Review of Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye, at The Tea Posey, The Greenhouse, Dingwall, Monday February 27th 2012, by Mark Dubanowski. Photos by Mark Dubanowski.
With a newly renovated tea room, The Tea Posy/The Greenhouse brought to us its first big gig this month, and tonight was an absolute treat for British rock n roll fans. I’d been looking forward to this gig for a long time now. Anyone whose album gets a stellar recommendation, by a member of The Who out of all people, (Pete Townsend described ‘The Good Gentleman’s Tonic’ as “a killer record…KILLER!”) is definitely worth checking out in my books.
The night kicked off with the “fastest, most rockin’ duo in Dingwall”, Greg and Dean. I’ve seen them perform at the last 2 open mic sessions, and I’ve got to say they just keep getting better and better! With a mix of ska, straight punk rock and rock n roll, the lads entertained the room with such songs as ‘Trust Me’, ‘Fashion Trendy’ (“a song about lining up outside the Picture House on a Saturday night”, Dean proclaims) and ‘Reckless Romance’.
I was really starting to get into these guys, but it was all over after only 20 minutes. If there was any fault with this rock duo, it was their lack of a drummer backing the excellent bass grooves and catchy guitar riffs that were present, throughout.
After a short interval, it was time for the main event, Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye! Firstly, I don’t think I’ve seen so many instruments between two musicians on a stage at the same time! By my count, a dobro resonator, several acoustic guitars, harmonicas, a mandolin, dual vocals, and even a kazoo were all present during the set. Multi-instrumentalism is an understatement!
Accompanied by Andy Mckerlie, the Ronnie Lane/Slim Chance inspiration in the British rustic-rock ‘n’ roller’s music shone through heavily in the opening song, ‘Careless Love’, and continued throughout two 45 minute-sets, during the likes of ‘Nothing New’, ‘Long Long Time’ and the fantastic sing-along number, ‘No One Talks’ all taken from Des’ latest album. Indeed, Des spoke very highly of the great Ronnie Lane all throughout the night, even sneaking in a couple of Ronnie Lane’s songs, including ‘The Poacher’ and ‘One For The Road’, into the set. Each song was an excellent showcase of the, previously mentioned, multi-instrumentalism, with every song performed in the evening, seemingly, having a different combination of instruments being played on.
Fast becoming a tradition with all of the acts that have played at The Greenhouse, there was a nice blend of humour thrown in for good measure; Des and Andy forever insulting each other, finishing each other’s sentences, tales from being on the road (including a performance overlooking the Forth Rail Bridge!), and constantly plugging the gear they play, in the hope someone in the crowd works for one of the companies. Did you know Des and Andy exclusively use G7th capos? One audience member, perhaps rightly so, compared the Yorkshire duo to the Chuckle Brothers!
All in all, tonight was, quite possibly, the best event to have happened at The Greenhouse so far! The seated crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy not just the acts that were performing, but also the change in ambience, provided by the newly-decorated Tea Posy.