It takes a fragmented insensibility to avoid the opportunity to worship the sporting prowess of one’s own country but the die was nonetheless cast and nothing less than a descent into the basement of Pivo Pivo could satisfy the text message from the inevitable. There, to entrance the ears, were Precious Few, Steve J Ward, Patrick Shand, Blitz Spirit and John Mason.
John Mason was the rabbit to get the greyhounds in the mood. Fluent on guitar and polished in his presentation, his surefooted performance easily allowed him the luxury of indulging subtlety within the framework of his soft rock influences. It’s a confidence thing at the end of the day and he certainly didn’t lack that.
Steve J Ward, of Edinburgh, was similarly polished to the point that he might actually be considered American but his heart was one infused with sensitivity and his songs reflected the introspection that was obviously his musical motivation.
Daring to different was Patrick Shand for, blessed with a voice that could also be used to grate cheese, he stumbled with the divine conviction of the deluded along the path to the holy grail of individualism. The truth, as they say, is out there. Somewhere.
Positively reveling in the opportunity to get it wrong was Dan West – aka Blitz Spirit – and he, in the spirit of inevitability that was clearly close to his heart, took a borrowed guitar and mandolin and used them to transcend what many would see as the limitations of the Glasgow singer songwriter. His good natured performance was more memorable than any of his songs but that, surely, was the point.
Precious Few, in the context of tonight’s acts, were something of an anachronism with their acoustic transformation of offbeat rock songs into stripped down fringe festival friendly sounds being the kind of thing that the civilised amongst you might view as both academically rewarding and simultaneously unsettling. Too good to be mainstream, Precious Few demonstrated that they knew that art was a purpose within itself.
And so it was that the alcoholic’s autopilot took me towards the train station. On the train station wall was a poster. The poster posited the question “What do you take home when you visit Lanarkshire?” An easy one to answer. Herpes.