Live review: Summer Nights 2012 featuring Beerjacket, Quickbeam, Mike Nisbet plus secret guest Make Sparks at Tut’s, 17/7/12

Tonight provides a well needed change in genre for Summer Nights.

Kicking things off is the rather dapper Oban-born singer/songwriter Mike Nisbet who is joined on stage by Rosie Bans (who is a dead-ringer for model Lilly Cole), for a simply beautiful performance.

Nisbet performs some tracks on his own with Bans on the keyboard, before she joins him for the closing track, whereby her husky tones compliment Nisbet’s soft and silky vocals perfectly.

Quickbeam‘s Monika Gromek provides some pitch perfect vocals and pretty harmonium playing, enhanced by Nichola Kerr on Viola, and Magdalena Sekowska on Cello.

There is no denying Quickbeam are accomplished musicians, and the performance is very pleasant, however their whispery vocals and lullaby-style-songs are somewhat lost amongst the chatter of the crowd.

Peter Kelly, the man behind Beerjacket, was joined on stage by singer Julia Doogan and Stuart MacLeod on the mandolin, to showcase some songs from his latest record, The White Feather Trail (which MacLeod also helped to record).

Sounding absolutely incredible on tracks such as ‘Blood Roses’, ‘Eggshells’ and ‘Freshlegs’, it is a real testament to the artist when their live performance sounds just as good, if not better, than the original recording.

Doogan’s vocal compliments Beerjacket perfectly but the performance really comes into it’s own during Kelly’s solo of ‘Poor Captain of the Soul’, featuring a ukulele and no mic to hide behind.

This moment would have been absolutely perfect, if the rowdy people drinking at bar stop talking and show Kelly the respect he so deserves.

The pace picks up for the slightly celtic ‘Drum’, from his Animosity album, and is accompanied with some raucous foot-tapping from the boisterous crowd.

Kelly thanks the crowd, stating that tonight was his “favourite gig ever” and rounds off what has to be one of the best performances to feature on the Summer Nights line up with a cover of Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’.

Tut’s have also been doing this ‘secret guest’ thing after each performance, and tonight’s guest are the awesome Make Sparks.

Still covered in sweat after a gig at The Captains, they squeezed into a corner in the downstairs bar and provide some hilarious banter and a number of cover tracks (did you know they do wedding too).

From Maroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ to Tenacious D’s ‘The Greatest Song in the World’, they really get the crowd going and throw in a couple of their own songs for good measure.

They sound great and are a lot of fun.

Oh, and a special mention has to go out for Craig’s Brian May impression, if anything for the look of satisfaction on his face during the guitar solo.

Words: Erica Lennie
Photos: Neil Jarvie

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