Wednesday, June 06, 2012
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF GIGS (WEEK 21)
REVIEW OF JIM BOB/GORDON McINTYRE/8 BIT NINJAS - OLD HAIRDRESSER'S, GLASGOW : SUNDAY 27 MAY
Oh I know......it's been ages since a gig review.
But the fact is/was....I didn't get along to any for most of May as I spent the first half looking after guests from Canada and then spent the second half trying to recover from the physical/mental tiredness of the first half of the month as well as catching up with loads of things at work. Oh and gearing up for a short holiday of my own with Mrs Villain.
The night before we flew off to Madeira saw me catch my only gig of the month of May. It was a new venue for me and I was accompanied by Aldo, Jacques the Kipper and Comrade Colin on what was a hot and sultry night in the city centre. Your humble scribe was wearing shorts!!
We arrived only in time to catch the last few songs by 8 Bit Ninjas, a singer/songwriter from Birmingham who differentiated from the norm thanks to his use of old 80s-era video game soundtracks as part of his sound. I'm sorry to say that while I admired his ingenuity I wasn't too enamoured by the music. Maybe it would have been different if I'd got there in time to catch the whole set.
Regular readers will know I'm a fan of Ballboy, the Edinburgh band who've captured the hearts and minds of many music fans for well over a decade now. Shamefully, I've never caught them live, so it was a huge thrill that the main support on the night came from their singer and main songwriter Gordon McIntyre. His 40-minute set was magnificent throughout, and consisted of of versions of some of the best and most-loved Ballboy tunes, a handful of as yet unreleased material and hugely entertaining in-between song chat this side of Billy Bragg.
It's been years since I've seen Jim Bob on stage as I didn't go to the Carter USM reformation gigs a wee while back. His appearance was part of a nationwide tour to plug his new book Driving Jarvis Ham, the jacket of which informs you that he is 'an author, musician, father and occasional (once) musical theatre star.' The night began with a reading from the new book, contained loads of songs from his Carter and solo careers, had more reading from the book and then more songs, some of which were chosen by members of the audience who were holding lucky raffle tickets.
It was a performance that took a while to get going. The bit from the book was great as were most of the songs. But it seemed that Jim Bob was a bit nervous about it all, concerned that some were here only for the music and couldn't wait for the book stuff to be over and done with. His anecdotes between songs seemed clumsy, certainly in comparison to the much more relaxed performance of Gordon McIntyre, and early on it threatened to turn out a bit messy. However, no sooner had the second reading from the book finished than the main man moved into top gear and the final hour was a triumph with the quality of the solo material matching the songs from the Carter era.
I went home clutching a copy of his new book looking forward to devouring it under the sunny skies by the poolside of my luxury hotel and a quiet promise that I wouldn't again go four weeks without a live gig in 2012.
mp3 : Carter USM - Sheriff Fatman
(which was the song with which Jim Bob bade us farewell.....)