As much as GoNorth is an industry event, the evenings bring together both those in the business and those that service it: the punters. I would suspect that this year without the impending Rockness that numbers may edge up.
I really hope so because it is a fantastic experience where the whole town centre comes alive with a number of venues delivering a range of showcasing acts.
So how do you make your way through this labyrinth of acts? It’s quite simple; any way that you want. Below I have put together a meander through the acts on Wednesday night. But remember, it’s a personal experience; not just from the bands that you see, but the people that you meet. It is a largely a social event too and your best laid plans may be diverted as you are pointed in a different direction during the night. Please remember that there is no wrong way to go, just as you get to the end!
So where’s the best place to kick off? Tonight I’m going to start with Our Future Glory in The Room at 8. I just hope unlike last year that the tail end of the diners who frequent this bar/diner know what they are letting themselves in for. If not they will soon find out. Our Future Glory are there to set the pace for the night, that is if you want to set a fast pace. Origins their recently released EP brings three tracks of alternative pop draped over an anthemic backdrop.
Next stop at 8:30, if you hot foot your way over to Mad Hatters will bring you French band Le Prince Miiaou. GoNorth always brings some interesting tourists to our shores and these French indie popsters come with a track record.
France is sharing its secret with us and their new album is ‘Where is the Queen?’ is a classy affair. On Facebook they list their band interests as ‘This ain’t a band and I have no passion but fishing cats.’ Mind you a Frenchman once said “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” He was a class act, and so are Le Prince Miiaou.
Now it can get a little messy. With Culann overlapping the end of Le Prince Miiaou’s set and the start of Silver Coast in The Room there will be a temptation to catch 20 minutes of each. It’s an option but it’s always difficult to drag yourself away from a band that you are getting into. Best of luck.
Culann and the Market Bar could be a lethal mix. Small, intimate and steeped in music history, the Market Bar is an ideal stage for Culann. Silver Coast also have strong appeal and I would expect these local indie rockers to pack them in at The Room.
Assuming that you have taken in the end of Silver Coast’s set I would then jump across to Deeno’s and Black Cub at 9.30. Hailing from Stornoway Black Cub are a band with a darker atmospheric edge yet an upbeat joviality and breeziness. There should be a lot to like here.
This could be followed by catching up with Dr Wook in the Phoenix. Who remembers the The Whisky’s there last year? I wouldn’t expect the same raucous mayhem but the more studied approach that the Whisky’s Kris gives in this guise. The Phoenix will be an interesting stop this year with new ownership and and a slant towards real ales. A Happy Chappy anyone?
Time to nip back to Mad Hatters for Griefjoy another band to have crossed over from France. They possess a healthy dose of electro pop and rather ironically, amongst others, remind me a little of Bastille.
Rounding off Netsounds Unsigned stage at The Room are Poor Things who went down a storm last year when they played at the Auctioneers. They also recently released a self-titled album. You should buy it, it tastes of bubblegum.
Bringing us up to the midnight hour it is a direct head to head between United Fruit and Machines In Heaven. The short step across the street would take me to the exquisite synthpop of Machines in Heaven or a slightly longer trip to the equally delightful aural assault of United Fruit down at Deenos. Too close to call; one to decide on on the night I think.
As we slip into Thursday, last band standing are Miaoux Miaoux who will take us on a burst of melodic electronica into a new day. A fine way to finish any evening.
Looking back over the programme my little meander could have been written in so many different ways. It is more than likely I won’t follow this path, but if I do I’m sure that I will have one hell of a night.