Live Reviews

  Sonny Marvello, Sisa and Magic Box Mistress live at Capitol in Glasgow

Our intrepid reviewers: Handsome Bluesbunny (HB) and Bluesbunny Girl (BBG).
Scene 1 (A bar on Sauchiehall Street)

HB and BBG are standing at the bar. BBG is sipping a Diet Coke. HB puts down his pint.

HB: What's the matter?
BBG:People keep staring at me. And not in a good way, either.
HB: Perhaps you should stop staring at them. It's a chicken and egg thing.
BBG: They think I'm police don't they?
HB: Let's see. Black coat, sipping a soft drink, watching everything and everyone. A reasonable assumption, I would say.
BBG: Surely the police do not dress as trendily as I do. It is a well known fact that the police have no style.
HB: They have had many pay rises in recent years so perhaps they have hired in a style consultant. Channel 5 will have one spare without a doubt. Anyway, time to go. I need some live music and I need it now.
BBG: That boy in the corner. He looks like a bit shifty.
HB:Can we go now, please.

Scene 2 (Downstairs at Capitol, Sauchiehall Street)

HB and BBG find a table. The crowd starts to grow. Magic Box Mistress (for it is she) picks up her guitar and heads towards the stage. BBG looks round the room. HB looks lovingly at his beer.

HB: What are you looking for?
BBG: Who am I looking for, darling!
HB: OK, who are you looking for?
BBG: I seek the handsome Simon. He runs this fine establishment.
HB: You are so shallow.
BBG: But he has the most lovely eyes, you know.
HB: Of course he has.
BBG: I have those shoes. Only in black.
HB: What?
BBG: Magic Box Mixup's shoes.
HB: It's Magic Box Mistress, by the way.
BBG: Magic Box Mistress's shoes then. I have them in black. They were absolute murder on the feet.
HB: Hmmm
BBG: Oh my God, what is she wearing?
HB: A white dress?
BBG: More like an elastic bandage.
HB: It looks good to me.
BBG: Well it would look good to you. What would you know about style?
HB: Nothing apparently.
BBG: That's right. So shut up. Nice hair though. Very Marilyn Monroe.

Clearly popular with the crowd, Magic Box Mistress opens with "Stalker Boy". She tells us that it is based on personal experience. Looking perfectly at home on the stage, she nevertheless appears affable and approachable. Following on with a sparkly version of "Bones" she laps up the deserved applause. The lyrics to her songs have a somewhat gothic feel to them being considerably darker than her party girl presentation would suggest. She is then joined on stage by the Sheriff (from Sonny Marvello) to provide some top quality guitar accompaniment on "No More". A fine performance of a damn fine song. Back on her own, she treats us to the jagged "Go". The crowd cheers when she announces that the next song is her last. She reproaches them accordingly but they did not actually want her off stage. They just wanted more.

BBG: I'm off to the little girls' room
HB: Get me another beer. You'll be passing by the bar on the way.
BBG: You can have whatever you want as long as you pay for it, darling.

BBG returns from the bar with the much anticipated beer. The venue is getting busy.

BBG: Question. Would a girl in a prom dress be part of the evening's entertainment?
HB: It's not the season for proms yet so I would hazard a guess of yes to that question.
BBG: I had a Carrie moment in the lavatory.
HB: Carrie? As in the movie?
BBG: Oh God, yes! Girl goes to prom in dubious dress and murders everybody. She was wearing those sparkly red stilettos as well. You know. Click three times and you are back in Kansas sort of thing.
HB: Is that good or bad?
BBG: Could be good. Could be bad. Could also be £20 from New Look. Oh no! There's a man in a leather kilt on stage.

To loud applause, Sisa take the stage. Being purveyors of that dance electronica genre that has long been popular in Glasgow, they have a devoted following here tonight. The man in the leather kilt is Stewart McAlister and he plays an instrument that could be best described as a cross between a guitar and Kate Moss i.e. a stick with strings. Lead singer Marisa aka the girl in the prom dress joins him on stage. They tear through some crowd pleasing tunes like "Bleed" and "Image" to the beat perfect, almost robotic drumming of Ross Whyte and the funky, fretless bass of Oli Attack. Marisa's vocals were flattered by the acoustics sounding substantially better than any of the other bands playing that night. Ending on "Consume", they represent a convincing blend of natural and artificial to a driving dancefloor beat.

BBG: Oh my God, what's that smell?
HB: It's not me
BBG: My nose is offended by a vile smell!
HB: OK, so I f*rted. It's a guy thing.
BBG: You are disgusting. But it is not you. That boy in the old man's sweater. That's the source. Don't they teach students about personal hygiene these days? Be a darling and throw him out the building.
HB: You can't throw people out because they smell. It might be a medical condition.
BBG: No darling, it is a soap dodging condition. Oh! Look! A man in a red bowler hat!

The last act of the night, Sonny Marvello, takes to the stage. They are a curious looking bunch. Some look like they have come from a wedding, some from a funeral and some from a Madness convention. It takes only a few moments to realise that we are in the presence of a showman. Lead vocalist Sonny Marvello commands the stage in a bright red bowler hat. He truly has the swagger of Jagger. By the time the band get to the second song - "Beautiful Darling" - all eyes are on Sonny. He struts. He sings his heart out. He can even dance! We are also pleased to observe a real drummer. Cool as a cucumber, the rhythmic royalty behind the drum kit even dons his sunglasses from time to time and puts his feet up between songs. "Who Needs Somebody" has a pleasing ska beat and nifty fretwork from the Sheriff. Catchy and commercial, it would be an ideal Madness meets Queen powered vehicle to get them into the charts. Compelling and confident live performers, this band have the potential for greatness.

They have the talent. They have the songs. They have the style. Mark our words; Sonny Marvello will dominate the pop world.

BBG: So do you think that Sonny has seen Clockwork Orange?
HB: I would think that he has bought the Special Edition DVD. Twice.
BBG: He reminds me of Robbie Williams
HB: He reminds you of a soft drink sponsored hasbeen?
BBG: The showman bit of Robbie
HB: Sonny Marvello as the consummate showman
BBG: Yes, quite handsome, too
HB: The guitar player. The sheriff. He could play
BBG: I liked the red bowler hat
HB: Enough. It's time to go

Review Date: April 20 2007