And so to the homely environs of Backstage at the Green Hotel in Kinross, a neat venue festooned with rock’n’roll memorabilia, to see the Stevie Nimmo Trio.
The comfortable theatre seating may not be so rock’n’roll, but that doesn’t stop Stevie and chums from getting stuck in, with opener ‘Roll The Dice Again’ sizzling to a conclusion by way of a wah-wah heavy solo before seguing into ‘Still Hungry’, which features heavy riffing and some great bubbling bass lines from Mat Beable.
|The Stevie Nimmo Trio - music for pleasure|
Having warmed everyone up sufficiently, they go to town with one of the current highlights of their set, really conjuring up a mood on ‘Running On Back To You’. They keep it on a leash to begin with, but the tension is eventually released when Nimmo uncorks his second solo, tearing out some gut-wrenching chords in its midst before Beable and drummer Craig Bacon weigh in big time to produce a mountainous crescendo.
The initial run of tracks from Sky Won’t Fall ends with a funky ‘Change’, getting heavy as they rip it up at the end, and a crisp take on the Allman Brothers’ ‘Gambler’s Roll’. Then it’s time for a backward glance at Nimmo’s earlier solo album The Wynds Of Life, with the country-tinged, bright and breezy ‘Good Day For The Blues’.
If that’s a long-standing favourite, tonight they decide to unveil another cover for the very first time, namely Eric Clapton’s ‘River Of Tears’, a slowie that features an extended intro with some lyrical playing from Nimmo – and heaps of vibrato.
|"Shit, this guitar neck's upside down!"|
They return to Sky Won’t Fall for the muscular ‘Chains Of Hope’ before cutting loose on‘Lovin’ Might Do Us Good’. As ever, it’s fun and funky, and the focus for a bit of jamming – and Craig Bacon shines in the process, bringing the swing big time as he makes full use of his kit to vary the rhythm. With or without the injection of ‘Jessica’ that they give it nowadays, it’s intriguing that they manage to blend the funk vibe with a healthy measure of Southern rock.
Set closer ‘Going Down’ is a raucous affair, with Nimmo giving his guitar a serious seeing to along the way. And since that’s just not enough for a vocal audience, they come back to deliver a sublime reading of Big George Watt’s ‘The Storm’. It’s a song that creates a picture in music, surfing something wild and untamed, and Nimmo catches the essence of it before closing with perfectly controlled feedback ebbing away.
It’s always great to see an outfit as well-grooved as the Stevie Nimmo Trio. But more than that, the ease they have together infuses their playing and connects with the audience. Music for pleasure, I think it’s called.