February at The Cave has played host to an array of talent as band after band have rocked out at the New Street venue to the delight of punters. The Cave has established a name for itself in Paisley as one of the places to be for regular live entertainment in recent times and it looks set to continue this tradition with gigs slated for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year.
One such group are Second Hand News, a classic rock covers band hailing from nearby Greenock. The group is comprised of a drummer, two lead/rhythm guitars, a bass guitarist and lead singing power alto, Jacqui Hughes. The band only recently formed at the start of this year, performing their first gig at the Hungry Horse’s Hogmanay bash in Greenock, but none of them are strangers to the gigging scene.
Both Jacqui and rhythm/lead guitarist, Stewart MacGillivray, had been members together of Flatliners – a band which had played this same venue a couple of times last year then split, citing “musical differences” and “a lack of communication.”
“Difference wise it’s more of a pushing forward kind of a band” said Stewart. “It’s different. This band’s more rock and roll, that’s the thing about it.”
With a set list primarily featuring 20th century tracks from rock’s classic catalogue, Second Hand News cover everything from the Beatles and Bowie to Iron Maiden and The Stereophonics but their influences are even more diverse.
Lead singer, Jacqui Hughes said: “For me definitely musical theatre was always a big factor in anything I did. Straight drama and musicals was always my passion and I do feel like I bring that in to what we do now. The heavier rock music that we play is very theatrical – big songs, big projection etc. – so it’s definitely been something that’s been good for me, but also my father is very much a musical influence on me and I play a lot of songs that he played to me when I was 5, 6, 7, 8.”
In spite of not being outfitted with a stage, The Cave, which opened its doors only two years ago, is fast becoming the live music hotspot for music lovers throughout Renfrewshire and its manager has been very impressed with the band’s performances.
Manager Jennifer Sloan said: “Jacqui and the gang are fab. The gig went really well. It was their first gig in Paisley and our regular band listeners were really looking forward to them playing as a band. Most of our regulars dubbed them ‘The Super Group’.”
The 2021 bid re-invigorated Paisley’s entertainment scene with a lot of new energy and there are no signs of this dissipating any time soon if places like The Cave have anything to say about it.
“The music scene in Paisley is back up and running. I like to think we had a hand in that.” said Jen. “There were only a couple of pubs with live music and their times were rigid. We as a venue tried to work around that and bring more music into the town. Recently we put a survey out to our regular music goers and the bands. They asked for an earlier music slot as well as our usual later evening slot on a Saturday, so that is why we have 2 bands now.”
“I think the Cave’s place in the Paisley music scene is firmly established and fast becoming known as a popular, friendly music venue.”
Second Hand News are incredibly complimentary of Paisley for having been brought up in a town where the rules of friendly rivalry have traditionally dictated that people denigrate one at the expense of the other.
“It’s the town to be.” said Miss Hughes. “Paisley has had a massive music scene for a very long time. Greenock did as well. Greenock had a great presence but Greenock is slowly but surely closing all its doors. Paisley is the most open to new things. We play a lot of venues, a lot of towns, a lot of cities, but it’s the most innovative town right now as far as I’m concerned.”
She went on to say that her favourite part about performing was meeting people one might not normally meet and getting to hear their feedback. “After a long week, the best thing to do is sing it all away” she said. Meanwhile Mr MacGillivray described live performing as “the equivalent of screaming into your pillow.”
“We’re the only people who get a small amount of time to get the entire week off our chest in about 30 seconds.” he said. “It seems to me a little bit daft that the songs that we played tonight, or play any night, are the same songs I listen to in my own company or my friends’ company. So imagine taking that and going and playing it for everybody else and helping them to have a nice wee Friday night. Get the girls dancing, get the boys having a good time and that’s it, end of story. That’s the service we supply. That’s our job. It’s not about us, it’s always about the songs and it’s always about the people.”
Second Hand News will return to The Cave on the 6th of April as part of a series of gigs across Paisley and the west.