The Magic Lantern Show, The Recovery Club, Outi Smith live at The Liquid Ship, Glasgow

Photo: the magic lantern show. Folk, Blues and Beyond, acoustic music festival

West End Festival, 2010

Swearing off alcohol for a week isn?t smart at the best of times never mind in glorious weather. So, it?s no Guinness for a week. Thankfully, the Liquid Ship wasn?t short on drinks more suited to this heat. Of course, my real reason for being there was to see another Free Candy Session. Honest.

Outi Smith, wife of Glasgow?s own Crawford Smith, hails from Finland. However, no understanding of the Finnish tongue was required to enjoy her performance ? two songs notwithstanding. Educated in both classical and jazz music, this was a rather downbeat, minimalist affair, but positively so. Voiced emotion loomed large as Outi sang of love?s many hurts and comforts, while the audience tried to keep their awed hush to a bare minimum. In the end, though, justified applause prevailed.

The Recovery Club (Amy, Allan, Graham, Dochan) is a local musical collective who give what I?d consider a pleasant take on traditional folk music. Familiar renditions of Handsome Family and Bonnie ?Prince? Billy songs aside, we were also treated to a sneak preview of their forthcoming single, ?Rest and be Thankful?. Amy?s vocals were honest and smooth ? which, I suppose, can be said for Allan and Graham as well ? while Dochan, man of many instruments, was quietly impressive on guitar, mandolin and banjo. They?ll be having a single launch in July. Let curiosity get the better of you.

With six members, The Magic Lantern show did well to squeeze into the space allocated to performers. However, this set suggested that they ought to have been stood atop a turf platform. From rootsy beginnings, this fabulous sextet took a healthy penchant for pop and gave an altogether spellbinding set. Noticeably, the band were having an absolute hoot onstage, and this ? alongside their performance ? was particularly infectious. I was nearly knocked over twice, and that can?t often be said about the usually tranquil Liquid Ship. The band weren?t allowed to leave without an encore, so they duly obliged and kept everyone happy for another couple of songs. One of Glasgow?s best kept secrets? Go out and see for yourself.

Now for the long walk home. Now, if I?d just drank a bit more, it?d be a much shorter walk, right?

Reviewer: Peter McGee
Review Date: 17 June 2010
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