Sunday 23 October 2011

Sonny Marvello - Live at Rowardennan Youth Hostel, Loch Lomond

Well....I have just about recovered from an amazing night on the banks of Loch Lomond courtesy of Sonny Marvello.

When the band and I were planning the promotion around the release of their Tiny Little Sparks EP 
we talked about a Glasgow gig, but we couldn't decide what to do. The band have already played Tut's twice this year (headlining once) and last year they played Stereo twice. 

We wanted to do something different, so we decided to get out of Glasgow and we found Rowardennan Youth Hostel on the banks of Loch Lomond. It has 75 beds, a nice big room for a party (usually weddings) and no curfew!

Craig and I went up to recce the venue and we met Aaron, the lovely Aussie manager. He was up for it and trusted us. The party was on.

The ticket price was kept as cheap as possible - £40 for a buffet dinner, bed and breakfast - plus entertainment from Sonny Marvello, Little Eskimos, Model Jet Pilot and Ryan Davidson (magician). Not to mention a DJ set from me.

15 beds were allocated to the band, performers and guests, ending up being 17. We then sold out of the remaining beds - admittedly the last 2 were sold on the day of the gig.

The sun was shining as I packed the car and headed into town to pick up Kevin Harper, AKA Little Eskimos. Kev's knowledge of music, film and television ensured lively and entertaining discussion en route to the venue.

We arrived and cracked a beer and welcomed people arriving. The band and sound engineer were already there and set up was almost done.

Most people arrived by 5pm and there was time for a little introduction and a boring health and safety briefing before some music and drinks and then dinner.

Ryan Davidson was up first in terms of entertainment. His 35 minute magic set was genuinely impressive, shocking many, particularly as Ryan made out as if he had ruined tricks only to bring them back before our very eyes.

Next up was Model Jet Pilot, the guise of Ross Hamilton. Ross played 4-songs, enough to highlight his soaring falsetto and ear for guitar pop.

Little Eskimos were up next, playing a great 40 minute set, ending with a roaring cover of Bowie's '5-years'. Kev's songs of heartbreak and dreams went down well with the crowd. 'Get Yourself Together Kid' was a particular favourite of mine. 

On to the headliners. Sonny had brought in a smoke machine and laser lights for the show and it set the mood nicely. The band have since said it has been their best gig to date and I can't argue. Stage ready after tour dates in Stirling, Perth, Inverness and Skye, the band ripped through old faves, new songs off the album they are currently recording (with 'Automatic' sounding like a future single) and then blasting through some covers especially prepared for the night. 'Maps' by Yeah Yeah Yeah's was sensational.

'Tiny Little Sparks' was epic and after the band played 'Made of Magic' the crowd kept singing the 'M A G I C, what you're made of, is magic', refrain. It was a special moment and the band looked genuinely amazed.

After the set it was drinking and dancing until the small hours....or breakfast for some.

This was a great night, I hope we can do it again next year.

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