Review of The Leonard Jones Potential, The Whisky River Band and Jamie “Jam” Reid at Hootananny, Inverness on the 30th of October 2011.

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Anticipation was high for the final gig in the Hootananny / Netsounds Unsigned Hallowe’en Weekender. The night brought together two of the finest local bands on the scene at the moment with a singer songwriter from only a little further away.

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Jam Reid has been gigging hard recently, having played Edinburgh and Forres in the past couple of days. He certainly did not look gig tired, far from it, Jam’s repetoire of songs was a mix of covers but mostly his own material that appeared intimate and personal. He took time to describe one of his older songs that had recently been resurrected, the chorus of which bore a little resemblance to the chorus of The Killers’ “Mr Brightside”.

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Jam is one of a few younger male talents in the area that primarily play solo (Toby Michaels and the artist formerly known as Graham Brown come to mind with the likes of Iain McLaughlin and James Mackenzie occasionally playing on their own).In Jam’s music there is a nice combination of honesty and the vulnerability of youth (as proven – if proof were needed – with the set list being retained on his mobile phone), that makes you want to hear more. His EP is currently available “it’s proper printed and proper good”

So to the Whisky River Band. They have been relatively quiet since the end of August, barring a wee visit up to Thurso. The Whiskies were certainly a change of pace and ensured that the party was well and truly started.

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The crowd had certainly swelled to see the local boys and they were not to be disappointed. Kris Douglas (Lead singer) was sporting a moustache, which Kris rationalised was his attempt at fancy dress “Mario on his day off”.A couple of new songs entered the fray, complimenting the other songs which are as well known as they are received by the partisan audience.

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Fraser appeared to struggle a little with the limitations of the stage, but improvising to give the audience a bit of the whole performance that we have come to appreciate. Whilst afterwards he noted a problem or two with the sound, it was unnoticeable to the untrained ear.

The set ended with the “Jungle Wook” and despite the protestation by the crowd and even a whisper in Kris’s ear by a female fan, the set was done.WRB are getting stronger, the songs appear tighter with out losing any of the rawness. A great set, job done, again!

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The last act of the night were Leonard Jones Potential who had jumped in to the Hallowe’en  vibe by dressing up as pirates. The pirate theme was a little disarming with some of the band more comfortable than others, with the gorgeous Michelle Newell (lead singer) grabbing the theme and running with it.

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“Big Barracuda” started proceedings with Michelle joining the band on stage for “It Ain’t Right”. The temperature was indeed rising, “Don’t forget to sweat” we were reminded and you couldn’t blame the saxophonist for forcing a small break for rehydration (aka more beer).

The tables had earlier been moved to allow a bit of dancing which was forthcoming and a sign of how the energy of the band could refresh an audience even late on a Sunday night. Those thinking that they would miss out ballroom dancing, were sadly mistaken.

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Somewhere in the party, there was a sobering thought about the state of the Inverness music scene, where a band as professional and as accomplished as LJP are playing unsigned nights.

There are a lot of similarities with the Leonard Jones Potential and Whisky River Band,no really hear me out!, the best example are the charismatic and talented lead singers complimented by musicians at the top of their game.

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It was a night where the potential of anticipation was fully met. Missed it, you missed out.

The set list (roughly!)

  1. Big Barracuda
  2. It Ain’t Right
  3. Wear the Moment
  4. Baby You’re Wrong
  5. This Girl
  6. One for the Pot
  7. Moneymaker
  8. Don’t Leave me Behind
  9. The Main Thing
  10. Future Ain’t what it Used to Be
  11. Don’t Stop ’til you Get Enough (Michael Jackson cover)
  12. Bump
  13. MotherFunk

Review by Chris Lemon
Photos by McIntosh Photography

More photos at www.facebook.com/invernessGiGs

The next planned appearance from The Whisky River Band will be on the 29th of December at the Ironworks with the next appearance of The Leonard Jones Potential at The Ironworks on the 3rd of December

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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs