The sun shines. I'm in a car. I'm driving the car. Oh no, I'll have to do a review whilst sober. Being sober is getting to be a bit of a habit these days. Much like eating cheese. So with no alcoholic fog to cloud my judgement tonight, it's time for some incisive words.
Let's start with Stephanie Manns. She talks a lot between songs - which makes a change - and, from her accent, I doubt that she is from around here. There's something appealing about her voice, however. She has a very natural singing style with not a trace of affectation and that sits nicely with her confessional lyrics. "Belongs To You" - she tells us - is about having too much to drink and sleeping with the wrong guy. I like that in a woman. Then again, I would or I wouldn't have much of a social life.
Moving swiftly on to fluffier territory takes us to Fireside Kicks. Warm and cosy pretty much sums them up with a sound that sprinkles celtic influences on a twee pop fairy cake. Doing some research determines that the lead singer is called Leanne and it's fair to say that she has a voice so sweet she could be a digestive biscuit. Much like digestive biscuits, this band went down well with the audience. And me for that matter.
Now we've got an alt-country party band called the Humble Hobos. From Perth but diverted on their way here via the mid-west, they've got affected accents and a clear love of things American. Only missing a cowboy hat or four, they delivered the kind of sterling performance that brings a smile to your face and simultaneously makes you crave beer. Pretty much the perfect Friday night band and you can quote me on that.
Keeping on much the same path were Aaron Wright and the Aprils. They ditch the metaphorical stetsons and go for long hair and beards to take us further into country-rock territory. Musically they are slick and not only do they know their melodies but they also demonstrate a good natured and relaxed style that is so very easy on the ear. Should your musical tastes tend towards the mellow then this would be the band for you.
Last on were Miscued Vein. It turns out they are from Lanarkshire even though they've got that West Lothian rock band sound. It was also clear that this is the band that the audience were here to see and every song was greeted like a long lost friend with "Triplet of Ugly Sisters" standing out from their well rehearsed set of coming-to-a-stadium-near-you rock anthems.
Job done. I gave thought to finding out what chicken pakora tastes like when sober but it had started raining. Unfortunately, that's too frequent an occurrence to be mistaken for a sign from God.