Monday 31 May 2010

Admiral Fallow @ The Buff Club, Glasgow, 28th May 2010

On Friday night I headed along to The Buff Club in Glasgow for an event titled Dusk Til Dawn in aid of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres. The night was organised by Ken Love and his brother under the banner Together Beat Cancer. Ken's family have been touched by cancer and this is the third musical event they have organised to raise funds for cancer charities. With real enthusiasm and passion, they are doing a great job.

I entered The Buff Club around 5.30pm and this was the first time I had ever been in sober! It seemed a lot bigger, it is usually rammed to the extent that there is no room to dance.

Radio Magnetic dj's played downstairs to greet people coming in, while the bands were playing upstairs. The venue looked fantastic set up for bands and I hope that they do it more often, I notice that the Detour podcast team have booked it out for June.

I didn't catch much of the first band so I'll skip quickly on to Scottish hip-hop artist Loki. Loki took to the stage (floor space) with his b-boy to back him up. I was trying hard not to laugh when he started, my first impression was that he was a total ned (and I might not be wrong). He had brought along some friends (his posse) who all looked like they dressed straight from the hip hop shop under the bridge at Central Station.

Despite my initial reaction I warmed to Loki. It took him a song or two to warm up but once he did he stopped the beats, sent his b-boy packing and told a tale about a night out in Edinburgh acapella. It was funny, entertaining and observant. It drew a great response from the crowd and Loki took great encouragement from it. A different b-boy took to the stage to join him (not as good as the first guy) but the remaining few songs saw the crowd getting into it and Loki introducing a song 'A West End State Of Mind' about drinking Bucki and getting high in the West End of Glasgow.

The line-up for the night was eclectic and next up was Louise McVey & The Cracks In The Concrete. Louise looked stunning in a vintage dress. The band play a leftfield mix of music that immediately had me thinking about the likes of Jefferson Airplance. Her backing band are tight and she can certainly sing. 'Ode' from her current EP was a highlight, although I didn't catch all of the set as I went downstairs to give Ken's brother a break from merchandise duty as he wanted to catch a bit of their set.

On to the headliner, Admiral Fallow (formerly Brother Louise Collective). I have to admit I am quite sceptical about bands that change names but keep the same songs. However it does appear to have given Admiral Fallow a new lease of life and lets be honest, it is a better name!

With an album under their belts confidence is clearly high within the band and that transferred on to the stage at the Buff Club and the audience was treated to an outstanding performance. I had caught Admiral Fallow in their previous guise at Tuts back in December and although it was clear they had talent, the sound on the night didn't do them any favours.

The sound engineer on Friday night did a great job. With a flutist and clarinet player (when he isn't playing keyboards) in their line-up, the band created some wonderful soundscapes. Lead singer/songwriter Louis' lyrics are pretty autobographical and they are certainly very descriptive.

Opener 'Dead Against Smoking' (I think this is what they opened with, but excuse me if I have the order wrong) was quite apt for a cancer benefit gig. 'You smoke when you're hurt, or when you're bored, or other things but I don't mind. Who cares if the big C comes when we're having some lovely times?'

The song flows beautifully and the chorus 'You're like a gasoline, you're like a willow tree, you're like a split screen, you're the green in me' lifts the song at the right times.

'Subbuteo' brought the tone down but maintained the interest of the crowd before 'These Barren Years' took things higher with flowing melodies from the gorgeous Sarah on the flute and Kevin on the clarinet.

The set was one of the best I have seen/heard in Glasgow for a long time and was full of highlights. 'Squealing Pigs' started off quietly before a good old Celtic beat kicked in and stopped the talking at the bar, Louis' singing was complimented by the gentle tones of Sarah Hayes.

The album 'Boots Met My Face' is available now on itunes and check the bands myspace.

A special mention must also go to Jim Gellatly for hosting the night. Well done to Ken for all his hard work.

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