Snakes on a Plane ? Spiders in the Toybox ? Refreshers Better than Parmas ?

I decided against at trip to HMV earlier this evening to see James Mackenzie plug his album The Curtain Road. Much as I wanted to its been a long month so far – hello night shifts.  He tells me it went well though so Im happy.   Instead I decided to take a trundle along to the Ironworks and see what was what with previously featured chaps The Parma Violets who were supporting Sound of Guns from down Mersey way. The other act from tonight, Carly Connor, had to pull out due to transport/weather/global warming/leaky tent depending on who you talk to.  This meant Parmas kicked off at 8pm followed by Sound of Guns at around 9pm.

Sooooo Parma Violets and all that !!  A short but awfy sweet wee set from them tonight.  Very sparse crowd but those who did attend early made the effort and lined the barrier.  Sporadic dancing did break out on one or two occasions.  Tight as a ducks arse and brimming with confidence tonight – bit of banter with the small crowd, minimal swearys and great tunes !!  Job done !! Even finished off with new song Thoughts of Jane.  It sat well with the rest of tonights songs;  Mamas in the Kitchen, Takes More Time, I Told You So, Angel of Mercy and of course the classic Spiders up the Stairs in the En Suite Shower aka Spiders in the Bath aka Spiders in the Sink.  (sorry Margaret and thanks for the pen and paper).  Margaret and I both remarked that Paul sounded uncannily like Dylan – Bob that is rather than the rabbit from The Magic Roundabout – I forget which song but I think second to last.  This, we both decided, was a good thing  🙂 .  Only criticism tonight was the 2 or 3 occasions of ‘dead air’ during wee faffing about sessions.  I’m a drummer so I’m unsure of the correct term for the tuning up process but from now on I shall forever refer to it as ‘faffing aboot like’.  Great band – Rob Ellens a big fan – high praise indeed cos if anyone round here knows his musical onions its Mr Ellen !!

Spiders in the Sink – Parma Violets

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featuring Martin (just out of shot) 🙂

I have to admit to not knowing much about Sound of Guns and didn’t exactly do a whole lot of research for this but, hey, I’m all about the local acts anyway so the Scousers were the gravy to the meat and two veg of the Parma Violets (what the fuck are you on about man ?).  Having briefly caught and enjoyed them in the Golden Voice Arena at last years Rockmess I had a rough idea what to expect.  What I was surprised about was the lack of punters on the night.  A real shame cos from what I saw the band, especially singer Andrew Metcalfe, give it their absolute ALL.  Mr Metcalfe appears to be a huge fan of my least favourite aspect of the night – the goddamn barrier.  Yes the bane of the photographers life was in attendance once again last night due to the set up being on the floor rather than main stage and he spent most of the evening bouncing on and off it, slapping hands and chatting with the fans down the front.

(Shame about that bloody barrier really but its great for the punters who almost have the band in their pocket from that distance, me however – I just give up.  I’m too old to be jumping around trying to get photos in those circumstances – that’s what pits are for. Dont get me wrong – when I can get in there its amazing for photos but I’m also really aware that the paying customers don’t really need me elbowing into their enjoyment of the gig so I can get a couple of photos for my piss poor wee blog.   It’s only my opinion, Ok for any free gigs or the showcases but if I turned up at a purpose-built music venue to see a band Id paid my hard-earned to see  then Id expect them to be on the purpose-built stage – aye/naw/mibbe ?  As always that’s only my opinion  – I still maintain the Ironworks is one of the best gigs/crowds you’ll get North of the Border and I’m eternally grateful to DB and the team for allowing me access.  Crawl crawl lick lick)  

Back to Sound of Guns – albeit briefly – due to barrier issues I didn’t hang around for more than 4 or 5 songs.  There was a couple of big empty spaces between crowd and sound desk which is a real shame cos they were going down a storm. (I cant see the band – If I cant see the band, the camera cant see the band which is a bugger for a gig photographer).  Anyway – what I heard I liked.  The small crowd was well up for it and appeared to know the songs.  Much arms-aloft and singing along – one Orcadian lassie showed me her Sound of Guns tattoo.  It was on her arm – get yer mind oot the gutter !!  Just goes to show that I’m not ‘down wit da kidz’ when it comes to whats new and popular these days which also explains the complete lack of any idea about their set.  Ach well.  You should have been there eh !!


Apologies to Martin Parma – due to him being so low behind the bloody barrier no photos exist from last night – sorry bud.  Next time.




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