A great double-header, this show was sold out, to the surprise of the artists.
Playing with his full band for the first time since 2019, Pedro (aka Man of the Minch) gave us songs new and old, nine in all by BM’s reckoning. Starting slow with looming fiddle from Pedro, ‘Mountains’ then burst into a rollicking rocker with some clear signs of Celtic R&B, channelling Big Country, Runrig and even U2 in a huge and rousing singalong.
The full band (Pedro on fiddle/guitar, Emily on backing vocals/percussion, Craig on guitar, Fin on keys, Andrew on synths, Greg on bass and John on drums) was also deployed to good effect on new tracks like ‘I Feel it All’, while ‘Drochaid’ was sung in Gaelic, a language Pedro has struggled to learn (although as he put it ‘Kelvingrove’ is still ‘Kelvingrove’ in Gaelic).
‘Just Love’ featured just Pedro and Craig, a more subtle take, while Pedro talked about acceptance or otherwise of his queerness before launching into ‘Rosanna’. The band fairly blasted through closer ‘Gone’ and with Pedro being in fine form (his singing was the best BM has heard him to date, and quite difficult over the racket of the full band) this was something of a triumph. MOTM is due to support Henhoose at Celtic Connections (St Lukes) in February, sure to be a fine gig which BM is gutting to be missing.
Which leads us to Carla, who branded this performance as a ‘sort of launch for an album that never got a launch’, presumably meaning ‘Weirdo’, which was released under lockdown. Playing tracks from this, three new songs and a couple of oldies, she brought with her the always wonderful Paul Kelly (bass), Calum (drums) and Greg (guitar).
As usual with Carla it was pretty full-on from the start, with her bashing and grappling with her synth as she belted out the lyrics to ‘Get Lost’, ‘Over You’ and the title track. ‘Wanting (something I can’t have)’ was a highlight as usual and while the new songs were unfamiliar, they sounded pretty good.
Taking in oldie ‘Attack of the Glam… Cheerleaders’ with an audience singalong, the eleven song set ended with a thumping ‘Bird in the Sky’. Carla truly is a one-off and she has a canny choice of collaborators. Apparently her film about Scottish female musicians is nearing completion and she will be back in action shortly with the Poster Paints project – is there any stopping this woman?
Photos by Christopher Hogge