The past couple of days have been pretty hectic gig wise but very enjoyable and diverse. I'm still wondering how I managed to fit them all in, although it helped that they were all within a stone's throw of each other.
I started off on Thursday evening along at OranMor at the competition to find three singers to participate in Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline, Morag Fullarton's Christmas show at OranMor. I had been invited along as one of the judges, their honorary Patsy, and joined the prestigious line up of Colin Beattie, Morgan Fullarton, Bobby Bluebell and Sandy Gourlay.
Laura Keenan from STV Nightshift had the evening firmly in hand and proved to be a host with considerable verve and humour. Although she was slightly worried that the Glasgow mantra at many as social occasion, "Wan singer wan song', was about to be changed to 'A hundred singers and wan song', fortunately this proved not to be the case. Quite unexpectedly we even had a couple of male participants, one of whom introduced some Frank Sinatra style crooning into the proceedings.
However, there was plenty of talent on show and the would be Patsys belted it out in the fabulous setting of OranMor's Auditorium. The judges had a little confab deciding on the winners, who found themselves ?100 the richer. They can now look forward to taking part in the forthcoming production.
Looking forward to seeing 'Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline' at OranMor.
with Daniel Hertzov, Jamie and Andy Flett The Flaming Jetts, Pookah (Chris Barratt with Craig Ralston) and headline act Jim Byrne.
After the event I hightailed it down Byres Road to Gallus in Church Street to catch Martin's Mish Mash. I was glad I made it along as it was a brilliant gig. I just missed Martin kicking the evening off, which was a pain, as he's an excellent performer - Jim assured me that he was as good as ever.
Next up was Daniel Hertzov and I was in time to catch a couple of this Russian/American's songs. Always enjoyable with his sensitive compositions delivered in a true, clear voice, Daniel's renditions seemed even more heartfelt than usual. This could be down to the joy of a new edition to his family, a baby daughter, Felicia.
I was looking forward to seeing Jamie and Andrew Flett (The Flaming Jetts), perform as last time they were on the bill at Glasgow Art Club I had to leave early. The Bluesbunny, whose reviews I often read, describes their music as:"Part urban and part magical, this is about mood. It's about mood and the city lights". They do indeed set a mood, however, the brothers Flett are a very amicable and talented duo and their pleasure in performing makes them extra endearing. I particularly enjoyed the rougher toned, bluesy, 'Roxy', just up on Jamie Flett/reverbnation. Very catchy with some great guitar playing.
Jim was an unexpected guest, this was the first time I had heard him perform, although his reputation goes before him. He has a terrific voice and I'll look forward to catching him again soon. Maybe pop along to his Magic Carpet Show at Tchai Ovna.
The Flaming Jetts were followed by Pookah (Chris Barratt accompanied by Craig Ralston), Chris' voice is nothing short of divine. He treated us to a couple of his own very atmospheric songs, then a number called 'Ohio' and finished off with 'Folsom Prison Blues'. Extraordinarily versatile Chris is a born entertainer and he's certainly onto something with his new pardner Craig, some tremendous guitar playing and a great blend of vocals.
Jim's set was rather quieter and it was getting late so I thought folk might have started drifting off home or getting into alcohol fuelled chatty mode but he had no bother capturing the attention of the audience.
He tried out a couple of new songs, sang some numbers from the new CD Every Day is Sunshine and included his current favourite cover 'Love Hurts' written by Boudleux and Felice Bryant, it's pretty gorgeous. I may be biased :lol: He also sang Martin's favourite "Tell Me You Love Me Again".
Scott Macdonald had invited us along to this great wee cafe/gallery to participate in a A Music, Comedy and Poetry Night with Scott Macdonald and Jim Byrne providing the music. Some poetry from Aidan McEoin and the comedy added by Hamish Tennant.
There was a very lively, good humoured and appreciative audience, including Issi, Davie, Charlie and Annemarie, who lapped up the entertainment. Roz, who owns the cafe, offered excellent hospitality and great toasted sandwiches.
Scott was his usual amicable self and it was a double show of talent from him as his excellent photographs are currently on show at iFull Cafe
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We would have been happy to stay there all night but we had to rush round to The Griffin in Elmbank Street to The Hellfire Club as Jim had another gig.
Jim Byrne was the special guest of The Hellfire Club for their Americana night featuring country drinking songs. This gave him an opportunity to sing some of his own songs of that genre and a new number 'Two Empty Chairs'. For the occasion he also learned to songs to comply with the theme, 'What Made Milwaukee Famous' and George Jones' 'White Lightening', the latter had the audience highly amused.
The audience lapped up the mixture of bluegrass and country tunes played by The Hellfire Club and Jim went back on stage to join them in a rendition of 'Last Night the Bottle Let Me Down'.
There was a great wee crowd, including Jimmy and Rena, Jim's mum and dad and some folk Jim knew from Clydebank. We were sorry when it ended especially as we had to leave in a snow blizzard.
That nicely rounded off the excitment of a hectic, but most enjoyable, couple of days. No shortage of musical variety to back up Glasgow's status of Unesco City of Music.