SMALL GIG REPORT | Melisa Kelly & The Smokin’ Crows – Stereo (18.10.18)

The trio of Neon Seas would commence the show. We have never come across them prior to being announced, but we made sure to remember their name after they had put on a great opening set.

The three played us a line of sublime tracks that had cool electronic sounds both ambient and infectious, and at the core of these were the duo of Calum and Davey effectively wielding synths and guitars, and taking centre stage was Samantha, who had a strong pair of vocal chords at her disposal.

Exiting after a captivating closing track, the band left a permanent mark on us as a fresh new discovery who have some obvious potential, and we are keen to see and hear more from them. Hopefully they don’t fly under too many people’s radars.

Awkward Family Portraits have been around the block for quite a while now, but it has been this year in particular where they have generated a lot of buzz, and on this night, they proved exactly why.

The guys worked as a professional unit on stage and seemed as if they had a wealth of experience behind them. They churned out material both old and new of different shapes and sizes, with highlights including Shoulder Biting Joe, the heartfelt Come On Down, and their latest single Please Baby Please.

Julen was a real natural; not to mention, he might just have the coolest singing voice in all of Scotland; Tim was impressively slick on the guitar, the bass lines were smooth and the drumming was on form.

Without a doubt, an outstanding performance that had the audience hooked. It was a joy to witness, and that’s another great group we can tick off the bucket list.

Now the anticipation built for the stars of tonight’s bill – Melisa Kelly & The Smokin’ Crows. Micah the drummer made his way up and perched himself behind the kit, and  was followed by the rest of the members one by one, before being completed by Melisa herself.

As they kicked off with All For You, the people got their butts off their seats and migrated towards the front of the stage, and they proceeded to play more material from Devil’s Luck, with key moments such as the scintillating title number, the lyrically gripping I Never, and the magnetic sax-driven Day Of The Dead. They even threw in a couple of spicy covers for measure.

Melisa truly shined with a supreme, spitfire vocal performance where she spilled her heart, soul, blood and guts into every individual note. She was backed up by her fabulous Crowettes – Laura, Jenny and Emilie – and their stunning harmonies, and the rest of the entourage – Bruce, Dean, Dave, Stefan and Micah – put in strong efforts in each of their respective roles.

This was a sensational showstopper that the crowd reacted to with such positive enthusiasm, and rightly so. Melisa and co went all in and brought us a set that was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Melisa is a genuine talent, and deserves every success coming her way.

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