Culture

Live Review: Strange Behaviours Winter Party @ Tolbooth, Stirling

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Triptych. Credit: Jamie Harris.

On Saturday night Scottish musical talents from near and far descended upon the Tolbooth for the second night of the boutique festival, after the ‘Summer Party’ a few months ago.

Much like the ‘Sofar’ music events that Amy Beveridge reported on recently, the three stages were all extremely intimately set up. Both of the gallery stages were in two small rooms tucked away in the corner of the maze that is the Tolbooth building. One of them was set up so it was almost like the acts were performing in your living room, with acoustic instrumentalists performing in the middle of the square room and the audience standing or sitting against the walls. The other gallery stage and the main stage had more of a regular stage set up, with twinkling fairy lights everywhere and room for the full live bands.

Opening the event on the main stage was rock band Triptych, who opened the night with their blend of metallic riffs and catchy choruses that makes for a great indie sound. Their 30-minute set saw them play original material that their fans know from their gigs at other gigs around the local area as well as a new song, ‘Wonder’. It was great to see that events like this can be such a great platform for local bands, as lead singer Finn Hennessy said it was one of the biggest gigs they’d ever played.

The variety of acts was clear early on, as the crowd was treated to some instrumental acoustic guitar on the gallery stage. Scott Urquhart had everyone mesmerised as he played his guitar. Looking around the room, it was almost as though the audience were in a trance while sitting and watching him in awe.

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Emme Woods. Credit: Jamie Harris

A personal highlight was Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Emme Woods, whose music had a pop-rock kind of vibe. She was joined on stage by her band, who she had great banter with, joking about spilling her pints in Brewdog beforehand and selling their underpants on their crowdfunding page. She had some great, catchy music and beautiful, raspy vocals that reminded of Stevie Nicks and even early KT Tunstall. Her wee dog Bubbles stole the show, though, dozing at the front of the stage.

With nine acts performing throughout the night, there was a lot more musical variety to come still. From the folk music of the main stage headline act Pictish Trail, to the grungy guitar music of Jason Riddell, and hip-hop artist Shogun from Paisley. Other acts that performed on the night included Beerjacket, Fairweather & The Elements and Louie & The Lochbacks.

The real joy of the night was how this variety of Scottish artists could bring the wider Stirling community together. With Forth Valley College students recording, filming and photographing all the acts, and an audience that ranged from local teens to university students to older local residents, this wide variety of music had everyone in the same place to enjoy some great live music.

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