Colonel Mustard & the Dijon5 – Yelloween + Spring Break + Dj Butterscotch Ironworks 27/10/17

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Colonel Mustard & the Dijon5 – Yelloween
+ Spring Break
+ Dj Butterscotch
Ironworks 27/10/17

 

So, it was Hallowe’en weekend once again and not a creature was stirring except the sea of costumed fannies disco-sliding their way to the Ironworks to see the yellow machine that is Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 supported by their Dingwallian hip hop pals Springbreak and DJ Butterscotch. As per usual I was one of these fannies and I couldn’t wait to ‘dry hump to the beat’ with my fellow ‘6th Dijoners’.
As I skipped down the road to the Ironworks, filled with jakey oysters and good ol’ Innis & Gunn, I witnessed a troupe of pissed up bananas buying fags from the International stores and a shitfaced unicorn chatting to a giant Lisa Simpson. Normally I would chalk this up to an unwanted Blue WKD flashback from the 90s, but for tonight only this shit was real and my for once my fellow Invernessians had done the Colonel proud and dressed to impress/freak me out.
The late opening of 10pm for the Ironworks had the inevitable effect that by the time the doors had opened, most of the revellers were in high spirits as well as in uncomfortable costumes. Pint was had at the bar and a glance over the dancefloor reveals a ghost town of an Ironworks, but Springbreak weren’t due on stage until after 11pm and The Colonel not til after the witching hour so fingers would have been crossed for a late surge of folk if I wasn’t clinging on to my precious pint so tight.

Spring break so mad I could punch a dolphin

Dj Butterscotch was on the ones and twos before Spring Break was due on and considering he is the MC from the aforementioned band. He was looking to have a busy night as he appeared between bands and at the start/end of the night too. The hardest working man in Dingwall certainly earned his Benjamins that night as he booted out some of the best dance happy hip hop tunes seen since Kriss Kross made us ‘Jump’ and question their confusing trouser situation. Dj Butterscotch expertly guided the crowd before, after and between bands, through a maze of classics designed to pick up his audience and keep them warm whilst the bands got their shit together. Lad.
Dj Butterscotch morphed fully into the Badger-sized Rat as the rest of Springbreak bounced onto the stage and he slickly eased into MC duties for the Black Isle band, starting with the procrastinator’s anthem ‘The Slouch’ and then quickly followed by a cover of ‘Pumped up Kicks’ by Foster the People (yes I had to Google the fuck out of that for a band name). I needn’t have worried about the size of the crowd either as by the time they had finished their second track, the place was mostly packed.
Spring Break cover many a topic in their set, covering subjects as diverse as farmyard equipment, hangovers and traversing the difficult terrain of anger management and dolphin bothering. There’s tons of humour in their set and Butterscotch has a terrific way of involving the crowd in the band’s banter. Spring Break is the first, last and only word in Dingwall hip hop. One hopes the scene can expand but as we all know; what goes to Dingwall normally stays in Dingwall.
Over the years, Inverness has welcomed The Colonel and his pals a few times, most recently at Belladrum where they ‘knocked it oot the park’ (Mustard dance move number 72) performing to a packed Garden Stage in the middle of the afternoon (over 9000 people I am reliably informed). For those 7 people who didn’t attend that gig I suppose I can describe Colonel John McMustard and his yellow clad Dijoners as three parts disco machine to one part public service announcement, pushing a lifestyle of ‘Peace, Love and Mustard’.

Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5
The spectacle that is Colonel Mustard is something to behold. Ten to fifteen members invade the stage all resplendent in yellow and led by the Colonel himself who tonight was dressed as a disco Teen Wolf complete with his usual bejewelled disco Colonel cap. Their opening number was the crowd greasing ‘International Sex Hero’ and the dressed up, pissed up crowd bounced along like the refresher bars had only just hit them there and then. The Colonel employs a ‘Dijancer’ who mainly directs the crowd in the various dance moves required to enjoy the Colonel’s music completely. Decked out in a disco ball, flashing helmet and a cape that looks like it was designed by Elton John for Dracula, the Dijancer bounces along with the crowd, playing the bongos and demonstrates the many, many audience participation elements to the gig. He often crowd surfs in a giant inflatable unicorn across the crowd, but the alleged word on the street (steamin’ Davy from Dalneigh) is that the risk assessment was too hefty for the Ironworks to be arsed with (scoundrels).
The Colonel has a lot of time for patter with the crowd and he managed to coax five wimmen dressed as bananas to climb onto the stage and join the band for the audience participation favourite ‘Dance off’. The Dijancer clears a space in the middle of the dancefloor amongst the crowd and then encourages people to enter and throw, what turns out to be, some particularly inadvisable shapes. Tracey from Boots attempts a health and safety defying version of The Worm whilst Steve the cashier from the Co-Op has a go at shaking his jelly and I for one was not entirely ready. Fortunately, I was one beer shy of my ‘dance like a fucking idiot’ quota so I just quietly egged on these heroes on from a safe distance.

