OK, the dust has just about settled on Sunday night and, just like last year, I’m left with mixed emotions.
On the positive side we aimed to put a great, varied bill on in Dundee and we succeeded at that. We’re fairly sure we introduced some people to new bands, so another positive. And the whole thing ran much more smoothly than the De Rosa show last year and the bands seemed happy with the night.
The big minus though was the turn-out. We do feel we made a reasonably effort at getting the word out, yet the number of punters through the door was disappointing. It’s maybe too early to say that you can’t do this sort of thing in Dundee, but particularly on Sunday night I did find it quite dispiriting.
Of course the music was always going to be the saving grace, just like last year.
It seems that everybody loves Panda Su at the moment and quite rightly so. See her live and I can guarantee you will be enchanted. That’s in part down to her easygoing stage presence but obviously a lot to do with the songs.
She didn’t play all the EP on Sunday but instead a couple of songs I don’t think I’d heard before whilst the backing was subtly enhanced from the twice I’d seen her before. It’s worth mentioning our gratitude for Su taking her elevation to show closer in her stride.
Kid Canaveral were everything a guitar pop band should be – boisterous, entertaining, energetic and most of all tuneful. They do come from a line of bands that stretches back as far as the Undertones and the Buzzcocks and if that may seem like high praise then the so far unreleased tunes they played on Sunday (such as ‘Good Morning’) are convincing support for that theory. Because they’re every bit as good as the gems on the singles so far and I can’t wait for the debut LP next year.
It’s fair to say that Saint Jude’s Infirmary hadn’t had the best of weeks. As a consequence Ashley and Mark played as a duo but, despite the circumstances, there was still magic in the air. The interplay of the voices is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the records and without the rhythm section, that strength was highlighted. And yet just the two of them (with vocal support from Andy from Hookers for Jesus) still managed to bring the set to an epic conclusion with an awesome ‘The Church of John Coltrane’.
Openers, the afore-mentioned Hookers, are just Andy on vocals and Graeme on guitar (and bazouki). A couple of numbers were almost John Cooper Clark-esque numbers with lots of words and minimal backing but Graeme’s role builds throughout the set. It’s interesting stuff that makes me want to listen to their demo.
And that’s pretty much it. Obviously we’re very grateful to the bands for playing and putting on such a tremendous show but also to the PA crew who made it all sound great.
Most of all though we’re grateful to our small but perfectly formed audience, not just for turning out on a cold night but for being so respectful and enthusiastic about all the performers. Thanks, everyone.
I’ve got some more photos to share (although there’s more of KC than the other acts) – I’ll try and do that in the next few days.