On Wednesday the 9th of August I somehow felt like I was back in the good old times of music. I was at the Kelvingrove bandstand seeing the legendary Seasick Steve, and of course his drummer ‘Crazy Dan’, who were utterly brilliant.
There are a couple of reasons why I felt like I was living in a different era entirely. Firstly, it was an open air concert at the bandstand in Kelvingrove Park, which is nearly 100 years old, and was refurbished in recent years after the old foundations of it were lacking life. The £2.1 million restoration certainly was worth it, as it poses as a totally unique venue for Scotland. It gives the audience a true raw feeling of simply enjoying good music, just like the crowd was at a concert from decades ago, without all the cameras and smartphones up in the air during an entire concert.
This is something that Seasick Steve pointed out himself during the evening. Even something I completely cringed at. During the first couple of songs, grown adults, yes grown adults, kept on getting up during songs and walking to the front to take a selfie of themself with Steve in the background. It was funny at first, then it just got ridiculous. Steve said he would slap the next person who got up and did it, and sure enough, there was a chancer. When this woman got up to take her picture, Steve completely stopped playing and stood still, and for a moment I thought he might’ve just walked off stage, as he looked so pissed off, and I don’t blame him. Later on, he apologised for saying what he said, but explained that it was better in the good old days when fans simply wanted to shake his hand rather than needing to get a photo. But the majority of the crowd were not cringeworthy idiots, they were cheerful, singing and dancing people just there to listen to good music, and that was enough for Steve to play the rest of the concert with his usual joy and upbeat spirit.
Another reason I felt as if I was back in a different time of music, and even society, was because the music just felt truly bare, but in a good way. There was no techno, fake beat, loud or clashy noise that is filling up the ‘chart music’ today. It was just Steve and Dan; drums and many guitars, if you could even call some of Steve guitars a ‘guitar’. One was made up of a washboard and a banjo neck, and sounded pretty impressive if you ask me, who personally has no clue about actual instruments themselves. A three string guitar was played also, which I’ve come to learn that Steve is very well known for playing, and how he can make up so many different riffs is beyond me. He seems like the type who can make something out of anything big or little, and make that something very mind blowing. In this case, his songs, that sound simple yet so complex at the same time.
My personal favourite song of Seasick Steve’s is Gypsy Blood, which was his opener, and got the crowd bustling from the first chord. My other favourites from the night were Summetime Boy and Get My Drift, both of which saw Steve really come and embrace the whole audience with this southern character. As a side note, I don’t believe Get My Drift is on any album, so Steve, if there’s the tiniest chance you’re reading this… get it on your next album, because it’s so edgy and I love it.
As a whole, despite the embarrassing nuisances, the concert was one which felt like it was one of a kind, I didn’t know all of the songs and admittedly I didn’t think I was that big of a fan of Steve’s, but as a drunk woman asked me in the bathroom after the gig, “Are you a follower or a convert?” Well, I definitely am a convert after that night.