Tuesday night in Glasgow. Time for more Free Candy. Bluesbunny heads for the Liquid Ship on Great Western Road. The home of free live music. They also serve beer. We like beer. We make an on the spot decision and go for the Guinness tonight. Good choice.
Tonight's acts are Suspire, Graystar and Andrew Quinn. First up is Suspire. 3 guys and a gal as they would have said back in the days before political correctness. No room for a drum kit so the gal - Clare Kelly - does the drumming thing to the max on a bongo. There's insanity in those rhythms that contradicts the band's relaxed inter song banter and their precise harmonies. They could almost be Greenwich Village folksters if it were not for the manic percussive energy on display. "Nebula" particularly impressed. Only strong songs survive in the acoustic environment and Suspire's songs kept their heads well above the water.
Next up is Graystar. It does not take long to figure out that we are going to get a Free Candy moment. Standards are normally pretty high at these evenings but sometimes you get something a bit special. Tonight is going to be one of these nights. Melodic in a kind of Eagles meets Prefab Sprout kind of way, Graystar perform some quality songs. "Cry No More" has drama with a pronounced flamenco feel. "Free" is a piece of truly exquisite song writing. The band benefits from having a particularly fine drummer (no introductions were given so we assume that it was Neil Hartley) who understands that there is more to drumming than beating the skins to death. They easily settle into long languid grooves that are like midnight strolls on a warm summer night. Some of the songs rambled on longer than they should in the live environment but the magic was definitely there. A band to watch, without a doubt.
Rounding things off is Andrew Quinn. Following two bands when you are a solo performer is the job for a brave man. Following two such fine bands as Graystar and Suspire is even more of a challenge. One man and his black electric guitar stands proud and faces the crowd. Initially nervous, he keeps his songs short, sweet and to the point. He knows his music, segueing from "Waiting on Your Call" straight into "Jolene". Having settled in to his stride by the time he gets to "Angels Wear Black", he is showing confidence and conviction in his delivery. Our Mr Quinn is an economic performer with little in the way of flourish. His introspective, sometimes bleak take on the world shows in his songwriting. There is an old Chinese saying - "Plan to fail and you will always achieve your objective". Bluesbunny thinks it is time for Andrew Quinn to start planning for success.
The evening ends and the road calls out once more. The Bluesbunny ears are happy. Good music, beer and free candy. What more can a man want?