Falkirk’s WAY TO BLUE festival kicked off last night. This year’s bill is the most impressive to date and infiltrates all strata. It’s a canny piece of organisation given that people in this area are notorious for not supporting live music events. They’ll pay a tenner to get into a disco but somehow won’t shell for a band, well, not often. Anyway, there was a respectable crowd in the Town Hall for this 3 band bill of Aberfeldy, The Pearlfishers (with string quartet) and The Trashcan Sinatras. In the past I’ve seen Alex Harvey and T. Rex there amongst others and to my mind, the place hasn’t changed. Of course there are many more facets to actually just putting on a gig in such a venue these days. The effort involved generally goes by un-noticed and the way that the seating is laid out leaves something of a psychological moat between the performers and the audience. However, in the bar – you can pre-order your drink for the interval. Cannae be bad even although I never took advantage of this facility.
But anyway, Aberfeldy kicked things off and are getting better as they notch up the gigs. The new songs, particularly one called “Hypnotized” bodes well for the second album. The ‘feldy employ a quaint line in banter that is quite possibly unintelligible outside of Central Scotland but adds an extra dimension to their pop thrills in tonights setting. They’re only wee but they’re pretty bloody good and that, as much as anything, could be an obstacle. The Pearlfishers delivered a bijou set complete with strings. A lush assault fused with that patented old school showbiz charm. “Todd is God” conjured up extreme visions of Rundgren and “Your Stars” is a cracking slice of anthemic Scotpop, even in this acoustic setting.
We left two numbers into the Trashcan Sinatras set. I don’t get the pathological fervour that surrounds them. Never did, never will. The singer (Frank Reeder?) made some comment about things being amplified that made me want to vom. Their music is anaemic, a cut and paste pot pourri of other things I don’t care for so ‘tis best in such an instance to leave ‘em to their believers.