter showcase. And less bands mean you don’t have to turn around, going from the front to the back of the crowd and vice verse a half dozen times. I did think that set up was very clever, didn’t always agree with who was where. Anyway that’s the past, this is about the future. Here’s who you can see at the next two showcases.


After me saying they were similar bands, this one might be a bit eclectic actually.

So first up will be Fifi and Rodaidh. She sings, he plays guitar, think there’ll probably be at least one other bod with them on the drums, maybe more. Haven’t seen them before and…..well I’m not sure they play my kind of stuff as it’s a bit on the reggae side. I love some ska, not a fan of reggae. I COULD be wrong though as I do only have the tunes on their page to go by (and it’s a lovely cover of One Love). Fifi does have a great voice and Rodaidh plays some mighty fine bluesy guitar but from my perspective they have a little bit of an uphill struggle. I’ll say this though, come review time I expect the worse thing I’ll have to say is “not really my bag but very well done”. More words than that obviously.

Like I say this one will be eclectic as next up it’s, well the poster says Graham Brown but I think it should probably say Sienna Lights as Graham Brown doesn’t exist anymore. Well obviously HE exists but he doesn’t really play under his solo name now, what with having people backing him and all. I first heard Graham back in February and thought he was very good then. Don’t think I’ve heard the full Sienna Lights experience, but have heard a half way there performance at Brew at the Bog. The additional instruments and expanded sound work really well and I’m looking forward to hearing the whole band. Or whatever we get, it’s all good. And it’ll probably be kinda light folk indie rock style stuff.

And last up, Thousand Stars. They’re a female lead alternative rock band, only reason I’m pointing out that the singer is a girl is that that’s semi-rare for the rock bands in these parts. It’s relatively light rock and it wouldn’t go amiss on the soundtrack of an ensemble drama show, so think slightly angsty Californian stuff and you won’t be too far off. Or you could just listen to them instead of being baffled by my dodgy descriptions. Saw them live once and they were very good, though a big iffy vocally due to the cold. Unless they have really bad luck that won’t be the case again. And they aren’t TOO jarring from Thousand Stars but are distinct.

So it’s a bit of a mixed bag night really. Not in quality but in sounds. Should be a good one and possibly a taste expanding one for me.


Less eclectic for this one and a strong finish.

First up, well the poster says Jake Bolt I believe that’s wrong and we’ll actually get The Oxides. I caught these guys a few weeks ago and there’s one word for them, tight. Extremely good rock band who’s sound mixes American and British indie rock admirably. Expect a lot of dancing around to this. Possibly from me, and no one wants that so I’ll try not to.

They’re followed by Toby Michaels Rolling Damned. They’re an epic rock band going by the one track on there, haven’t heard them live. Wouldn’t go wrong on a bill with Kobi and that’s not just down to sharing a bass player. Honestly don’t know tons about them so looking forward to it.

And finally, the mighty Roadway back to full strength and rocking hard. Proper rock too. Remember I’m from the 80’s, so that’s proper rock to me and these guys make your denim comfortable and your hair start to grow a bit. Well I assume as I haven’t seen them live yet. And I’m also slightly, only slightly, disappointed this won’t be an acoustic set as I’ve heard a bit of that and they sound fantastic unplugged as well.

Should be a damned powerful finale to what has been a very very good showcase season. Hopefully you’ve discovered some new acts that you didn’t before, and if you haven’t you might at the remaining nights. For me half will be brand new and one will be different from the last time. Which is nice.

Both showcases are £3 at the door, and they’ll be done around ten so you don’t have to worry about being out late on a school night. So get your arse to the Ironworks! Also, not to fear that now this is over you won’t be able to see collections of local new and semi new music on a weekly basis. The Battle of the Bands starts in The Eagle a week after this is done. But that will be another article…

Summer Showcase #6 review

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 😀

Music News 15/08/2012

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

There’s still one TBC slot showing on The Eagle’s Battle of the Bands event page SO if you are quick you might be in with a shot. I’ll do a piece on the bands so you can form your opinions ahead of time, but that won’t be for a couple of weeks.

Also, if you are a band looking for something visual designed, like a poster/CD cover/Logo/whatevs head on over to Sodium3‘s page and he’ll sort you out. I don’t know if that’s Sodium 3, Sodium to the power of 3, Sodium cubed… Personally I like Nanana myself.

