Left to right: Future Get Down; Frozen Shores Collective;
The Nickajack Men; Liv Mcdougall (image by DMC 2018)

Regular readers will know I love music. I wrote quite a lot about Manchester music when I was working on 2000 Tunes. I also have fun playing the guitar (at a totally amateur level). Since I moved to Scotland I've been exploring local places and going to events, and last night I went to a really good lineup of bands as part of the DMC 2018 Showcase (FB; Twitter) at The Stove (FB; Twitter). Eager beaver that I am, I was one of the first to arrive, though that meant I had first pick at the bar.

The first performer was Liv Mcdougall (Youtube; FB).
"Liv Mcdougall is a fourteen year old singer/songwriter from Dumfries. Much of her songwriting focuses on personal experiences such as love, emotions and the complex struggles of being a teenager."
I’ve seen her play a few times in the afternoon music sessions at The Stove, and have always been impressed. Last night she delivered a polished and emotional set to start the evening, singing her own songs and playing the guitar. It made a great start to the night, being able to just appreciate laid back and heartfelt songs from someone so talented.

Frozen Shores Collective (image by Jim Gellatly)

Then it was the Frozen Shores Collective (Youtube; FB; Twitter).
"Made up of local musicians Ruari Barber-Fleming, Michael Uphill, Kate Kyle, Liam Russel and Jenna Macrory. This collective of musicians has come together to give an emotive and raw performance. Focusing entirely on the music and how much it means to each of them. They aim to communicate this to the audience, creating an experience that everyone can share."
They were new to me and made a great follow on to Liv. Their music was laid-back and funky, but would erupt into more rocky outbursts that always kept me guessing about what was going to come next. Excellent performances all round, made me with I could play the guitar better, or sing, or play the drums. :-)

The Nickajack Men (image by Jim Gellatly)

The Nickajack Men (Youtube; FB) were next.
"The Nickajack Men are a five-piece band from Falkirk, who pitch their style somewhere between alternative-country and indie rock, with heavy influences from bands such as The Districts, The War on Drugs, Delta Spirit and The Alabama Shakes."
They were really energetic and took things up another notch of intensity that got even more people jumping around as they rocked out. I was grinning most of the time, and was so impressed with the whole band and their attitude and the effort they put into it. By the end the frontman was rolling on the floor playing rock-out riffs while the rest of the band were playing ferociously and throwing themselves into each other. A fantastic finale to a storming set.

Future Get Down (image by Jim Gellatly)

The final band were Future Get Down (Youtube; FB; Twitter).
"Our DMC 2018 headliner, Future Get Down are an electronic act from Edinburgh specialising in dark, throbbing dance music with propulsive synths! "Synths, stream of consciousness lyrics and beekeeper suits.. what more could you want?" BBC Introducing."
They were amazing. Made me think of a cross between Talking Heads, Daft Punk, and LCD Soundsystem, but then made totally their own. The performance was full of energy and fun and everyone was dancing and jumping by then. I loved the humour in their personas and some of the lyrics and performance, I couldn't stop smiling while I jumped around. From the moment they walked onstage in their beekeeper outfits to the time when they left the stage one by one, they owned the space.

What a great collection of bands and artists, every one different yet complementary. They were all so good that I'd see them again without hesitation, and recommend anyone else to do so if you get the chance, or to seek out and buy their music.

The night wasn't over yet because I went to the post-gig party at Liquid Lounge. More drinking, more dancing, though the music was inevitably a let-down after what I'd just experienced! I chatted to some of Future Get Down, making sure they knew how impressed I’d been.

People - please go and see live bands and support them. There's nothing quite like live music. Even better, there are bands and singers out there with more talent than more well-known acts, meaning you get to be up close with amazing performers in a way you never can when bands make it big. Your support means a lot to these musicians, who are putting such effort into their songs and performances. Going to see them is a win-win situation.

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!