On the occasion of her Ladyship’s birthday, a trip to see the tortured soul that is Mr Stuart. His former outfit, Green on Red, were in the late 80s not too far behind R.E.M. in approaching world domination. However, whereas R.E.M. signed a huge deal with Warner Bros and went on a world tour with ‘Green’, Green on Red’s record label collapsed and they never really recovered. But first, Doug Paisley. Left-handed guitarist/vocalist, original songs. Pretty decent numbers, much better than the folkie tosh that we’ve had to endure at some festivals. OK, a bit short of headline status, but he’ll always be worthy of support slots such as tonight. He’s Canadian, but has an almost James Taylor-like banter. A small but respectful audience.
Next up were Sacri Cuori, an Italian instrumental quartet. Also Dan’s backing group, they are a fascinating blend of bass, unusual percussion, Telecaster and a multi-instrumentalist. Not seen their like before! Intriguing tunes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Spaghetti western, well worth investigating (but not sure if they could handle a 90 minute set). Then Dan Stuart ambled on, with acoustic guitar. Looking at this balding, greying middle-aged man in a sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms, he didn’t look out of place in the Tap Room next door, but as soon as he starts talking you know this is someone who is definitely not a local! He very kindly dedicated ‘You couldn’t get arrested’ to her Ladyship on her birthday, and Green on Red fans couldn’t have complained at the rest of the GOR songs, namely ‘Sixteen Ways’, ‘Two lovers waiting to die’, ‘Fading Away’, ‘Baby’s got a gun’, ‘Change’, ‘Zombie for Love’, ‘ Morning Blue’ and the encore ‘Hair of the Dog’. All mixed in with his new ‘Marlowe Billings’ cd, it was a great night, a shame there weren’t a lot there. Green on Red were a group that passed many people by, but I would recommend anybody to try and listen to the amazing ‘Here Come the Snakes’. Chuck Prophet had been invited on board, and it is very difficult to categorise. The nearest I could get is Neil Young being backed by a sleazy New Orleans bar band .If you are not afraid of something just a bit off-kilter,try to get to see this man,maybe he’ll get more success ‘this time around’.