Sitting in The Old Hairdressers’ comfortable upstairs venue, cold drink in hand, I settle down to watch one of my favourite Scottish artists.
Gordon McIntyre, aka Ballboy is a fairly normal looking bloke on the outside but when he opens his mouth and starts to sing you can tell there’s a whole lot more going on inside his skull. His mischievous sense of humour goes well with the songs he’s chosen to play tonight – some of the best parts of the evening were the interesting explanations about the lyrics in his songs; including diseased body parts, monsters and the Glasgow-Edinburgh divide.
His acoustic set is well matched to the venue, and exactly the type of place you’d expect Ballboy to play. With a mixture of old classic tunes and new ones, the performance is well received by the audience. Beginning with a few familiar songs including ‘I Gave Up My Eyes To A Man Who Was Blind’, and ‘Disney’s Ice Parade’, which is a sure hit, he creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere effortlessly. The sparse intimacy of the performance makes it even more enjoyable, and it’s where you can see the real genius of Ballboy while he’s standing there with just a guitar, microphone and his witty banter for help.
Continuing the show with ‘Songs for Kylie’, and another favourite, ‘I Don’t Have Time To Stand Here With You, Arguing About the Size of My Dick’, the audience sway, tap there feet and dance as the strumming becomes more fast paced – everyone’s on to their 3rd pint by now anyway which definitely helps. Apologising that his next song isn’t part of the Glasgow-Edinburgh alliance, he bursts into ‘The Sash My Father Wore’, which receives a great roar from a few guys at the back and the place comes to life. By the time he reaches the chorus most people are singing along to “You’re a big fat, bigoted arsehole”, lyrics only Ballboy could get away with and make them sound in any way romantic.
Finishing up with a couple of newer lively, upbeat songs and finally ‘I Need Two Hearts‘, performed with emotion and sincerity which has most people falling silent to listen. I can’t think of a better way to spend a scorching Sunday night in Glasgow, and I bet you can’t either.
(part of a show promoted by Last Year’s Girl)