The three days of full-on Winterstorm may have ended, but there’s a tradition here of a gentler way to celebrate the end of another great weekend. After The Storm is an acoustic afternoon for hangovers to be allowed to drift away on the back of yet more great music.
Winterstorm Festival – After The Storm
Troon Town Hall – 26 November 2023
Words: Ian Sutherland
Photography: Scott Anderson
Jason Sweeney is first up. The ex-King Lot man, this time with Brian Stewart on the acoustic bass, is always an upbeat cheeky chappy and he gives a performance full of quality vocals and big smiles.
The set is a journey through Jason’s musical history. There are songs with big melodies and well well-delivered harmonies and a few laughs in between.
He reveals his next band project called Victory Or Die which promises to be something heavier. The acoustic version supplied of House Of Love is memorable enough to get people singing along on the first listen so that augurs well for what’s to come.
Alan and Stevie Nimmo
It’s smiles all around as the hangovers are easing and next on stage are Alan and Stevie Nimmo. Currently working together in King King, these brothers have, of course, been playing together for years. So their part of the afternoon is a masterclass in easygoing charm meets talent.
There are stories of hangovers and touring and how they arrived on site and only then decided what to play. Alongside the banter there are great vocals, individually and in harmony and backed up with accomplished playing.
There are blues covers, a few run-throughs of singalongs to King King classics and even the spontaneous addition of headliner Danny Vaughn on harmonica at one point.
The entire vibe in the room is of relaxed people just enjoying their love of music on and off stage, something which Mr Vaughn remarked on later. Superb stuff.
Danny is someone else who is a seemingly completely relaxed performer. Last night he was on stage doing his ass-kicking frontman thing. Today, it’s reflective storytelling, consummate musicianship and a few laughs too.
Black Crow is a contemplative mood setter. Is That All There Is a somehow joyous and amusing rejection of romantic love tunes. In The Shadow Of King John is explained as a paean to the ups and downs he’s seen in Limerick in Ireland.
The personal nature of songwriting is laid bare in the solo acoustic setting, and this veteran troubadour is one of the very best at sharing the ins and outs of his craft.
However, for every reflective tune like The Voice, he adds in something more fun, like a lively run through Stealer’s Wheel’s Stuck In The Middle With You, a nod to Scotland’s own Gerry Rafferty.
He is joined later in the set by Tyketto guitarist Harry Scott Elliot who fills out the sound with his trademark flourishes and runs.
Of course, Tyketto tunes turn up now and again in the set, and the stripped-down take on Burning Down Inside is beautifully done. A rousing Lay Your Body Down gets a crowd singing for the second time this weekend to close things out.
This was a fabulous, intimate way to celebrate the end of a fantastic weekend of music. Winterstorm does it right. Roll on next year.
Winterstorm Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 23-26 November 2023. MetalTalk’s Ian Sutherland reports from Troon.
All Winterstorm Festival 2023 coverage can be found at metaltalk.net/tag/winterstorm-2023.
2024 Tickets will be available from the Winterstorm Festival Website.