Colonel Mustard & the Dijon five
It being Hallowe’en, Colonel Mustard treated us all to a cover of ‘Ghostbusters’ and it was an effing triumph. I had been handed a beer between tracks and I now was knee deep in a shameful display of dancing like Ray Parker Jr wasn’t watching. But hey… if you can’t dance like that with the Colonel, when can you?? (Never. The answer is never.)
Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 then busted out the track that made them Belladrum sensations – the Raga infused ‘Cross The Road’. This educational song is designed to teach young and old how to safely cross the road and to encourage everyone to make your lollipop man your new ‘pally-wally’. Along with his Dijancer pal, the Colonel proceeds to herd the entire audience onto one side of the Ironworks and then musically instructs the mob on how to cross from one side of the room to the other (repeated multiple times just to make sure of our future safety) whilst busting out rhymes that Shaggy would be proud of. This is a real people pleaser of a tune as everyone is swept along with the patter and the movement of your neighbour. I fucking love the inclusivity of Colonel Mustard and although this was an over 18s only gig, they could easily have entertained kids and adults alike. For those looking to bond with their kids or some shit, Colonel Mustard would be a perfect festival band for you to pretend y’all like each other and no doubt there will be plenty of opportunity to do catch them at festivals in the new year.

The Colonel at Inverness Ironworks venue

The gang spent an hour on stage and in that time, I had high-fived my neighbour to the beat, performed various orchestrated dance moves, proclaimed ‘Peace, Love and Mustard’ exactly 724 times and spilt the total of 4 pints down myself as the crowd danced like we had just found out Stranger Things was back on the Netflix (it fucking is you know!)
The Colonel ended things with a bow to the theme from the Golden Girls and that’s exactly what it feels like to be at a Colonel Mustard gig – to quote the man himself ‘Everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, no one here is sad anymore’. The Colonel came to Inverness and injected some love and happiness into the people’s lives and I’m still trying to shake the disco, glitter and joy from my blackened soul. Well played Colonel, well fucking played.

 

 

Hana Piranha – Market Bar – 29/10/17

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 
Having come from seeing the bodacious Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 on Friday followed by a special tongue in cheek performance in Hoots by another local musician, it was going to take something a wee bit  unique to perk my interest. I’m always keen to discover new bands, and in this case, the new band was Hana Piranha. 

The band were an outfit of three, led by Hana on electric violin; flanked by her basist and guitarist. As is Market Bar tradition, they kicked off at 10:30pm.
They looked like Zod and his two hench people in Superman II, both in terms of stance and appearance. I’m sure they’ll find this an acceptable comparison. I say that, though the bassist looked like Harry Styles, so a fairer analogy would be, Zod, Harry Styles cos playing as a Superman villain, and their female counterpart. 

Hana Pirhana Inverness Market bar gig

There was a drummer in their outfit, but he didn’t make it. This allowed for the homology with the kryptonian  trio, which was good.

The group had a good rapport with each other, and with the crowd. The bassist took the traditional “drummer is the whipping boy” stance and was the brunt of a few jokes – it seemed playful rather than mean, and was a relevant part of the band’s overall presentation. They described themselves as a dark and morbid band, and that seemed fair.

Hana Piranha Inverness Market bar gig

Their first track was a welcome arrival, regrettably I didn’t catch the name of it, but the way I’d describe them, certainly at that point, was grungy mixed with electric violin, which was a great mix. Similar to Evanescence in vocal style, but grimier.

There’s an anger to this band, which is well projected in the music they produce. Songs like “Amateur”, had an L7 feel to them, and the sincere feeling closing song about unwanted pregnancy, with the cuttingly raw lyrics:

“Drinking for two
Smoking for two
Got another life to refuse
Got Another mouth to refuse”

Other songs through the night were equally congenial to my stony soul.
There was a mix of their own creations, and covers of well known songs, such as Radiohead’s “Just” complete with a solo on the fiddle, which sounded fantastic, among others there was their own aggressive take on Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, and Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic. The only weaker cover was the Cranberries’ Zombie, which lacked, for me, the growling passion that is usually associated with that song. The violin playing throughout all songs was superb, though the use vocals on that particular song for me stood out as the only weak link in an otherwise memorable set.
All of their own songs were distinctive, passionately delivered and drew the punters in with their strong, powerful singing and hanging notes. I’d happily see this lot again, and I think the fellow market bar loyal agreed.

