Live review: Elliott Smith Tribute Night at Mono, 23/10/11

The fact that this event is still going ahead annually and is still very well attended eight years after the singer-songwriter’s mysterious death is a true testament to the music he produced throughout his life.

The evening begins with Monoganon’s John B McKenna making the most of technology and playing through a video link from Sweden before moving on to the live music.

First up is Daniel Drever who treats us to acoustic versions of three very different songs spanning the latter half of Smith’s work.

We are then entertained by a Duo of Gary McCrossan and Scott Rathbone before the first full band Perestroika.

They play a fully rocked up version of ‘Christian Brothers’ with Keith Smith spitting out the lyrics and really getting across the anger in the song.

After a break for some cake it’s back to the music, Natasha Radmehr accompanies Graham McCarrey on two songs for Either/Or, ‘Between the Bars’ and ‘Say Yes’. which has the crowd listening in rapt silence.

Next to take to the stage is Ross Dickson, performing ‘Oh Well Okay’ and ‘Either/Or’ with vocals reminiscent of Stuart Murdoch.

It is, however, his version of ‘Better be Quiet Now’ that gets the full attention of the restless crowd.

Another member of Monoganon, Andrew Cowan, performs ‘Tomorrow, Tomorrow’.

Last Soloist up is David “Jarv” McGinty who, taking a break from his duties with Endor, performs ‘Say Yes’ along with a cover of Big Star’s ‘13’ which was also covered by Smith and finally ‘Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud’.

Last up are a final band The Big Nowhere who bring a bit of rocked up jazz to proceedings with versions of ‘Kiwi Maddog 20/20’, ‘Son Of Sam’ and the singer’s favourite Elliott Smith song ‘Needle in the Hay’.

After the music finishes Gavin Mitchell, a friend of Elliott, and Fiona Fisher from tonight’s benefactors, Aberlour Children’s charity, give a speech.

Gavin talks touchingly about how Elliott would have enjoyed the night and shares some memories of the good times they shared in Glasgow.

This was a very fitting way to end the show and reminds us why we were all there.

Words: Ealasaid MacAlister

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