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So, last Thursday night I went to see Julia and the Doogans at Oran Mor (well technically downstairs at the Mill, because free gigs are not to be sniffed at).

Melodic with bittersweet lyrics and a cello, I’d only heard one of their tracks but when ayetunes pointed out that they were playing a free gig in Glasgow on a night I would be there anyway, I couldn’t resist. Oh and they were every bit as lovely as expected with a collection of unexpected instruments (any band that manages to include some xylophone on not one but two tracks and has the aplomb to reproduce the sound live on a tiny xylophone that comes in a pale green carry case – with match beaters – and carry it off is a winner with me) and some gorgeous lyrics. Very much a loose collective, with band members disappearing gradually throughout the set until there was on Julia left on stage with her guitar for the final song. I’ll definitely be wanting a copy of their EP once its out.

I knew absolutely nothing about the 2nd band of the evening Be A Familiar beforehand so I had no idea what to expect and really they couldn’t have been more different from the 1st band if they’d tried. They were really up and bouncy, which given that I was all mellowed out from Julia and the Doogans was a bit…jarring. Plus the male lead singer/guitarist came on to tune up and looked a bit, well like he was trying to be Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh (some of you may be making appreciative noises at this juncture but it wasn’t really a good look from where I was standing) and they initially seemed painfully hip and trendy. However, after the first couple of tracks they started to get into it and relax and so did the crowd. The trumpet player got in on the action, female-lead singer started to harmonise nicely and they began to look like they were having fun. The lyrics got a bit lost at some points but the tunes were good and they definitely deserved an audience more inclined to dance than that nights. They’re actually somewhat mellower on record than they were live, so I can sort of see why the organisers put the two bands on together.

I’d definitely go see both bands again live.

Be A Familiar

This was the best photo I got all night (camera-phone not the best in the world) so you get the sweet little video for ‘New York’ instead of pics.

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