I started tonight off in The Station Bar with Big Chris and his Wee Bro, Nick, then hurtled West to the ABC to liaise with the Designated Driver.
Justin and I go way back, almost thirty years back, to when I actually went along to Café Warzika, four Mondays on the trot, in order to qualify for a free Del Amitri single. In those days they, Del Amitri that is, used to ‘come on stage’ to a tape of ‘I Have A Dream’ (that would be MLK, of course, not ABBA). Since then I’ve seen him many, many times.
Tonight Dr King’s golden tones were missing, replaced by Paul Weller’s ’No Tears to Cry’, and if the truth be known there was something else seriously missing and quite flat about the whole event. Nothing like the majestic austerity of The Fruitmarket gig of 2007.
A reworked ‘Last to Know’ was impressive, however I felt that, during the whole evening, there was a feeling of merely going through the motions. I’m sure JC is so familiar with some of these songs he could sing them in his sleep (and on a couple of occasions tonight, he may well have been for all I know!) It didn’t help me being surrounded by a crowd of singalongs who would be best described as “Desperate Housewives” had it been set in ‘River City’
More recently, regarded as one who generally aspires towards sartorial elegance, Justin, tonight, was quite clearly wearing someone else’s trousers and/or had recently narrowly escaped a house fire!
Nick Clark, a bass colossus as usual, had, rather strangely, decided to come on stage looking like Alfie Moon disguised as Bob Dylan
I felt sorry for guitarist Stuart Nesbit as he had clearly misread ‘Celtic Connections’ as ‘The World Gurning Championships’. I was also intrigued that he played solos that had little resemblance to, or were even on nodding terms with, the tunes they were imbedded in. On many occasions I enjoy and applaud such mavericks, however this was simply mince! If Alan Hansen played guitar I’m fairly certain it would sound remarkably like this.
Justin in more rivetting times!