Friday night in the west end of Glasgow. Strange things happen. After an unforeseen encounter with an American belly dancer over dinner, a somewhat confused and embarrassed, Bluesbunny sought out the sanctuary of the Liquid Ship and a Free Candy Session. Beer and music. That should sort things right out. Tonight's bill features Kilo, the Dead Beat Club, Gavin Wallace and Cousti.
First up is Kilo. Three guys. Two guitars. One box thing to make the percussion happen. They manage a poised yet boisterous performance. The band is made up of one local boy and two students over from America and they have a commercial, radio friendly sound reminiscent of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Their songs are mostly self composed - we are told - so the talent is there. Also quite interested in the box thing used for percussion. It looked like a small speaker cabinet but it sounded quite unique.
Next up is the Dead Beat Club. They come from what is commonly referred to in Glasgow as the "east coast". The "east coast" (note that the term is always used in the lowercase, by the way) is a city full of so much culture and amateur drinking that it is said that the best thing to come out of it is the train to Glasgow. The Dead Beat Club are a fine live act without a doubt and seem to be enjoying themselves thoroughly tonight. Lead singer Handsome Andy kicks things off with a quality version of "Black, Black Heart". In the compact and bijou surroundings of the Liquid Ship, they are anything but dead beat. In fact, they are the very opposite. They truly sound like they love doing what they do. Handsome Andy does not hog the limelight either, handing over the microphone to Shona Brodie for a very effective solo number. The "Big" Andy fan club is in the audience, however, and as one of these ladies puts it shortly before swooning - "If the Devil wears Prada then God wears leather. Tan leather." Another woman starts to panic. She has noticed a flash of gold on Andy's left hand. Has he been taken by another? Women. Why did they get the vote?
The Dead Beat Club hand over the mantle to Gavin Wallace. The front man of the Scuffers is here to try out some new songs and has brought along a couple of Scuffers - Dochan MacMillan and Ian Fraser - to assist. Running into technical issues before the end of the first song, "Big Gav" distracts the audience with a spirited rendition of "Three Men from Carntyne". The evening had started off with an encounter with an American belly dancer and now we have a long forgotten, sing-along, traditional drinking song. It is all a bit surreal and Bluesbunny wonders if he has fallen off the edge of the planet (again). We are then treated to several new songs with the best being "Here's to the Days" - a stirring tune that would fit nicely into the "lying women, cheating men" country music catalogue. He squeezes in the Scuffers' favourite "Lovesick Blues" as well. With these new songs, it is clear that the black humour filled pen of our Mr Wallace is far from empty.
Finishing off for the evening is Cousti. These melodic rockers hail from Cumbernauld and, as a Scuffer points out, are joined for the fun by the redoubtable (and producer of the Scuffers) Danny Mitchell. Veterans of the music scene, they have been around. They are a different kettle of fish from the other bands we have seen tonight. Older and slicker, they settle into an easy country flavoured groove somewhere between the Band and early Eagles. Looking, and sounding, like a band of brothers, they made it all seem easy. Pete Lamb's vocals are polished and effective. Harmonies hit the spot every time and the musicianship was exemplary. A dedicated following is in evidence tonight and they clearly love every note. If you are looking for a place to start with their music, we would go with "Borderline" from tonight's evidence. They also wear hats. Probably a Cumbernauld thing.
Back out into the night we go. Our ears are once more satisfied. All is well with the world.