Tag Archives: Siobhan Wilson

West End Festival All Dayer at Oran Mor, 29/7/14

The all dayer at Oran Mor is shaping up to be a highlight of the West End Festival, with 14 acts on three stages in one building the event boasts something for everyone.

Starting in the Whiskey Bar Gav Prentice plays a set accompanied by a lone electric guitar, an assortment of drum machines, keyboards and gaffer tape; influenced by traditional Scottish folk music, charmingly awkward, Prentice delivers a quirky and at some points touching set.

The Burns inspired ‘John Barleycorn’ recounts the agony of alcohol addiction with a catchy drum beat and the assistance of a digitally reanimated Richard Burton.

Following Prentice, the folk two piece Reilly and Boyle and they take turns at the mic, the difference in the two singers voices go well together especially in exceptional harmonies throughout.

A Milk Carton Kids cover fits well among original material in particular ‘Heart Break Song’ with its immediately memorable melody and bitter sweet lyrics.

Venturing upstairs to the Auditorium to find now converted (or unconverted?) church, softer folk acts are in residence; initially, only Siobhan Wilson’s Spanish guitar is audible.

As soon as this is fixed a blast of Wilson’s voice is like a light coming on, strong but with a powerfully delicate nature Wilson’s style harks back to Carol King and the early seventies singer songwriters boom, as well as having a distinctly country flavour, original songs, ‘Cowboy’ and ‘White Robe’ shine with quality.

Turning Plates bring a grown up instrumental side to the evening, ghostly violin and cello working created flourishes of discord, raspy trombone and interesting lyrics made for an atmospheric but otherwise dull performance.

Meanwhile in the bowels of the Oran Mor harder rock acts gather; mixing ska, rock and rap Hector Bizerk are a colourful addition to the subterranean venue stage with calypso percussion and a hard rock edge the group create a party atmosphere.

Enigmatic frontman Louie provides rapid fire rhymes attempting (though admittedly unsuccessfully) to bring an 8 Mile level of audience participation to the indie crowd, undaunted Hector Bizerk play a set of uniquely Scottish rap songs and one of the most memorable performances of the day.

With so much on offer on different locations, it is frustrating to decide which bands to choose especially when it comes time for the headline slots, however The Vaselines make it an easy choice.

Famously dear to a certain Seattle group of the 90s, The Vaselines formed in Glasgow in the mid 80s at a time when alternative music was a real alternative to a bland, sanitised  MTV driven music industry.

Recruiting a band of “Vaselines virgins”, Frances and Eugene are back with their pure guitar powered indie rock presented with their own brand of “how’s your father” humour.

Squeezing hit after hit into their set The Vaselines have a way of making a long set short, with familiar tracks and a performance of their new single ‘One Lost Year’ they triumphantly return and bring the evening to a satisfying close.

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Words: Peter Johnstone
Photos: Stewart Fullerton

Hiss Golden Messenger, Siobhan Wilson at Sleazy’s, 16/5/14

Apparently the last time Mike Taylor, aka Hiss Golden Messenger, was in Glasgow he played the Captains Rest in front of just couple of people; it’s amazing what a few good reviews can do for you.

Tonight he plays to a healthy, mainly seated, audience with that undertone of a Glasgow Friday night in the air.

The lovely Siobhan Wilson starts proceedings and as always there’s a delightful spark from the soft-spoken singer.

Her music washes over the audience relaxing and enticing the gathered for a chill before the night goes into full flow, Wilson’s voice is angelic yet strong and her excitement about playing a new song and a new piano are as endearing as her lovingly delivered songs.

There’s nothing in French tonight though, her English language songs taking the front seat as she switches between two guitars and the piano and allows her talent to just wash over the crowd.

Hiss Golden Messenger appears a seasoned performer, his sound is rooted in the bluegrass of his native North Carolina but remains remarkably contemporary and his presence is a captivating one.

He’s clearly pleased to be here and interacts with the crowd willingly and regularly, playing each request from his four album strong catalogue, although requests for ‘Purple Rain’ are greeted with “I wish I knew how to play that song” – you may have to wait til Thursday for that one.

Whether chatting to the crowd or performing his almost faultless, raw world-weary tracks complete with grimace on face Taylor is intoxicating.

He seems quite happy to go on all night and the crowd lap it up, as some get a little over into the back and forth banter from the singer prompting him to usher a wee “calm down”, before moving into a new track.

There are times when his stories tend to fade out to no real relevant ending, but so is his manner that no one really cares and while his catalogue is impressive it doesn’t offer a massive array of variety, but those in attendance know what to expect, it’s not a flashy pop show it’s a talented man drawling out weary tales in a captivating manner.

If you came out to the Sleazy’s basement for a dance you’d be massively disappointed, Hiss Golden Messenger has a sound you really need to be the mood for otherwise it could be a dredge, however if you are in the right mind frame then he’s just sheer brilliance.

More Photos

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Bill Gray