Too Many T’s –  Madhatters – 13/10/17

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Friday the 13th is normally a night that is earmarked for me and ma mate Voorhees to pursue some teenagers of loose moral fibre through a nightmare of their own making, and this Friday the 13th was no different as I was pencilled in to watch the f-f-fresh faced rap duo ‘Too Many T’s’ at Hootananny/Madhatters.

 

Earlier in the day I had a call on the Batphone from another mystical member of The Nettle crew who was keen to sink a few at The Exchange and pretend we weren’t skint for an evening (‘evening’ begins at 3pm right?).  This was good news as it meant I could limber up before Too Many T’s and it also meant I would have someone to talk to/bitch with about the impending gig.  It can be lonely, drunken work reviewing gigs around the ‘Ness so it’s always nice to have a wingman to point out what’s good about the band onstage and then I can point out why they are wholly wrong and why no one likes them or their mum. 

Too Many T's Hootanany

So, cut to 5 pints of lager, 1 steak dinner and an in-depth discussion about whether Davy the Ghost was still with us or not later, we finally made it to Hoots – the venue of (super)kings.  I’m always a big fan of a free gig in Hoots as the place has everything I need to have a spiffing time; Red Stripe cans behind the bar and a smoking area that will tolerate my drunken patter no matter how misanthropic my craic might get.  GOOD PEOPLE!

 

We grab a can and climb the well-trodden/fallen stairs up to Madhatters to see just how many T’s are too many T’s on this Friday night.  Too Many T’s (from here on in they will be referred to as ‘The T’s’ as it’s a pain in the arse typing that name) are a Hip Hop/Rap/Young Person’s group from that London who have just started a nationwide tour and chose to grace our town city with a good old fashioned free gig to whet some Jacobite appetites.  Despite Inverness not being blessed with an abundance of Hip Hop gigs, attendance was unfortunately sparse from the snapback snapchat crowd and it was mostly left to the irregular regulars to encourage the rap trio to ‘spit dem bars’(street AF, eh?). Empty venues are the curse of Inverness I’m afraid these days.  Unless the band have appeared on the Hit Parade or are some middle of the road indie band with a U2 complex, generally it can be a hit or miss if anyone even turns up so we shall not blame the The T’s for this. 

Too Many T's Madhatters Inverness

I’m not a massive fan of the Hip Hop but these guys were very good. They are lyrically blessed and had patter to spare between each other and with the sparse crowd.  The comparisons with the Beastie Boys came thick and fast from my pished compadre, and he wasn’t wrong, but I then offered a “lyrically they are probably closer to Abdominal or maybe Dj Format”, but that’s only ‘cos I can be a total wank when I want to be. 

 

The T’s had a hell of a flow and a great to-and-fro with each other and got the intimate crowd moving despite the very few folk knowing their tracks.  The T’s have an advantage over most as they have had the vision to add some proper fuckin’ toe tappin’ hooks into their densely packed raps.  Tracks like ‘1992’ and ‘Sixty’s Ford’ show exactly how hip hop should be done live (YouTube that shit now brah).  It left me head noddin’ and beat boxin’ like I wasn’t a wee Scots fella from the wrong side of the River Ness (IV3 ‘til I D.I.E, boiiii). 

 

To those not in the habit of listening to Ugly Duckling or J5, these pair are a good entry point to hip hop.  They beautifully sidestep the misogyny and the solipsistic arrogance of the rap game and pick up the mantle from The Beastie Boys and continue to champion the much-overlooked rap subgenre of ‘rap for people with Sodastreams’ (fancy bastards).  This categorisation is cemented when they start a flow about Sainsbury’s plum jam and the proclamation of “Fuck marmalade” becomes my catchphrase for the remainder of the night and I am forever grateful for that gifted patter from the MCs.  

Too Many T's Inverness gigs

By the time the lads had done 45 mins or so I was pretty leathered and I retired to the smoking area to ruin someone else’s evening, but I did so with some ‘sick rhymes’ rattling around my Nick Cave loving brain, and for that you have to give The T’s ‘massive props’.  The T’s are totally worth a look even if you’re not into hip hop as they have some great hooks and they have an inclusive way about them that means you enjoy the patter no matter your patter for that matter.  I just wish I hadn’t had so much to drink otherwise I could’ve spent this article picking apart their rhymes and really digging into their social commentary concerning Super Soakers and middle class preserves, but alas, as Popeye once said “I ams what I ams”.

