Good venue this: ample opportunity to take the wrong turning, ascend 273 steps and end up in a completely empty attic – which we duly do, of course.
Starting a review, not of the band but the stairwell may be cause for concern – and, to an extent, it should be: tonight is frustrating as much as confidence-building.
The Blet Project may have the ability to hit greatness – and they do – but, on this evening’s evidence, they need to tighten up considerably and exploit avenues that work whilst discarding those that do not.
In many ways, they are an A&R man’s dream: youthful, able to sling out a killer moment, however, they are also prone to indulge their skills to the effect of, well, not enough effect.
That is ideal for a manager of the svengali variety: “Okay, you can play. You can write. Ditch this, that and that. Bring this to the fore and bin the rest”.
That may sound harsh for what is still a good gig but it’s frustrating to see songs meander underneath the god of guitar skills when, with some judicious editing and tough-love, there are some absolute peaches in there: musicianship may get you into a band but it can never be the end in itself and it should always be subservient to the package.
A case in point is second last song ‘The Anthem’ (which is worth the price of admission alone): the opening, dark bars with it’s plunging guitar hitting you right in the solar plexus is spine-tingling: that, right there, is where the magic is: right there, the guitar has an effect rather than just as, an admittedly impressive, adjunct and demonstration.
Single ‘Eight Till Ten’ is a lilting beauty and when the 4/4 drums kick in on ‘Mr David Harris’ the enthusiastic crowd is bouncing: the potency is there, however, too many songs are allowed to become a touch too loose in a way that doesn’t support the wry and killer vocals from Maisie Hutt heard on the album Now Live.
The Blet Project, whilst not yet being revolutionary, are one of the more interesting propositions to come out of Scotland of late: the album is excellent but a less loyal crowd than tonight will eat them alive without a serious look at what makes some of their songs great and some cold-hearted pruning of the rest, in the live setting at least.
Great and charismatic front woman, can hit things and pluck things in the right order, already have a loyal fanbase… now do the rest: the potential is quite clearly there.
Words: Vosne Malconsorts