So there I was discussing guitar bands with Jim Byrne and a thought just came to me. When I woke up from the excesses of the nineties, the Pastels were doing soundtracks and the whole world had gone to shit. It made me wonder - what is a worried man to do in these difficult times?
You could do like Daniel Hertzov did and face it head on and give us of those deadly earnest performances that are the way of those who have paid their dues by performing on the stages of Glasgow. Infused with Americana, his voice rang clear and true but he was just too serious for a Friday night.
Rather more light-hearted and dynamic was Jim Byrne. You have to admire his spirit as he attempted the audience participation thing no less than three times – I reckon that might be a record for a Friday night in the ‘Ship? – during a warm, good natured set and, ably assisted by Dinny, stroked these ‘Bunny ears with words and harmonies. Mr Byrne was so affable that my Guinness fuelled mind pondered on the thought that he could be the new Val Doonican. Mere conjecture, of course, but there might well be further proof in his soon to be released album “Every Day Is Sunshine”.
Definitely not Val Doonican-esqe were the Ballachulish Hellhounds. Marinated in the traditions of Americana (along with beer, whisky and lighter fuel), the Hellhounds stumbled through a shambolic set that exuded a sense of fun so often lacking in their fellow artists. Dochan picked that banjo while Zander – and for you fashionistas out there, tonight he was dressed in the style of a prostitute killing truck driver - veered around the songs like a man who drinks beer for breakfast. However, it is an incontrovertible fact that The Hellhounds will make you smile (and they even dragged Daniel Herztov on to stage for a couple of songs and made him smile too!).
Nearly time to go home but there’s still time to fall in love with the barmaid. I also love Guinness. Now you know what a worried man does in these difficult times.