It is hard to imagine a more beautiful venue than upstairs at the Oran Mor in Glasgow. Converted from an old church, this room has to be the classiest that the Bluesbunny has ever been in. Tonight we are here for the debut performance of Vivien Scotson's new band. Oh, and beer of course!
Despite it being a band launch night, she takes the stage alone and treats us to a sensitive arrangement of a Robert Burns song. You don't get much more traditional than that. Her sweet vocals suit the material well and her performance would make many a man cry into his beer. Joined now by her band, we have initial concerns that her delicate voice would be drowned out. We should not have worried as her voice picks up the mantle and soars over the band.
She looks somewhat nervous and ill at ease, however. Perhaps the grand surroundings intimidated her. The band seems easy going whilst she looks to be lost in intense concentration. The crowd are openly friendly and appreciative of her music with rapturous applause at the end of each song. "Love Undercover "- a Bluesbunny favourite - works well. "Blues Bar Room Brawl" is an up-tempo song that reminded us of the best of seventies pub rock. It is the story of the kind of recalcitrant behaviour that we would not expect of a lady such as Ms Scotson.
For one song, she is joined on stage by a songwriter that she met on a recent trip to Italy called Oreste. Their voices do not mesh well and he shows poor etiquette by singing over her lead vocals. "Mio Princepe" - another exquisite ballad from her pen - was not best served by the addition of the band. Ms Scotson's confidence does grow as the evening progresses. "Urban Fairy" is handled with the gusto one would have expected of a Maggie Bell or a Dana Gillespie. The last song of her set, "Let's Pretend", had us, for a moment, thinking of Marillion. She returns to the stage for a solo encore and performs an emotional version of Roger Henderson's "Penny to My Name".
As we would have expected of a civilised chanteuse like Ms Scotson, the slow numbers work best. Give the evidence of tonight; we remain unconvinced of the benefits of a band. She has a voice that would steal your heart and she should step out from behind the band into the limelight where she belongs. If Ms Scotson wishes to investigate a new genre then she should consider a full-on assault on Nashville.