For the Fifth Summer Showcase at The Ironworks, the three bands on offer all had a good pedigree in the local music scene. There was a very reasonable sized crowd and certainly the biggest that we have witnessed at the showcases.
The first band, Red Kites, hail from Guildford although the lead singer Moteh originates from the Highlands and was formerly with The Soundtrack. Motehs vocals sound familiar and a young Marcus Mumford comes to mind which we think is more related to accent than tone or indeed tune. The band created a whole stage experience that saw us moving from one side to the other. It was the slower material that had us particularly sold with the poignancy of tunes almost tangible, especially ‘Beat in Time’. As a contrast to the intensity of emotion that was so effectively expressed and shared they ended with a song dedicated to Motehs Clio which sported a sing-along chorus and fully utilised the heavier elements of the band. Red Kites won a lot of fans and their personality and appearance certainly added to the heady combination of talents within the band.
Next on the bill were the un-doubtable talents of The Whisky River Band, we went to the gig thinking that there was no more we could say about the Whiskies but there is plenty. The gig reminded us of an old classic album held together by a few tracks that you listen to over and over again, there is a point where you appreciate the tracks that have not been listened to as much, in this case it was Dark Cloud and What a Boost, that appealed. It was also brave and confident move for the band to play a new song, Live on a Wire, it will be interesting to see how the song develops and whilst they were using all the components of the band it did have more rockier base. Having seen the band quite a few time, it felt that the job had been well and truly done by the second last song, No Regrets. Ending on King of the Swingers, the use of an almost superfluous appearance of a wookie (“jungle wook”) did appear to detract a little from what was another cracking set.
The final band of the night was Parmaviolets , who to our regret we had missed at Belladrum, although word was that they had had a cracking gig. It was unfortunate that we missed it. There was an obvious drift of folk away before the band took to the stage (we suspect more due to logistics of transport and work etc than the band). Those that did stay were in for a treat, Paul McIvers vocal’s helped create a unique sound which was further complimented by strong writing. The set finished with the current single, Bitter Pill, which seemed to finish the evening well.
In all a superb evening of music that consolidates The Whisky River Band and the Parmaviolets as growing talents on the Inverness music scene, whilst introducing,with a bang, Red Kites.
Red Kites can next be seen at Madhatters on Sunday the 14th of August