Gimme Shelter Part 2. – Mono, Glasgow, Sunday 30th November

So, this is going to be a bit of strange post as I cannot comment on any of the performers after Frightened Rabbit because suffering from exhaustion we decided to head home after Scott played a great solo set.  It was interesting to hear where the songs from both albums come from and even more interesting to note all those little guitar intricacies which you just assume must be one of the other guitarists in the band until you sit and watch him doing it all on the one acoustic guitar.  Highlight of his set for me was ‘Good Arms Vs Bad Arms’ and I do love ‘Less Rude’, so it was nice to hear that in a relaxed, chilled out form.  The main highlight of the day for me though, at least of what I saw, was Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers.  I have been a fan of Woodenbox’s stuff  since I first caught him at a Gentle Invasion show.  However, the next time I saw him at the GRV he blew me away with the energy and power of the performance.  He has surrounded himself with exceptional musicians and is now part of a band looks like a lot of fun to play in.  If I lived in Glasgow it would be amazing to play piano for them!  You get to play in a fun band and grow your hair and beard to a ridiculous but cool length!!  Anyways, dress sense/style aside, they were brilliant.  Absolutely class.  Along with Withered Hand probably the highlight of the 2 days of music for me. 

The whole atmosphere of Mono is completely different from the Caves.  The Caves felt like a massive gig, in a dark and cold cellar whilst the whole family fee at Mono was something totally special, as it always is.  I truly hope this is not the last Gimme Shelter festival because it was truly a great success and Graeme deserves a lot more credit for what he does.  He also deserves a lot more support from the press if you ask me.  It’s tragic to open the Metro or other publications and not ever read about the festival.  I hope it gets some good reviews but in my opinion the press should be talking to Graeme before hand, doing some interviews and helping support what is not only a great 2 days of music but also in aid of a truly worthy cause.

www.myspace.com/woodenbox

www.shelter.org.uk

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Gimme Shelter – Part 1. The Caves, Saturday 29th November

Well this was just brilliant.  Congratulations to Graeme and everyone who helps him run the festival for managing to sell out the Caves.  Turning people away from the event – that has got to be a first for Gimme Shelter and showed how much time and effort has been put in to making the night a success.  Despite the difficulties that were thrown at him I thought Graeme did amazingly well to keep cool and make the night work.  It wasn’t ideal, he would have liked to have done things differently but circumstances meant it wasn’t possible, so given the problems he faced I think it was a massive, massive success.  I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t see that many people on the main stage – actually, I only saw Broken Records – but I am assured that Jesus H Foxx were magnificent – which I kind of expected – that Mrs Toad loved The European Union and that Graeme and Tom couldn’t agree on De Rosa – one loving the other not so much.  As for me, well I played for Team Turnip and The Kays which was a lot of fun and then stuck around to catch Little Pebble and eagleowl – both of whom were on fine form.  It was nice to see Alan again, I haven’t caught his live set for a while but was delighted to be able to buy a ‘greatest hits’ album of his stuff.  I thought he played an excellent set – the finishing song, played on a £1 casio keyboard was excellent, programmed drum beat included!  As for eagleowl, well it was nice to see them with Malcolm and Motherfucker has to be the best way to finish any set.  Then I nipped downstairs to do another stint on the door before going to check out Broken Records.  I have to say that I enjoyed their set on Saturday more than I had the single launch, not to say I didn’t enjoy the single launch, but there was something great about their performance on Saturday night.  

And then to the highlight of the night for me.  The hour was just past 2am when Withered Hand took to the stage to deliver the performance of the night.  Pressed for time to fit both himself and Meursault in he just blew me away with the raw energy of the short 4 songs he played.  The very first time I saw Dan he played a solo set supporting eagleowl, he seemed a little lost on stage and I didn’t really get it.  Every time I’ve seen him since he’s got better and better and better and on Saturday I think I saw a performance from possibly the best unsigned act in Scotland.  It was fantastic.  I adore Religious Songs.  It’s a brilliant ep and now Dan has hit a level of live performance that not many could touch.  Brilliant set.  And to finish it all off were the ever brilliant Meursault.  I love how you never know what to expect.  They never ever do the same thing twice and it was yet another great performance and the perfect end to the night.

Well, it wasn’t the end to the night.  We had to stand in a taxi cue for ages waiting in the freezing cold to get home and listening to some poor young girl who’s mate had stolen her passport from her.  She wasn’t happy.  Her feet were sore too.  Poor thing.  Still, great night and thought I staggered in at a ridiculous hour of the morning it really all put me in the mood for the next day’s festivities at Mono.

www.myspace.com/witheredhandmusic

www.shelter.org.uk