A CHILLED night was the result of the latest combination of Highland acts featured in the Ironworks Summer Showcase season.
The night got off to an intimate start with the the tender, liquid vocals of singer AILSA LYALL MATTHEWS mixing her own songs with a couple of covers in a style that reminded of the cool, intense approach of a Lana Del Rey. The first cover came from Ailsa’s guitarist for the night, Greg Barry, doing an impressive version of Richard Thompson’s Vincent Black Lightning 1952.
But for a cover with a real twist and a bagful of identity, Ailsa and Greg totally nailed a slower, gentler version of Wheatus’s Teenage Dirtbag.
On a first listening to a full set from DOREC A BELLE, the experience was more downbeat than expected.
But in a good way.
Dressed quirkily in black hats and gorgeous red shoes, Maryann Frew, Liza Mulholland, Bev Fraser and Imke Meynecke use their mix of instruments – sax, accordion, cello, guitars and voices – to great effect.
Quirky hit of the set for me was cover Goodnight Moon by Shivaree, as featured in the movie Kill Bill.
But it’s probably the heartfelt softness of their beautiful arrangement of Liza’s You Said that left the deepest emotional incision.
The set from BARRY MACKAY AND RYAN GOLDER plus guests Martin Stewart on keyboards and
Andy Davidson on drums, was like a box of firecrackers with Barry’s banter a crucial part of the mix.
Poppy, featherlight songs with singable choruses and hooky lines should have ended up earning Barry the saucy reward he craved from his wife, revealed before launching into Call My Name.
I Can’t See – a number from former band Sneaky Castro – saw the four sidestep into a really clever mini-medley including everything from Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry to Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger, on to Chesney Hawkes’ The One And Only, Lady GaGa’s Pokerface, Aqua’s Barbie Girl and A-Ha’s Take On Me.
But it brought the biggest contrast of the night, as last song Forever Criminal – written and sung by Ryan Golder – is a hard-hitting little masterpiece of songwriting which the line-up set off with a subtle arrangement.
The trick with final act of the night THE GALIPAYGOS is to keep up with their line-up – and if you can’t do that (and it’s tough) – at least keep pace with the albums. Yes, there’s a new one out, well, an album sampler The Whisky’s Talking.
But get ready, people.
Introducing one of their signature, tongue-in-cheek songs, The One That Got Away, singer Andrew Still said: “Here’s a song from our new album – the next one, not the one just out!”
Going To See Your Father was a subtle celebration of the moment you ask for your wife’s hand in marriage from the scariest person in the world for any would-be bridegroom – her dad.
But no surprise when an Inverness band never afraid to keep pushing themselves forward, did a mean version of Love classic Alone Again Or, dedicated to Belladrum's Potting Shed godfather Rob Ellen.
Acts playing the summer showcase at the Ironworks tonight (Thursday) The Little Mill Of Happiness, Kobi and Naked Red. Dorec-a-belle are playing in the city centre on Saturday to raise funds for hospital radio.