Another Rockhopper video from the boys at Team Kapowski. Stripped is…well not serious but not quite as comical as they’re other fair, though it still contains the geeky references that we all love. Grown up content and lyrics, fantastically constructed hip hop as always.

There’s a slot open at the Ironworks STV appeal gig. Just stick a link to your you tube or sound cloud or whatever and you’re in with a shot. My friend request is still pending, and if you are in a similar boat head on over to the Whisky River Band’s page and put your link on their post instead. Thanks Whisky’s!

Back over to You Tube and back in to the Rockhopper Studio. This band isn’t local, but I like em and they provided the bed music for my news posts at BNN. This Silent Forest performing How To Save A Drowning Man. Great stuff.

I have no idea what the craic is with tickets and that, but if you are planning to attend any of the “Summer in the City” events (that’s JLS, Status Quo, Runrig and Jools Holland over the weekend of the 23rd to 26th) at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness here is the info you’ll need. I like to think as the green signs not as exit information but instructions on what to do when JLS come on stage.

Desecrator has a new live bootleg track up on his bandcamp page. Darkness Is Upon Thee. Turn up your speakers and give the neighbours a heart attack.

There’s a new video out from Rachel Sermanni. It’s for her song Waltz and I smell Alice in Wonderland influence on it. Lovely wee video, made me smile towards the end. And it’s a cracking tune, looking forward to hearing her album next month.

Are you a fan of Donald Macdonald and The Islands? Do you like not being naked? GOOD NEWS! They have a t-shirt on the way, it looks like this. You can’t get one yet.

Jocktoberfest has an element I didn’t know about. Come up with your best Scottish/German clothing hybrid for the festival and you’re in with a shot at winning a prize. Beer related I’m guessing. My kilt is too cumbersome for festival action so I’m out (don’t think it’s good in leider….lieder….leather trousers).

And let’s have one last Rockhopper video. This one is from Kobi, playing All The Way. You can catch Kobi live tomorrow (Thursday) along with Naked Red and The Little Mill of Happiness at the Ironworks. I done did a preview piece on that (and the action at The Greenhouse tomorrow), wot’s here.

And I’ll be at that so there won’t be a news piece tomorrow.

News 14/08/2012

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

You only have a couple of days to enter Scooty and the Skyhooks competition to win two tickets to their show with Jools Holland on the 26th. Head over to their page, like it, scroll down a bit, share the thing it says to share, easy as pie.

Tomorrow night, that’s Wednesday, there’s a free gig in the Ironworks featuring Cleavers, Purple Divide, and Cactus and Cardigan. Your ears will be blasted and heads will bang. FREE FOR NOTHIN! And if you are a musician turn up at 5 as there’s a discussion on DIY music (without a label, not with hammers and that. Actually, possibly also with hammers and that with this lot).

While I’m on the subject of metal, one man…..no I have to do this properly as he likes the description. Mr Boom’s satanic love child, one man metal behemoth Desecrator stepped in for a set at Bella and the very tail end of that set is here on video. He is also looking to put on another Death Metal Tea Party kind of thing at The Greenhouse at Halloween so if you’re a metal band give him a shout. Last one was apparently a blast. AND he’s looking for a couple of extra shows for a mini tour he’s doing in September. Not sure on the area it’ll cover but if you host music and are up for being desecrated give him a shout.

He Slept on 57 have put the last of their merch bundles on sale. I assume there’s still some going. I’m skint so none for me, but you get a Ferris Wheel t-shirt, Childsmile single, A Glow From The Night Light EP, Turn Your Back On All We Know EP and a handful of badges and stickers for a tenner. That’s a hell of a deal. UPDATE: Only small and XL left. T-shirts obviously, the rest of the stuff is the same size.

Frontroom Unplugged aka Duncan Mckenzie has his Belladrum Round Up out. Sounds like he had a great time like everybody else, and a lot of love for the locals there.

Bogbain Farm are looking for staff. Bit of a weird post for this “column” it’s true, but I love the place and we all gotta work. Much worse places to earn your pay check. They’re also selling tickets now for Hogmanay. It’s sold out the last few years which is why I’m giving you a heads up. I have no idea what I’m doing for hogmanay but the Whisky River Band are playing there so it’s damned tempting. I’d essentially be homeless after, and while I could probably convince Yvonne and Bruce to let me camp in a nearby field I doubt that would be a good idea on January 1st…

And that’s it for this time. You can subscribe to this here blog below, the last couple of articles are also linked so have a look around, thanks very much for reading 😀