The ghosts of Stirling's bygone miscreants must have had the mother and father of all parties as Ruby Turner unleashed her earthquaking, foundation-shaking, heart-breaking soul testimonies in the Tolbooth on Saturday night.
Turner is more usually seen with Jools Holland's Orchestra, playing more or less a cameo role, in the larger theatres in these parts. So this more intimate, full two-sets encounter, where the front row's occupants were almost in danger of an accidental south paw from the physically involved Turner, was a novelty on paper before it became a sensation in reality.
Turner and her band are a finely tuned working unit. When she sings gospel, they become her choir. When she goes back to a soul classic such as Dark End Of The Street, their groove fits her voice hand in glove. And when she sings This Train in homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a slide guitar and harmonica shuffle gives her calls of "all aboard" added hurtling-down-the-tracks realism.
It's been a long time since her genuine soul-queen credentials took Turner into the charts but if anything she's more of a star now than ever before. Her volcanic version of Lorraine Ellison's Stay With Me, on which she all but ripped open her chest and delivered her heart on a plate, was worthy of the biggest stage and her own classic Breath I Need, rocking hard among newer originals including the fire-starting Staring At The Sky, found her pleading with irresistible passion before she gave a masterclass in infusing the blues with in-the-service-of-the-Lord testifying on a beyond-stunning revision of her long-time showstopper, I'd Rather Go Blind.