A review of The Dangleberries with support from Square One and The Outsiders at The Ironworks, Inverness on the 18th of March, 2012, by Chris Lemon. Photos by Frank Finlayson.
The Dangleberries made the first of what appears to a regular bi-annual visit up to these parts (the second of which will be Belladrum 2012). The band apparently love Inverness, but what do Inverness make of the established bag-rockers?
First on the bill, local, newly formed trio of Square One, playing only their second gig (the first being Glachbeg last month). The local school boys, pleased with the increased profile, played a fairly low key set. A few t-shirt wearing fans suggested that we may be seeing a bit more of them but not till after their exams, explained the band.
For those local to Inverness, the mention of Outsiders playing may have surprised a few, however it was actually a new five piece band from Dumfries and not local band Iain McLaughlin and the Outsiders. A mostly family affair, with three siblings including lead singer Melanie Stewart, found a style that was similar to to 80’s rocker Alannah Myles.
As the crowd gathered for The Dangleberries, you couldn’t help but be impressed by the 5-600 strong audience of good natured folk that had come together to be part of the band’s high energy, bagpipe infused party.
The band don’t take themselves seriously (for anybody not acquaint with the origins of the band’s name please look here). The pink fluffy sporran with accompanying bagpipes, particularly stood out, irreverent in a great way, really the epitome of Scottishness.
It’s probably unfair to call The Dangleberries Bag-rock, the difference being that the bagpipes add to the music and are not central to it, unlike say The Red Hot Chilli Pipers or Bags of Rock, and certainly the use of lead singer helps emphasis this..
The band as a whole know what they are doing they don’t bring the party (and yes we define it more as a party than a gig) they are the party.So what of the music, well they make no secret of having a pride in their original material (see The Dangleberries talk to invernessGiGs). The band played a surprisingly good chunk of material which retained the pace and spirit of the band, whether that is the Belladrum inspired “Festival Girl” or comment on reality TV with the stand out mantra “I already have a big brother, I don’t need another”.
The covers were all suitably “Dangleberried” (in a good way) with bagpipes, heavy guitars and lots and lots of tambourines. Paolo Nutini, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas all make the set, to no surprise to anyone who has experienced the band before. However it is the less predictable covers that bring a greater smile to the face, from Kasabian (yes, Kasabian), Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.
The audience left, with smiles the same size as a Cheshire cat’s observed on more than a few. If there was one to describe the evening it would be energy, both musically and physically. You can’t help but think if NHS Scotland were genuinely concerned about health all they would have to do is offer free tickets to see The Dangleberries, resistance to the band was futile, clapping cheering jumping for nigh on 2 hours, simply impressive.