When the first thing you see upon entering a venue is “Warning risk of high noise levels,” you know you’re not going to some prissy sit-down concert. It was standing room only at the Oran Mor for Tarras and Manran, and it was loud. Very loud. Did I mention it was loud? As a wise teenager once told me: If it’s too loud, you’re too old. I’m too old.
Once I got my earplugs settled, I squeezed into the main room to watch Tarras. The band invoked the ghosts of a thousand bar bands with their rock set. I could have been in any bar anywhere any time in the last thirty years.
But, I came to hear Manran play, and they did not disappoint me. Something old, something new, and something borrowed, the gig had something for everyone. They played most of the songs off their debut album, some from Bodega (the former band of lead vocalist Norrie MacIver), a little Runrig, and a bunch of new tunes. The audience seemed to love everything the band played, screaming approval after each song and clapping whenever accordionist Gary Innes demanded they work for their fun. It really was fun, but I think the next time I see Manran it’ll be in a concert hall or at a festival, somewhere where earplugs aren’t a necessity.