Events run by Scott Nicol and Possibility Screams are truly special. In Murray’s Café, on Sunday 29th May, a packed venue was treated to a show where an ever-expanding band of young performers put aside their fears, drawing us into a joyous display of talent.
What makes these occasions so special and uplifting is that Scott gives these young people the confidence to find their voices. It’s not easy getting up in front of an audience at their tender age, but with a little bit of encouragement and a large dose of inspiration it’s amazing the emotion that comes from their young voices and their music.
Some artists - because that’s what they are - I’d seen before. Livi Cameron was exceptional and looked far less nervous, building on her fantastic reception at the Treehouse in Ayr. She is extremely talented and so expressive with her clever lyrics, never missing a beat.
Lori Smith, the rising star of the group, has been busy. Still at primary school, she’s released her second original song and is enjoying herself performing regularly under Scott’s watchful eye. She sang her songs ‘The Stepping Stones of Life’ and ‘Ain’t That Far Away’, followed by two cover versions, but her voice is so rich and soulful it was like hearing them for the first time.
Michael Crawford was understandably nervous as he made his debut. However, he bravely took his courage in both hands and won over an audience who couldn’t fail to be impressed. After all, it’s every boy’s dream to play an electric guitar like that, isn’t it?
Next came two newcomers to the group, Leo and Elliot Stack. These boys are self-taught musicians, but word is spreading about Scott’s ability to nurture young talent. Leo sang with such emotion, sweetness and expression, we were utterly enthralled by him. He really is one to watch.
His older brother Elliot played his acoustic guitar skillfully and naturally. He was completely unphased by his audience and a joy to witness.
Emily and Charlotte Rutter followed with the enchanting ‘This is Gospel’. These girls are beautiful singers and perfectly in tune with each other.
Emily sang her own song ‘Unique’, which was extraordinary – it gave me that little shiver that you get in the presence of something rare in a singer. There is so much emotion in this young girl. Her other original song, ‘Off you go’, will undoubtedly appeal to her peers. It has been written with a sweet maturity and insight into teenage relationships.
Scott Hewitt played his song ‘Wasteland’, assisted vocally by the elder Scott. I loved ‘Turquoise Sea’ which transported us to white sands and a reverie of relaxation.
Scott then played his ‘Jazz Piece’ before letting us hear ‘Living Hell’, based on the refugee crisis. This young man is not afraid to say what he thinks and has a social conscience. It was wonderful to see him tackle such a heavy subject so conscientiously.
The music rocked on with Fraser Maxwell and Scott Nicol taking us on an ‘Endless Journey’, which was full of clever rhymes and rich language. ‘In the Woods’ made everyone smile, while Fraser stayed cool and full of youthful enthusiasm.
Vocalist Evie Hughes treated us to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and James Bay’s ‘Let it Go’ this week, finishing on the classic ‘Hallelujah’.
When asked, Emily Rutter stepped up to close the show, singing just as beautifully as before.
Throughout each performance - capturing the spirit of Murray’s Café - a quirky Highland cow in a bowler hat smiled on and the faces in the café were alight with pleasure and pride. Strings of fairy lights twinkled and hospitality flowed. There is a sign over the archway in the café that reads, ‘Friends Gather Here’. I don’t think I need to say any more - Scottish warmth and creativity were perfectly in tune and at their finest.
You can see Scott Nicol and the incredible young people of Possibility Screams again at Elliot’s, Prestwick on 26th June.