On Saturday I nipped along to the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine to see four acts perform in the theatre part of the venue. The HAC for anyone who doesn’t know about it is a multi-purpose arts venue located near the beach in Irvine. It has been on the go for a number of years and was refurbished in 2006 and now includes two studios for recording of video and music. The Theatre was also upgraded and now plays host to plays, stand-up comedy, music gigs as well as Art Exhibitions in other parts of the venue. It’s the first time I had been in the place since my brother did a play in there almost 10 years ago. It has improved remarkably since then and has turned into a nice wee venue for all.
It was a kind of Ayr Invasion at the HAC. And the first act up was an act called Trusty & The Foe. A 2 piece folk (and in their own words) “baroque pop” act. They had a quite simple set up with the two lads playing guitar and one of them (The Jack Black Lookalike) singing. Some soft Scottish accented vocals made for an enjoyable performance. They played tracks’ We Lost It All In The Fire’, ‘ As I close my eyes’, ‘Autumn has passed ‘ but it wasn’t until the final song ‘ The Willow tree’ which was dedicated to the cousin of singer Barry Carson. The obvious emotional connection this song had to him made me really capture the greatness of this act.
The next act to invade Irvine all the way from Ayr was Mr Jamie McGeechan or as his stage moniker goes Little Fire. Little Fire comes across as a really nice guy with a massive love for life and which he seems to be enjoying to the max. He played hits ‘High Hopes’, ‘All I need is Life’ and ‘Horny in The Morning’. All which were very high in energy for an acoustic performance this made his passion for music stand out very much. I’ve got to know Jamie recently since starting The IndieBendent and we’ll hopefully have a couple of little projects on the go in the coming months.
The third act to appear on stage was local boy and Kilwinning’s answer to King Creosote, Colin Hunter. Colin was the man to draw in the crowds from in and around North Ayrshire which helped all the acts who were to appear onstage. With me being from Kilwinning also I’ve known Colin for a while and been aware of his music for some time. I’ve got lots of his early stuff on my iTunes and to this day and in certain situations and playlists I can be found listening to them. Colin advises that these tracks aren’t played any more. So having not seen him play for years, I was quite intrigued to see where he’s got to on his musical career. As I mentioned Colin had drawn in the crowd and had a few mates in the crowd so the intermissions between songs were really funny. To the music, he played his tracks ‘Respect Your Mother’, ‘Red In My Painting’ along with others I’m not aware of the titles of. Colin asked for requests from the crowd and it was a request for the song ‘Strings’ by a certain member of the audience that made Colin make a request of his own and that was to be accompanied on stage by sister Angela. With the addition of the female vocal it added a new spin to Colin’s performance that I wasn’t aware of.
Finally the last band to ‘Grace’ us on stage were the final of the trio from Ayr, Rose Parade. A 3 piece multi instrument country tinged indie band. They set up with a fender telecaster, bass drum, acoustic guitar, keyboard, glockenspiel and banjo. I really didn’t have a clue what to expect. The first track they opened with was an instrumental number, I’m not a fan of acts like Mogwai or Meursault because I find instrumental stuff incredibly boring although I have nothing against them as musicians and the success that have come with them. Thankfully for me Rose Parade then performed some tracks with vocals and again I wasn’t disappointed with was on offer. They played the tracks from their EP ‘The Radio Plays For Me’ and ‘Grace’. You’ll see what I’ve done now at the start of this section. My favourite track was ‘The Radio Plays For Me’ and I can’t wait to play this through my iPod soon.
All in all an absolute belter of a night in a cracking wee venue in Ayrshire which I hope will allow these bands and many more to be more noticed in a wider scale and have the right people notice these to allow them to make the next step on their way to success.