Live (Beth Fouracre / Mr Alphabet)

Opening act Beth Fouracre came equipped with a guitar and a well-discussed vocal talent and quickly set about winning the fans over. With a sound that was very traditional folk, she alternated between strumming and plucking as her tempo and melodies varied accordingly.

A quick reference point to her guitar playing would be the acoustic songs of 1960s psychedelic rockers Love. For all that Love were one of the main movers and shakers of the late 60s scene, their music owed a lot to English folk and there was a very Anglo-folk feel to Beth’s playing. Always busy and working the entire fret, the music dovetailed well with the vocals which went from soft, whisper, Liz Fraser like vocals to loud screaming moments which stopped some of the crowd dead, as if to say, ‘where did that voice come from?’

For an initial listen, and once you got past the slightly melancholic air of the songs, it was an enjoyable set by Beth Fouracre and she promises an electric album by the end of the year, so that could be worth keeping an ear out for.

Readers of The Mag may recognise the name of Aiden MacKenzie and his sidekick Tom McFadyen. The duo hit these pages back in the autumn and after having promised to come back with a bigger sound, did just that. With a bass player in tow, and a full band line up just weeks away, the act unveiled some new tricks, a new name but the same quality of songs from last year.

The ballads that they perform allow the vocals a chance to shine and Aiden does have a strong, powerful voice with a gruff edge to it. These songs are good but its on the faster tracks that have a looser style to them that the expanded band shows off its carefree spirit and these songs come across very well to the crowd.

The variety contained within the set meant it never dragged at any point and even when sound problems threatened to derail the set, Tom stepped in with a few classic rock riffs to keep the crowd entertained.

Yet again, the songs were the main talking point of the set with ‘Revolution’ sounding as strong as previously and the new name nearly slipping by without notice. Mr Alphabet is the new moniker and is likely to cropping up out and about in Scotland this summer.

Sisa were the next band on and added a different quality to the night with a backing track and some slap bass runs adding a more danceable style to the previous acts. The combination of programmed beats and live percussions was quite energetic and the crowd that had gathered in front of the stage clearly seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Lead singer Marisa Giannasi holds a few vocal styles with one track featuring some cold electro sneer, along the lines of Moloko, to another track, which was warm and open. As the songs changed, the vocals moved accordingly and even the guitar followed, with some Arabic leads and fills coming in for one song.

With a cover of Fiona Apples ‘Fast As You Can’ rushing by at breakneck speed and doing justice to both the original and the band, a slowed down version of The Beatles ‘Come Together’ brought the show to a close and the dancing and singing crowd all seemed as though they enjoyed their evening out.

Guest post from Andy R.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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