Satellite Sessions. Satellite Sessions. Satellite Sessions. What, I hear you say, is a Satellite Session? It is an acoustic night like the Free Candy Sessions only this time we find ourselves a lot nearer the city centre in the Terminal Bar. We make a mental note not to cuss and throw things as the Terminal Bar is right across the road from Pitt Street Police Station. Back to the story. Like the Free Candy Sessions, entrance is free. All you have to buy is beer. The line up for the first of these regular events is Journeybox, Invisible Twin and Rick Redbeard. As usual, Bluesbunny had to endure wind and rain to get there. Fortunately, there was beer at the end of the journey. We like beer. And free music.
First to the microphone is Journeybox. A duo consisting of Pete Morrison and Kari Morrison, their songs have a gentle, hypnotic quality swirling around you rather than attempting a direct hit on your eardrums. Mr Morrison plays the guitar sings with introspective conviction accompanied by Ms Morrison on keyboards. Given the vile weather, their sweet harmonies prove especially soothing. We also noted that their songs tended to start small and build to a climax giving a nice sense of drama. Best songs was "Hold On" - hope we got the title right! As one wag at the bar remarked, they sound like the Cocteau Twins, only in tune. Bluesbunny thinks they would make perfect hangover music. Soothing but sufficiently interesting to keep you awake.
Next up is Invisible Twin. There must be a different dictionary in Glasgow as there are two clearly visible musicians. Must be some sort of in joke. We recognise them as Invisible Jim (aka Jamie Flett of, wait for it, Feltt) and the redoubtable Dochan MacMillan (aka the band booker for the Satellite Sessions and strange, stringed instrument player for the Scuffers). We like the Glasgow version of urban blues purveyed by these two gentlemen. They sound much bigger than two guys should and easily fill the room with sound. "Clean" is a bluesy number featuring some polished slide guitar work from Dochan. "Ruby & Pearl" highlights Invisible Jim's strong voice. Quality musicianship is always on display but it is not really about the songs but about the feelings behind them. By no means a sing-along outfit, they are curiously involving. As the wag at the bar commented - "Close enough for jazz, far enough away for folk". Sounds about right.
Rounding off proceedings tonight is Rick Redbeard. The name is an alias, by the way. It must be the proximity to the police station that causes every musician to pretend to be someone else. First impressions are positive. He has the most magnificent red guitar for a start. Photographs do not do it justice. Criminal thoughts cross the Bluesbunny mind. Fortunately, Rick starts playing and distracts us from our nefarious intent. He has a folksy sound that puts us in mind of Jesse Winchester. He sings with confidence, engages the audience with witty banter and fakes the high vocal parts - telling us that he is usually accompanied by his sister. We learn he is from North East Scotland and many of his songs are about moving to the city and wanting to be back home. Noting the Bluesbunny interest in the Redbeard guitar, a young lady approaches and offers to distract our hirsute troubadour so that it may be "pockled". Not sure how she was proposing to achieve that end but we had to admire her bravado as the Terminal Bar is just across the road from the police station. She also remarked that Rick was "really good". We had to agree.
As a final comment, the wag at the bar spouts forth the following words of wisdom - "Unassuming in a way lost to the fame seekers these days, it remains one of the last free pleasures to enjoy real musicians playing real music somewhere in this plastic age. As they used to say in the X Files, the truth is out there." Take a visit to the Satellite Sessions. You know it makes sense. Or maybe not depending on the amount of beer that has been consumed.
Bluesbunny heads out into the rain wondering if his mother has, in fact, been lying to him all these years about him having an honest face.