The Saga of The Wee Nikon and a Busy Midweek

Once upon a time……..(this works better when you’ve read the end – I know, just indulge me)……

This week I’d fancied heading over to Hoots to photograph friends of mine, Lushrollers, Willie and Tabs Macaskill as they were supporting Red sky July.  That was it – wasnt fussed about anything else.  Mr R at Hoots had said why not ask if RSJ were averse to having photos taken and if so hang around and do them.  They were cool with that so naaaaaaae bother like ! Ken me – if theres someone playing an instrument I’ll take a photo of them.  So I mosied along and was, as always, blown away by Willie and Tabs – the vocal harmonies and interplay between the acoustic guitars is always a pleasure to behold. I’m sure ‘Something in my Eye’ managed to conjure a ‘big man tear’, as Tabs put it, from more than just me. I know Im biased, as I always will be on here as I tend to post about people I know or particularly like, but I will never tire of watching and listening to them there Macaskill Brothers.

The headline for tonight, Red Sky July, consisted of a Texan, an ex-attic dweller and a hair accessory. Oh what a card I am. I mean of course  Texas guitarist Ally McErlaine, his wife Shelly Poole, a former member of Alisha’s Attic and Charity Hair, formerly of The Alice Band.  Having released their eponymous debut in October they thought theyd treat the Highlands to a wee tour. More wonderful wednesday mellowness with more delicious harmonies, steel guitar and a wee bit of chat. An intimate (tiny) audience were treated to a selection of songs from the album.

So that was Wednesday – nice and easy. Saw lots of nice people and said hello, listened to some lovely music then went home. Tidy !  By now Im thinking a wee spot of Aerials Up the next night might be a good idea.

Thursday started with the promise of heading to Hoots again to catch up with Aerials Up cos we like them, oh yes we do. A wee tweet changed all that – Do you want to shoot VT ? It said – I felt like a hitman receiving my coded instructions – it was in fact the talented chappies over at Flares n Seagulls wanting Californian 4-piece Vintage Troubles gig at the Ironworks covered. Only drawback for me was I had to review it too. Now Im happy enough warbling away here but Flares n Seagulls is a well respected review site. Im easily persuaded though so after a quick word with Ironworks and Pete the VT tour manager I decided that VT was a go too. It always was to be honest !  My Review Is HERE

So here we are – Ironworks stageside – netsounds and Mr R are providing the discjockeyable entertainment and, believe it or not there are only 3 people waiting to take photos. Two of which were Nikon users – I rest my case.  Didnt expect to have that amount of freedom in there for Vintage Trouble after their Rockness and Belladrum performances.

Full house by the looks of it too and the atmosphere was, as the cliche goes, electric.  On they came and off they went !!  Full throttle from the start !!  I even managed a couple of soul spins in the pit between photos – honestly – must’ve looked a right dick !!   Who said I always do anyway ???!!??!!?!

But hey !!  No time for all these fun and frolics – more bands to catch and I had to get all the way across town from the Ironworks to Hootananny – how the hell was I going to achieve this feat of superhero proportions ??  Eh, walked actually cos its just round the corner.  Laavely !!

Aerials Up were here, soundchecked and having some scoff up in the Madhatters Sofa Lounge so I had time to check out support for this evening, Liz Green who had just popped up to soundcheck.  She had, she informs us, been in Amsterdam 3 hours prior to this moment and when she wandered off stage into the middle of Hoots floor after soundchecking and started to sway I assumed jetlag had kicked in.  She then silenced the busy bar by singing her first song accapella – and I mean silenced.  It was stunning.  Liz then just wandered happily back onto stage, had a swig of red wine and carried on.


Displacement Song by Liz Green

After that start and her first couple of quirky folk songs it was easy to see why she’d been awarded Glastonbury Emerging Talent award in 2007 and graced the Pyramid Stage that same year.  I had to laugh when she described her last song as her rockiest to a table of Italians and explained the rest of the set had been shit and laughed coyly.  I truly hope we see her back this way again.

Aerials Up were now fed and watered and ready for me to go and annoy them with nothing more than my camera and winning smile 🙂 . They had a muck about and let me do my thing before heading downstairs with set-lists written onto various takeaway wrappers and pizza boxes – itll do till the Aerials Up Setlist App becomes available.


Superglue by Aerials Up

I was delighted when they kicked off with my favourite AU song, Stay Awake from the Superglue EP – rousing stuff and it just got better and better.  ‘Superglue’ itself and ‘All Your Mothers Daughters’ all went down well with an appreciative audience downstairs in Hootanannys.  I actually stopped photographing and just enjoyed the set !  Brilliant !  Big cheers to Aerials and Allan Baird for my EP and allowing me into the inner sanctum of Aerialsupness – nice one !

And almost as quickly as the busy days had started they had come to an end for our intrepid hero and it was time, girls and boys, for him to head home to change nappies and have a nice cup of tea while sorting out a few hundred photos.

As long as Red Sky July, Vintage Trouble, Aerials Up and Liz Green return to Inverness and The Macaskills carry on carrying on then everyone will live happily ever after !!

All images contained in this post are
© aldonnellyphotography / houdi
unless otherwise stated

Copying, displaying, manipulating or redistribution of these images
without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited !!

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