Kyle Falconer , with support from Keir Gibson, Dylan Tierney and The Roov, at Ironworks, Inverness.
Three support acts preceded Kyle and the first of those to warm the early crowd was Fort William’s Keir Gibson. Although the crowd was sparse early doors his opening vocal, with a feel of Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan and The Lumineers’ Wesley Schultz, quickly turned some of the chattering heads at the bar.
Accompanied with keys complementing his acoustic guitar it was a set full of mature songwriting, belying his 17 years, and a nifty wee cover of The Vaccines ‘Do You Wanna?’. An impressive debut at the Ironworks and future slots will no doubt be later in the evening.
Next on was Dylan Tierney, who asked the audience if they were here to get rowdy, and it’s the rowdier end of the acoustic spectrum where Dylan resides with a gritty vocal, very Jake Bugg like in his opener though, but overall with a sense of purpose in his delivery.
By now the crowd had grown and he had a few familiar faces in the audience in front of him, but it wasn’t just the mates who enjoyed his set. A young lad who seems to have been about forever, he still plays a song, ‘The Boat Song’ that he wrote when he was 13, and it doesn’t sound old.
The Roov caused a bit of a stir when the opened the Seedlings Stage at Belladrum to rave reviews, and have a hardcore following going by the reception they received tonight. It’s a strange mix with a drummer who wouldn’t look out of place in a metal band, a keys player who wants to be a young Elton John, a lead guitar and vocalist with a style that would have seen not look out of place in the Eagles and a bass player who goes along with these guys because it works, and it really does.
There is a strange inner conflict in the band in that when the lead vocal moves between Lewis Anderson on keys and Frankie Ralph on guitar the style changes with it. With Lewis leading on the post disco (add that to the list of genres) new single ‘You Wanna Be Like Me‘, so good they play it twice there is a real groove whereas with Frankie leading there is a pop punk, Brit indie feel. So two bands for the price of one you could say.
Whatever way you look at it they are great value and one whose progress will be monitored closely by more than just those in the audience.
With the three supports having well and truly warmed up the crowd, it was time for Kyle Falconer and his band to take to the stage. Kyle has recently released his first solo album ‘No Thank You’ where he played most of the instruments and tonight it was his new band that worked those songs, and a few old ones as he promised at the start.
The material goes down well as the first three, from the new album, ‘Poor Me’, ‘The Therapist’ and ‘Family Tree’ show that it’s clear that just about everyone knows the words. There is an energy about Kyle as he delivers these tracks, and an equal amount coming back from the floor.
Dylan suggested earlier that it may get rowdy, and at times it certainly did, especially through some of the older material of Kyle’s. That mix of new and old works well, with the emphasis on the new. It’s always tough when your old work is so high profile but Kyle balances it well.
The crowd are happy to singalong throughout, and even handed the mic at one point. It all got a bit crazy towards the end, especially when he threw out ‘Grace’ to end the night. As he said it would have been sacrilege if he didn’t. This lead to a mix of over exuberance and a bit of mischief making; do bands really like getting pints thrown at them?
It’s good to see Kyle back with a new album, a renewed vigour and a band and a show to back it up. He clearly enjoyed himself as did the audience, and with that there’s not much else that you need to say.