For the last few years The Vale Earth Fair have taken on duties of organizing live music for the St Andrews Liberation Day celebrations around The Last Post. As I arrived, in time for the first act, it seemed things were going as they often do for shows like this with a couple of bands having pulled out at the last-minute and a few acoustic acts rustled up to fill the gap.
First on stage was RentOClean’s Dan Guilbert, starting off with a jam like series of short songs riffing on a reggae-ish blues sound with freestyled lyrics. As this began to wear a bit thin he warmed up and delivered a few songs all with something of a reggae flavour whether they be Bob Marley or Johnny Cash covers. While the dub-y vibe soon out stayed its welcome for me, Dan played well and got the ball rolling the day and he seemed to go down well with the small crowd.
Chloe Le Page was up next and was the first to suffer adverse effects from the day’s strong wind but, none-the-less, she continued to build on her reputation as a good young acoustic guitarist and singer. With a mix of originals and acoustic covers she began to up the ante of the music a bit and displayed a great confidence on stage and, though the audience was still small as most stayed out of the wind at the back of the pub, Chloe made an impression on those who stuck it out round the front.
The first act of the day to gain a reasonable size audience was Matt Ward with his selection of indie and new-folk covers and originals. As always Matt brought an authentic presence to the stage for the songs he sang which went down well with the growing audience and continued to up the ante towards the full bands to come even though his set was cut slightly short thanks to the effect on the blustery weather on Matt’s voice.
Buffalo Huddleston were the first full band of the day and their summer sounds helped fight off the effects of the cold wind and even got a few moving as the road outside The Last Post filled up. The full line up of the band has really helped them instantly get over to new crowds and particularly helped them cut through the outside sound today.
As ever the band were consummate performers with Jull-z, Mike Meinke and Becky Hamilton’s vocals all bringing something different to the sound that really does help to make something that spans genres like few others. Less of the mid-set selfies next time though, maybe?
Shows like this seem custom-made for The Space Pirates of Rocquaine as their acoustic folk rock has enough of a sense of knowing fun and some interesting references for the grown ups while youngsters just seem to like to dance to them.
This may not have been their tightest set thanks to the sore throat of Lisa Vidamour but it didn’t really seem to slow them down as they treated us to songs old and new and rounded things off with a rendition of their take on Sarnia Cherie which has never been more apt than on Liberation Day.
Edith’s Head made a rare appearance as the day continued and brought the dancier end of their sound to the day that got many, especially of the younger part of the crowd, dancing in the street. As ever each member of the band displayed some excellent musicianship with Colin Falla and Brett Stewart standing out in getting the dancing sounds going and Sue Mahy’s vocals completing the sound in their uniquely soulful way.
The music outside was rounded off by Stalk The Lantern (who I won’t review as it would be hard for me to be impartial) and things then headed inside The Last Post as the main road reopened and Static Alice commenced the music there.
Much like last weekend at the Chaos Star Wars Day show they mixed covers of the likes of The Sweet and AC/DC with original alt-rock songs and delivered them all with a strong confidence and presence that soon had people dancing and really got the evening part of the Liberation party going very well, even if the lounge bar of The Last Post isn’t really ideally suited.
Unfortunately it was after Static Alice that I had to head off so I missed RentOClean and Thee Jenerators but I can only imagine the party continued in full swing as things didn’t look likely to slow down any time soon as I headed out into the evening.