Thursday night saw the arrival of Mt Desolation in Inverness before an attentive, about 3/4 audience in Hootanannys.
Although I missed most of her set, I must make mention of the first act on stage, Rachel Sermanni. When I entered Hoots, other than the sound of Rachel and her band, a hush had descended the venue. So much so that I found myself whispering my order at the bar! I last saw Rachel supporting Stornoway at the same venue earlier this year, and now that she has a band behind her she can go from strength to strength. Although they have yet to build up the togetherness and chemistry that The Staves created, it can be seen from audience reaction that they are heading in that direction.
The Staves, a folk rock trio, with their tight harmonies and evocative songs were a more than capable support. The three sisters from Watford produced a sound that held and captivated the audience throughout. Clearly they are friends of the headliners, and one of the girls played with them too, without looking at all out of place.
The headliners Mt Desolation were both at ease with the crowd and their music. It was evident that although this project was dreamt up over a few pints of Guinness, the band clearly enjoy what they are doing and although in interviews they have suggested that the project is a little somewhat tongue in cheek, the result is anything but.
The music flowed seamlessly with a tightness not typical of a recently formed band.
Interestingly, if the set is indicative of their album, I don’t believe that they have created the country album that they set out to. What they have produced, (and it does more than dip its toes in the country genre) contains a range of other influences. Where they have come from cannot be dismissed and there is also a touch of blues to a number of the songs. If this is to be a side project, it is one that has given Tim, Jesse and co a fresh insight to their craft and capabilities and could readily be taken further.
All three acts complimented each other perfectly to give a well rounded evening playing modern country and folk. As well as being genres that I wouldn’t readily align myself to, this was a bit of a punt for me at £10 for a ticket to see an untested band with a thoroughbred background but on unfamiliar ground.
Sometimes, as they demonstrated, it’s genuinely worth following your gut feeling and taking the gamble. This one certainly paid off!
Oh and PS – I will be buying the album!