Live Review: Newborn Sessions with Stuart Ross, Mark Copeland, Adullboy, Jemma-Kate, Ryan E Morris, Anton O’Donnell at Roxy 171, 30/8/13

The Friday night crowd don’t generally need an excuse to go out for a drink and acoustic music can be a bit of a hit or miss soundtrack to the start of the weekend.

Mick Hargan puts together a solid lineup of artists to entertain the Roxy, fortunately, the £5 cover charge hasn’t put anyone off and the place fills up pretty quickly with a lively crowd.

Anton O’Donnell kicks off the night, he’s a singer-songwriter who’s well known on the scene.

His songwriting is undeniably British – taking influence from the best of the 90’s but not without picking up a few Bob Dylan tricks along the way.

I’ve seen O’Donnell a few times and it’s a good sign that his songs are starting to stick in my head.

O’Donnell is followed by Ryan E. Morris, a Texan musician doing a few weeks of music and traveling in Europe.

I never really get into his set, there are some nice Beatles-influenced melodies, but in general we have some much better homegrown talent.

There’s a few times in his set when you can tell he really wants to rock out, but all he’s got in his arsenal is an acoustic guitar and his harmonica, so maybe he’d feel more at home with a band behind him.

Jemma-Kate is up next, she’s been milling around the room since doors opened, and every red-blooded male in the place has noticed her good looks.

For some reason, this means that I don’t expect much musically, would bandy legs and a hump suggest greater musical ability?

Fortunately when she open’s with ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ it’s clear she can hold her own in the vocal department.

After this she sticks to self-penned numbers, her songwriting lacks a little maturity, but only in an environment where the caliber of competitors is so high.

I’ve seen similar acts before, but in a year with a few better songs under her belt she could really knock people’s socks off.

The next act is the star turn of the night, Adullboy, whether it is his songs or the fact that he’d brought a crowd, his music is just what the Friday night punters are looking for.

The tiny venue is reaching capacity and his songs have just the right balance of comedy and nostalgia that people can’t help but tune in.

He covers topics such as comic book heroes and 80’s nostalgia with a pathos that engages the audience. He even closes his set by getting the crowd to sing along to the chorus of his song, which points out that no one is listening to him and they are more interested in buying drinks at the bar.

It’s a sure fire way to make sure everyone is listening to him.

Mark Copeland follows Adullboy and effortlessly knocks out several songs, which the crowd enjoys.

He’s a stalwart of the scene and very good at what he does and he’s about to relocate to London, which is a loss for the Glasgow music scene, but hopefully the change of milieu will see him back as a guest in six months with a new arsenal of experiences and songs.

Normally at this point in the night, you feel sorry for the final act, they’re either playing to the few stragglers who haven’t left after coming along to support a friend or they‘re playing to a crowd who are too far into their weekend celebrations to care.

On this occasion no one really feels sorry for Stuart Ross who is drunkenly abusing a distorted guitar while alternating between singing out of tune and berating the sound guy for not making his guitar loud enough.

If it were just a little bit worse, it would have been some sort of noise art installation and could have applied for lottery funding.

It’s a comical end to the night for the few people left over.

Words: Neil McKenzie


One Comment to “Live Review: Newborn Sessions with Stuart Ross, Mark Copeland, Adullboy, Jemma-Kate, Ryan E Morris, Anton O’Donnell at Roxy 171, 30/8/13”

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