 

 

Newton Faulkner – Bogbain Farm – 25/10/2017

Reading Time: 5 minutes

So. Bogbain.

Newton Faulkner.

I got an opportunity to see the fella for free – not through a promoter, just someone had a spare ticket.

It turned out to be a pretty good gig too in spite of my initial reservations; bare with me on this!

It’s just as well I thought, Twenty five bucks for a ticket seemed pretty steep.

It got me thinking you never see Ed Sheeran and Sam Newton Faulkner together. I’m torn as to whether to call Faulkner by his real name, Sam, or Newt. Given the similar levels of excitement that they both generate for the average person who likes a bit of bite, or craic, or personality with their music – could it be possible that Newt, is just Ed with a dreadlocked manbun clipped on. Is it posssible that in an attempt to expand his level of insipid world dominance by capturing the heart of alternative hipsters he has stylised himself. Could he be a reptilian shape shifter? There was a flat earth meet up in the spectrum centre in Inverness yesterday. Coincidence? Probably. It’s not unlikely that hipsters that like the same bland form of music that Ed traditionally produces, don’t want the attached stigma of listening to someone ‘mainstream’. This would also explain why Sam Faulkner has chosen to go by the name of Newton. Am I calling pretentiousness – am I? It depends if you think I’m implying that ‘Sam Faulkner’ with short, well kept hair, and a wash would not attract the same crowd.

We know it's not Newton Faukner
Newton Faulkner

That was my initial thought as I drove up to Bogbain Farm to see the man perform.

The venue was a sell out. If you’re not familiar with Bogbain Farm, it’s run by the enterprising Bruce MacGregor, who recently crowd funded a new bar in Inverness, known as MacGregors. I’m yet to visit his new venture, but they were running a free taxi service from the city centre to Bogbain, which was a noble gesture, and given some of the ‘exquisite’ drivers in the area, it would have been a good idea

After a bizarre car standoff on the single track lane getting to the venue, I made it.

So far as the bar itself goes, they didn’t have water. Bottled, tap or otherwise. This seemed a bit odd, as they did have electricity, and plumbing, so it seemed feasable that water would not have been an alien concept. The staff were pleasant though, door staff were not intrusive and there was an upbeat atmosphere. I caught a glimpse of Newt doing cartwheels in his dressing room area, 

Nevermind. Walk past the forty quid hoodies, and three pound plectrums for sale on the merchandise table and into the barn, where all gathered in anticipation for the show. The barn was initially freezing, but I later found this made sense, as it warmed up fairly rapidly once everyone started moving about. I wanted to know what the secret door at the top of the barn led to, but that would be another day’s adventure. Don’t point out it’s a storage cupboard, it’s got to be something more.  Or not. But you’ve not been up there to check. So ha!

 

The gig was advertised to start at eight, and it did, which was refreshing. There was a support act on first, a fella from Glasgow. He sang about a hard time in his life where the chart songs annoyed him, in a solemnity fitting for the loss of a loved one, or death of a child. He sung some other songs too.  

Newton Faulkner doing some hand slapping
Bogbain Farm looks and feels great

 

Thereafter Newt appeared on stage, him and his sound person. 
I was expecting, well. Tedium. He was pleasant enough, but on his second song I was suffering from a bit of confirmation bias. He finished his song and began discussing the futility of writing complex music, if no one new it was complex.  Full disclosure, I was looking for pretentiousness and mediocrity.

He disappointed me though, which was, in the long term a good thing. Crowd interaction is a big part of his performance, as is crowd participation.  
He made good use of a range of guitars, effects, and gadgetry. He had a looping machine, and built up the background of each song live in advance of going into the performance – it added depth. He used it with his electric drum pedals, harmonizing and layering his own vocals in the way Nirvana and Queen did in the past.

The songs were varied, and in fairness, and despite my cynicism, I could see where the price of the ticket went. There was a strong percussive depth to the music, complimented by the acoustics of the venue itself.

He made a joke/or observation about Dingwall, which entertained, and lots of percussive guitar. He was likeable, humble and also funny.

Highlights personally were “Hit the Ground Running”, “Passing Place” and the cringingly named “Dream Catch Me” They do all seem to be about motion, so perhaps that’s why they fitted well in a live gig.
 
He let the crowd pick songs for him to perform, outwith his setlist. I resisted offering Fairground by Simply Red as I feel I would have been patted to death by the loyal crowd.  Or bashed to death by the smartphones.

