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You The Critic: Les Johnson & Me/The Strange Blue Dreams, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow

Event: Les Johnson & Me/The Strange Blue Dreams, rock and pop, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow

Verdict by Thomas Marsden: four stars

A showcase from Holy Smokes records set up by 21 year old Glasgow barman Chris Blackmore in 2013.

Launching his debut record '15 Hands' at the tender age of 53, Glasgow born Les Johnson & Me, backed by the Strange Blue Dreams for this gig, perform the kind of country music that is best delivered without the aid of a cowboy hat.

Mostly it's proper vintage roots/country music with an eye on the 50s and 60s golden era that would be familiar to fans of Cash, Hank, Merle, Waylon and Willie. Accomplished twin guitar work from Strange Blue Dreams Dave Dixon and Duncan Kennedy create a spooky musical backdrop for Les's rich baritone singing and his weird songs about horses and washing machines.

Gaudy LED lighting created a woozy visual effect reminiscent of some of the more outlandish scenes from Twin Peaks. Strange Blue Dreams mix up the base elements of gospel, early rock 'n' roll, R&B, rockabilly and country - mostly country actually - to create a Roy Orbison-esque vibe. All western shirts, reverb drenched tremolo guitars and songs about the Twilight Zone.

In other words... it does what it says on the tin. Strange Blue Dreams indeed.

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