This was a great gig, laid back, friendly and mellow for a sunny late summer Glasgow afternoon.
But first there is the small matter of Britain’s most inexplicably popular band, Catfish and the Bottlemen. Earlier in the day BM was out in (Bellahouston Park) and was met by a ten foot wall surrounding a large area with the stage at one end. This was of course the Glasgow Summer Sessions, where large numbers of people (20,000 today) pay large amounts of money (£55 quid a skull in this instance) to stand in a park listening to something at best average and sludgy, at worst a real musical atrocity. And judging by the soundcheck BM heard that afternoon, there would be a bit of both later. God, to think we fought the indie wars for this, a turning back of the clock to pre-Oasis prehistoric times – average songs, Stereophonics-esque angst and rockstar attitude, give me a fucking break. Sometimes the public get what they deserve, god help them (and BM is sure it was a great success, just thanking Christ she was not locked behind that wall when the gig was actually on). OOfff, it gets on the nips, so it does.
After this countdown to shite, BM arrived at the Doublet around 3.30pm so did not catch the first-up band L-Space. The afternoon had been put together by those lovely Last Night From Glasgow people so there were various merch CD/record/cassette items for sale, a reminder of just how wide and extensive their range of releases has been over quite a short period.
The upstairs lounge has not changed in the long space since BM’s last visit to this pub, and it was pretty much standing room only when Warren McIntyre took to the stage with several other “Starry Skies” joining him on various instruments during this short but enjoyable set. He played several tracks from his forthcoming album ‘Be Kind’ including lead single ‘Starry Skies’, its flamenco guitar riff sounding pretty good at close quarters. He was joined (almost impromptu by Lorraine Wilson who he asked out of the audience, to do “Loving You”. (BM thinks, apols if wrong track or singer but quite new to this!) In a PhilCollinsAtLiveAid-esque example of just-in-time stage arrival, fiddle player Heather Phillips walked into the room, took out her fiddle and walked onto the stage seconds before Warren went into the next song. There were plenty of quips and asides to and from the crowd and there’s no doubt that Warren’s star(ry sky) is on the up. He well deserves it.
Due to extensive chatting downstairs issues BM only saw a couple of songs by the third band on The Gracious Losers. Comprising a revolving cast including several Starry Skies and Thrum members, they played some mournful, soulful country numbers, some with a hint of Cave-esque threatened violence. Led by Jonathan Smillie of Thrum, there is Americana, Springsteen-infused romantic aspirations and some mean picking and coaxing of guitars. BM can’t assess the band’s set in full as only checked out a couple of songs (partly cos the venue was so packed) but BM does think LNFG has again showed their impeccable taste and nose for a good signing. And the album sounded pretty tasty as well, BM will review if there is time…
LNFG have achieved so much this year, the Kelvingrove Bandstand, the record releases and this – BM truly salutes this unique and lovely collective! (and sorry for the rant about Catfish, but sometimes a girl has to get some stuff off her chest…)