20 September 2009

The Hot Seats at Gartmore Village Hall: Bluegrass Explosion

Since I've moved out here to the wilds of Stirlingshire, it's been all hare-watching, buzzard-stalking, horse-riding and deer-creeping. But my pal, photographer, journalist and mountain rescue expert supremo Ian Dawson suggested we take a hike over to Gartmore Village Hall and catch the Hot Seats, quite a coup for such a tiny village. Apparently, however, Gartmore is quite the bohemian hideaway and has a thriving music scene. If the Dawson family are anything to go by, with Finn Dawson at their helm with a youthly grin, Gartmore is alright. Yeehaw.
The Hot Seats are quite simply breathtaking. They dived straight into a old-time bluegrass set which had the red-faced audience, bathed in the glow of candlelight and wine for £8 a bottle (the delights of Gartmore!), whooping and hollering for more. I chummed up with Indie and her girlfriend, two folksters from Aberdeen who had come down especially for the Hot Seats set and they were not disappointed - more on them in later posts.
Here is how the Hot Seats describe their sound: "Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic soloing and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock and roll. Add some eastern melodies, a few modernist ideals, and an uncanny feel for comic timing, and you begin to approach this sound".
For the audience at Gartmore, hardcore fans at the back clearly appreciated this, but the general feel of old-time americana and the Hot Seats hilarious and at times surreal banter pleased a crowd who may not know their fiddle from their double bass but certainly knew how to party.
I felt pretty honoured to have been present at such a band's performance - a real treat and a lesson in bluegrass and roots. It's been a while since I've seen such dextrous fingers! They're in the UK for a while so catch them if you can.
The latest Hot Seats album 'Retreat to Camp Candy Temptation Island' available to buy here

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