I love live music. I try to go and see bands at my local venues, from under-18 acoustic guitarists in my local cafe, to bands in my local pub, to events that have more than one band so that you experience a variety of styles. This was one of my favourite gigs of 2018, and this for 2019.

Last night was another Dumfries Music Conference (DMC) / Plaza event, and it was excellent, and introduced me to three new bands. I write up these reviews so you can investigate the bands and maybe go to see them or like their Youtube videos or buy their music if they seem like your kind of thing! And I always encourage people to go and support live music. It's so important for the bands to have a good-sized and appreciative audience: then it feeds power back to them and you end up with something amazing.

Tam's Twin Sister (Instagram) were first. It's impressive how complex and beautiful music can be created with just two women and a guitar, when the voices and songs are so well done. Nothing else is needed. They coped really well with the fact that the venue was as cold as a barn at the start! A mix of haunting and upbeat songs I'd like to return to.

Tiderays were next (Facebook / Instagram / Web). They opened with a cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” which I preferred to the original! The rest of their funky catchy songs were their own, performed with energy and attitude. I love it when the frontpeople aren't just singing or playing, but actually interact with the audience, enter that space, performing and giving energy to the audience and to their fellow band members. It was really memorable. At these events I always seem to be lucky enough to chat to the singers from at least one of the bands, and last night I had a good chat with the Tiderays lead singer, Eddie, during the break. It's easy to be intimidated by performers - you see them, so professional and confident and well-loved, and think "they wouldn't want to talk to me," but it's not true - I always find these people are down to earth and friendly and approachable, and probably love hearing that they were appreciated. All creatives want to know they're having an impact, whether they write books or perform in a band. So never miss a chance to tell people how much you appreciate them and their work!

Finally was Yoko Pwno (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Web). I had no idea what to expect when the band seemed to be made half up of PhD geologists in jumpers, but I was excited to find out! And wow. A brilliant mix of synths, fiddles, guitar and drums and beautiful vocals, with a bit of rap thrown in at one point. As with the Tiderays, there was loads of energy, and performance, and humour, the spaces all merging. Such a talented group, merging folk and electronic rock and pop and dance. People were jumping and the room had ceased to seem cold!

I loved this gig, and discovering all this new music. As with each time, I end up listening to and buying  more music, and counting myself lucky to have attended. I'd see any of these bands again if I got the chance. Support your artists! :-) And thanks to the organisers for another great gig.

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