Thursday saw the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) hit my hometown with a showcase of local talent for Paisley Music Week.
Kicking off procedings were disco-pop-rock-synth and multi-instrumentalist maestros The Vegan Leather who got the packed out The Bungalow moving and shaking with their bouncy beats.
It’s clear that Gianluca is as confident a performer as his shirt is outrageous. The music scene is heavily influenced not only by the music but by image as well and these guys have nailed both. The whole band bops and nods along for the duration of their set and they’re not the only ones having a good time. As I look around the venue – at full capacity – everyone is having a great time.
Next up are Delphi, a local five-piece consisting of Murdo, Kieran, Aaron, Euan and Matt. Born of busking around town, these five guys have put together a setlist which gets the crowd involved. A couple of well-known covers gets the crowd singing along and engaged then they can bring it home with a handful of memorable, original material.
With a new video release out there for ‘Learn to Swim’ and an EP following shortly, Delphi are about to take off. Make sure you have your ticket for the ride.
It’s very clear that SAMAs are saving the best to last, from the opening chords of Pronto Mama’s set they have the assembled throng in their hands. There’s a lot of talent on show here, the band are multi-instrumentalists and take turns at lead vocals, showing that they have an abundance of talent to call upon. Once or twice I turn to my mate with a “WTF!?” face, his response is clearly mutual.
With the arts at the heart of their souls they make it look easy. Swiftly moving through their set, providing the crowd with an insight into how a well-oiled band operates, we are stuck to the floor with the inability to look away.
There are few bands who can stop you in your tracks and make you want to hear more, especially when this is the first time you are seeing and hearing them. This is one of those bands. Pronto Mama have moved to the top of the pile in my personal music collection and I can see them being host to that spot for a while. If you do one thing music-related in 2016, I say get along and see Pronto Mama, or at least buy their music. It is bloody brilliant!
The night was a huge success and showed not only the strong events the SAMAs (run by founder Richy Muirhead) put together but the depth and diversity of Paisley’s new music scene. I’ve been a Paisley resident for around 14 years now and it seems the local music scene has lain fairly dormant that whole time. However, if this showcase has done anything, it’s highlighted the fact that this town is home to some interesting, relevant and cracking new music.
Hopefully it’s the awakening that this musical beast of a town has needed for a long time!