Lets face it: the weekend really does start on a Thursday night nowadays. There’s nothing like nursing a light alcohol induced headache on a Friday at work. Perhaps indulging in a little sneaky something that’ll pick you up at lunch time. Maybe even taking a half day. It is unfathomably gratifying to ease into the weekend. The first instalment of ‘Elba Sessions Presents’ last night certainly proved itself to be an imperative addition to this new tradition.
The Liquid Ship played host to the first live chapter of Elba, brought to you from the regular stage of The Free Candy Sessions, and what a night it was. There really could have been no better a setting; the subterranean ambient nook is perfect. To step into the calming and cosy lantern and candle lit venue to such pleasing acoustics…well…I’m pretty much drooling reminiscing over how delightful it was.
The gentle sounds of Paul McLinden opened the evening. There is something graceful about how he performs. On record his songs are serene but live they are almost lulling, yet all the while captivating. He has perfected that ‘warm your soul’ feeling that comes when someone merges their instrument and voice so completely.
Whilst we’re on the subject of soul, Calum MacDonald really knows how to bear his. The room was hushed to a revered silence as his minimal guitar accompanied honest vocals. This man could out-do Frightened Rabbit in emotional stakes single handedly. An impressive cover of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ showed weight and promise. We at Elba now also have a rather unexpected fixation on Calum’s hairdo.
Four piece Only Living Boys opened things up again with their keyboard rooted light indie. Even with a full line up these guys managed to hold back rather than blow the windows out of a small venue. Not only this but they provided the “Only Living Snare” for our headline act of the evening Le Reno Amps.
Le Reno and what I like to think of as their semi-acoustic set showed Al and Scott on unmissable and crowd pleasing form. Their set encompassed the very best of the band. Old favourites including 1969 and Get You Wet were warmly welcomed alongside an array of tracks from latest album Tear It Open (Drift Records). Out of this, Outlaws really is the one that shows the boys (and lady on days when she is present) as we know and love them. It has a guitar riff and vocal yowl that’ll grip you like no other dark country tinted song can. Al literally ripped up his guitar on stage during the solo, pulling a ‘knob’ off in the process. Why is it I always find myself saying such things that elicit mild titters after a Le Reno Amps show? One wonders. I implore you to catch this band right now, they really are at their best. They’ll also sell you their records for:
‘Whatever you like really. We’re mental…like Radiohead. Unless it’s under a tenner…’
What’s that they say about Aberdonians again?
Thanks to everyone who came along and big thank you to all the bands. We really hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Next month is looking just as lavish with John Hinshelwood & Sandra Gellatly, Andrea Marini and Julia and the Doogans confirmed for Thursday 5th November.
Thanks also to Steph Mulligan for the fab photos!!! We’ll have more up on the myspace soon!