This gig was mainly seated and as a result got very busy and quite sweaty (for an October evening in Glasgow anyway!).
West of Scotland Americana mainstays Dropkick were on first, attracting quite a following of their own and have released enough records over the years to even merit a “Best of” collection a wee while ago.
Using the tried and tested 2 guitars, drums and bass combination, the tracks were soulful and groovy, with definite overlays of mid-period Teenage Fanclub, REM and 60s combos such as The Byrds.
Very self-effacing in the onstage banter, these guys can sure play and are a welcome addition to any billing.
Starry Skies are here promoting their third long-player, titled ‘Small Wonders’ – with only slight personnel changes (which we’ll come to later) this may have been their first live full band foray into the live circuit since covid started.
The combo absolutely brims with talent, with several members playing with other city bands as well. As usual frontman Warren Mcintyre was chatty, witty and appreciative onstage, and led the band through selections from all three albums.
The twin fiddles (Heather and Sophie) and cello (Jen) combo was used mainly in the first half of the set to add atmosphere to the slower numbers, while during the more raucous tracks the girls provided a Bananarama-esque backing vocals trio, complete with coordinated dance-moves – very impressive!
The main lineup change was new start Bob on drums (Warren dedicated a song to their previous drummer, the late lamented Ian Stoddart), while mainstays John (guitar) and Adam (bass) provided great playing and solos alongside lead vocalist Warren’s acoustic guitar,.
BM’s fave new track would probably be ‘I Don’t Wanna Be that Kind of Guy’ and there were outings for old favourites like ‘Here Comes The Moon’. The quality of Warren’s songwriting is consistently excellent and as he sweated his way through the set (note perfect singing though!) it was obvious he was loving the songs being clapped and vindicated.
Starry Skies’ unique combination of Americana and Scottish pop folk influences puts them in a field of their own, and by the evidence of tonight’s performance, things are still getting better!