The Scene: Great music for Isles

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It was a perfect Autumn evening and an excellent one for music last Friday night, October 16, at the Woodlands Centre. Four local singer-songwriters took to the intimate venue as support before the main act, Leeds musician, Eaves.

The music started off with young local artist Donald MacLeod, with splendid vocals and acoustic guitar, giving us three original compositions. Donald performed one of the first songs he wrote, ‘Valley of Pride’, then the great ‘The Essence of War’ and his personal fave tune (and mine as well, from his repertoire) the Country-ish ‘A Miners Railroad Song’, great stuff!

Then to the stage came Rod Morison, vocals/electric guitar and various electronic gizmos and musical accoutrements, began his set with a signature cover tune, New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’.

He then launched into his excellent original ‘(And I) Don’t Believe In The War’ which appeared on the honcho compilation ‘nobadyourself?.

These tracks set staple and were followed by the heartfelt ‘Peninsula’, and the first ever live outing of Rod’s ‘Sometimes’ from his forthcoming album.

The audiences was captivated by a brand new untitled instrumental that started out all electro, with EBow and slide into keys and crunchy guitar - very cool. Rod continued with some electro on the re-imagined ‘Entangled’ that included some tasty lead guitar and closed with his current single ‘Endlessly’ - a super set!

Iain ‘Spanish’ Mackay came on and played us a whole bunch of tunes from his Rockin’ debut EP ‘Run With Me’, including ‘Forever More’, ‘Cast My Wish Upon The Sea’, ‘Touch The Sky’, and a cover of Oasis’ ‘Listen Up’.

Spanish continued with the original ‘Close As Far Away’, a very cool brand-new as yet untitled Bluesy Rock original, then gave us a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’, and closed with the title track to his EP ‘Run With Me’. He makes it look so easy!

Headliner Eaves, real name Joe Lyons, took to the stage - just him and his acoustic guitar - sat on a stool, very laid-back and easy.

Eaves was slightly reminiscent of an early Neil Young, serving up a “mesmerizing” (thanks Mr. Huggan) rendition of the oft covered ‘Satisfied Mind’ (Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, John Martyn, Johnny Cash to name a few) written in 1955 by Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes.

The Leeds musician then followed with ‘Alone in my Mind’ from his ‘What Green Feels Like’ debut LP, ‘Drawing Demons’ from the ‘deluxe version of the album, which was released the day of the show and has an additional four tracks.

He continued with three brand new, as yet unrecorded songs he is road testing for his next album ‘Halo’, ‘The Gentle Art of Leaning’ and ‘Mad Rag’ at which point he was joined on stage by childhood friend and guitarist Dan Catheral.

As a duo they continued with ‘Dove in your Mouth’ from ‘What Green Feels Like’, another brand new tune ‘Rowan’, ‘Ceremony’, ‘As Old As The Grave’ and ‘Pylons’, before closing with a solo acoustic version of the last album track ‘Creature Carousel;.

Eaves was a total class act. His songs overflowed with intriguing, lyrical tapestries and soaring Jeff Buckley-esque vocals. He is a huge talent, absolutely superb and it was a top night with great performers all round.

And there’s more to come, with this weekend seeing the music continue on Saturday October 24 at the Woodlands Centre, with the co-headline tour of two acclaimed young, musicians.

Dan Owen from Shrewsbury took up the guitar at the age of nine. His affinity with the guitar started when he was introduced to the blues. A 2011 youtube video of the ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’ attracted the attention of Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, who tracked Dan down and has since become his mentor. Dan’s ‘Bad For Me’ EP is due out this month,.

Don’t forget Jack Watts, also performing October 24. Jack is a singer-songwriter with an astonishing voice and a clutch of haunting pop tunes. His debut EP ‘Red Shortbread’ is out now.

There will also be local support from Jane Hepburn - this is gonna be a good one!

Remember that tickets are on sale now for the band ‘Ashton Lane’ at the Woodland Centre on October 29. They are an exciting Glasgow country-rock band hailed as Scotland’s answer to Lady Antebellum.