Or not
Everyone absorbing the moment

 

He finished off by chatting about how he despised contrived encores, where performers essentially incorporate it into their pre-planned set list, which was a reasonable point to make. Enforced clapping is all a bit pantomime. He did say if a crowd genuinely wished for an artist to return to the stage, he would always do it. 
The gig was perfectly timed length wise, and it didn’t need an encore anyway, so it worked for everyone.  😉

Overall, the gig was great, the venue was good, and he didn’t play his cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, which was pleasing. He’s got a great range vocally, but if the videos are anything to go by, yawn.
Newton Faulkner

Newton Faulkner to me, is a perfect example of someone to see live, at an intimate venue. Great performance, and about the experience.  He’s not someone from whom I would purchase music, but I would definitely consider going to see him live again.

The review that almost was.

Seed of Sorrow
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Act one.

Loafing on my sofa, and still suffering from the after-effects of one (five) too many pints it became painfully clear that I needed to move.  Having spent the evening in Lauder’s watching the Scotland football team do everything in their power to succeed at failing, the economically viable fermented grain had been flowing fairly well.

Whilst working through the motions of a shower, orange juice and a tactical satsuma ; proper subsidence became the pressing issue. 

Following on from this, the goodness of fruit was countered by the ensuing Quarter-Pounder with Cheese meal. Also chicken strippers. None of your nuggets, real chicken or not, they still taste of nothing. They’re hot, yes, but they’re the food equivalent of listening to a set list of songs about being sad and defeated, over and over. They do nothing for you, but you’d think because someone has gone to the bother of making them they’d help with something.

If Quentin Tarantino had written this, that would have been act two. It may seem a bit short, but this is a review, not a film, so run with me here. In the realms of consistency, and the fact I am not he; we’re going to progress rather rapidly to act two. 

Act two.

TheNettle.scot has been up and running as a website for a few days, however it’s somewhat lacking in any form of content at all. 

“Let’s get this sorted”; I would have exclaimed, if I’d had the foresight to plan a narrative for a review.  Such a phrase was not vocalised. 

Instead, I checked out the usual two or three promotional review sites.  Two or three of the same promoted venues were supplied across the three sites, but not much else.

Due to the frivolous night celebrating; drowning sorrows; celebrating then drowning sorrows again, the frugal choice seemed to be The Market Bar.

The Market always has something on.  It was either going to be the musical equivalent of Mexican food; that is Greg, Dickie, Ben, Ashley, Fergus, Robin or Andy Gunn, folded together in a different order to make a different band name, or a specific booking. Either option seemed palatable, however ‘Punching the Mystic Taco and the Has-beans’ would have been easier on the ears than what I was soon to be facing.

Act 3

Now, my taste in music is fairly multifaceted, but I tend to hit a brick wall with a couple sub-genre’s of music. Combined with the remaining frail waves of a hangover, I yearned for some ‘easy-on-the-ears’ music. 

Hair of the dog in hand, with the oracle  ‘What’s on in the Market Bar’ chalk board digested; I found myself pondering the futility of reviewing the band. Thrash-metal for me is a very much time and a place type of music. The time and the place did not correlate with my presence.

As Seeds of Sorrow began to set up, I scribbled down something about a sparkly drum kit, and started looking longingly to my phone contacts for moral support.  Regrettably, said esteemed TheNettle colleagues were out pursuing other ventures, so I opted to widen my net.  

‘Widening the net’ presented an option to escape the impending music, which I did. Not because of doubts over the band’s quality, rather my capacity to process them fairly at the time. With no fair point of reference to what was good in the thrash metal world, or to what I was meant to be doing with the day, I escaped to a night of good friends and other engagements.

I later reflected on their Facebook page to find the glorious content I’d missed out on.  Perhaps if the national football team hadn’t been playing the night before, there would be a review of the below, however, I’ll cop-out with this.

MARKET BAR!!! Once again an incredible night!! Thank you so much was alot of fun!!Massive thanks goes to Iron Altar for travelling up to play an absolutely smashing set! Great guys too we hope to share a stage again in the not too distant future!Peace and love x

Gepostet von Seed Of Sorrow am Samstag, 14. Oktober 2017

Next time Seeds of Sorrow, next time.

To get an outline of what’s playing in Inverness, when there’s no promoter affiliation is tough. So we need to get that sorted.

We aim to review gigs and events fairly, as an ‘on the day’ review.  The review should be as close to writing about the audience’s experience of that gig as we can. No waxing lyrical, just a good mix of subjective and objective. We hope you like it.