Shamefully this was Blabber’n’Smoke’s first attendance at Southside Americana which takes place virtually on our doorstep hosted by the fine establishment that is Shawland’s Glad Cafe. The occasion was a rare Glasgow show by The David Latto Band promoting their new EP, Here Today, Ghost Tomorrow, reviewed here. The EP and their preceding self titled album both portray this young band in a fine light with some excellent writing and good old fashioned musical chops and they proceeded to confirm these skills with what was, all in all, an very fine set.
All acoustic tonight other than electric bass we were robbed of some of the electrical embellishment that they throw into the studio recordings when required but Latto and Gavin Brady’s finger picking more than made up for that whether they were scrubbing frantically on Byway Man, soloing on We Cannot Be Friends Anymore (the lead song on the EP and written by their chum, Phil Lee) or casually strumming the West Coast sound of Wait A Minute. With John Mather (on bass) and John Alexander (doing some sterling work on Cajon and a tambourine) along with Brady all harmonising the overall sound was reminiscent of seventies LA canyon bands like Poco or even the Eagles with Latto himself proving to be an assured and confident singer at the front.
There were several highlights with Here today, Ghost Tomorrow standing out with its sense of loss and regret, perfectly conveyed by the band. Every Now and Then was as soulful live as on the disc However 3000 Miles From Nashville, inspired by Shetland fisherman, Thomas Fraser whose Jimmy Rogers inspired recordings were only recently discovered, was somewhat stunning. A romantic tribute to “the truest Scottish lonestar” it captured some of the late Gene Clark’s spirit tonight. Winding up with the raucous hymn to booze, God, I’m Drinking Tonight they certainly won over the audience judging by the queue at the merch table after their set. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on May 9th before some dates in England and then a short tour in France. If you can’t catch them you can buy the EP here.