Flavoured, Hard, Biconcave Disc-Shaped Sweets – NOT as you may assume a Captain Beefheart triple album but the wikipeadia definition of the name of the next featured band, Parmaviolets, however, before I get to the Parmas I have to make some stark confessions…..I didnt get, local Inverness band, The Now, at all. Wasn’t impressed by front man Paul Maciver in the slightest after Highland Games 2009 (sorry Paul – its nowt personal – just being honest) and for that reason everything he’s done since has been kinda ignored by me to a certain extent – which for me is a bloody awful attitude and not one I condone, or to be honest, normally adopt. As always, other opinions are available but read on – it has a happy ending 🙂
Onto April 2010 while I was ‘in-house’ snapper at Terry O’Connells Ceol-Mor venue, Terry booked Pauls new band The Gypsy Travelling Band to debut at the pub with support from New decades – I was hesitant but it turned out to be a good enough night and I began to warm very,very slightly. A month later and Paul and his GTB were back to support The Galipaygos – now Im predominantly there for the Gals as theyre mates and Im a massive fan but lo and behold Mr MacIver and his band are making me stand up and take note once more – much better – more polished and theres definitely something going on here.
Over the course of the next year or so they morphed into Parmaviolets and the current lineup is thus (always wanted to use ‘thus’ – dont even know what it really, actually means but it fits, thusly)…….
Paul MacIver – Lead Vocals / Guitar
Martin Stewart – Keys / Vocals / Effects
Barrie Maclennan – L/Guitar / Vocals/ Effects
Andy Davidson – Bass / Vocals / Effects
Calum Chisolm – Drums / Percussion
…..and for some reason I managed to avoid them – not intentionally – right up until Tartan Heart in August of 2011 where the band played the GoNorth Seedlings Stage !
Belladrum saw me having a few beers myself – Im no angel and although its seen as slightly unproffesional for gig snappers to drink on duty its when I take my best stuff so fuck tradition to a certain extent (about 4 pints and a Balvenie extent to be exact). Thought Id give the Parma’s the benefit of the doubt as I was in the Seedlings area, wandered into the tent and POW !!! What the hell was that ? Parmaviolets were brilliant. Solid rock grooves and tightness so tight it went off the scale that measures tightness of tightity and I even managed a wee frug/shimmy in the pit at Seedlings and if youve ever either seen me dance or been in the pit at the Seedlings youll know that the two do not sit well together. I was blown away. You really got the feeling you were watching seasoned veterans going through a back catalog up there !!
Beer played a major part in our next encounter – it was beer festival ffs – Jocktoberfest to be exact up in the Black Isle Breweries collection of barns and outhouses. The Parmaviolets were due on at 8pm on the Saturday evening and it all got a bit fraught with Mr Mac going AWOL and turning up literally 2 mins before stage time, finding it difficult to string one word together never mind two or even a lyric for that matter. Mic stands went flying, Paul ended up off the stage, stottin’ aboot in the hay down front but, damn him, once they got into their stride they were unstoppable – played a blinder and made for great photos (I think). You felt anything could happen and isn’t that what rock n roll is supposed to be about – it was exciting and unpredictable so through all my eye-rolling, tutting and clucking I was snapping away and taking in every last second of the performance. I now look forward to seeing them again but a slightly less pished Paul would be nice.
See started off a bit wrong but had a happy ending. I hope it didnt come across as being smart arsed as the intention is to get the point across that you cant always judge a book by its cover and a bird in the hand gets the early worm, 5 gold rings – keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming album/CD affair – its in the making at the moment……..
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