Su Casa Acoustic Night – Su Casa, Ayr – Every Thursday

Posted: 14/06/2011 in Local Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Countless open mic nights take place in Ayrshire throughout every week. They all play host to talented performers and most have garnered a fair reputation. Talk to those involved in the local live music circuit and you’ll hear positive things about every one of them.

Such market saturation is always going to create a breeding ground for healthy competition. Naturally, the purveyors of each of these occasions are going to want their night to be the most talked about and revered.

For a night to achieve this status, there are several criteria which have to be met: A loyal following, dedication, a charismatic public face and a unique aspect that sets the evening apart from the rest.

With this in mind, let’s look at the extent to which the Su Casa Acoustic Night is managing to fulfil these requirements and, in turn, ascertain whether or not it’s worthy of five of your hard earned pounds each week.

The owners, Lucas and Ben, clearly realised from the outset that a loyal following is built and maintained almost exclusively through good people skills and positive public perception. If Su Casa can make its guests feel welcome, they’ll keep coming back and if they enjoy themselves, they’ll tell their friends about it. With this in mind, Su Casa’s creators appear to have decided to ensure that each person who attends their acoustic night receives a warm greeting from one or both of them. After a bit of friendly banter to get the positive vibes flowing, you are given a stamp and offered glasses for any beverages you may have brought with you.

Once upstairs, you’re left to your own devices for the most part, allowing the feeling that Su Casa Thursdays are about you doing what you want to do. True to the translation of the name (“your house”), all in attendance are allowed to feel at home. The only time the owners really intervene in the evening’s proceedings is halfway through the evening, when they dish out slices of pizza to the utmost delight of everyone present.

When you’re leaving the venue, one of the guys will once again be on hand to personally bid you goodnight and let you know what’s happening next Thursday.

Add to this the proprietors’ eagerness to immerse themselves in the local community, having manned a stall at the Burns an a’ that festival, their attendance at other local music gigs and willingness to display posters and flyers for such events and it’s clear they’re working hard to gain a loyal following.

What about the question of dedication and commitment then?

Well, because Su Casa is primarily a coffee house and this acoustic night is about a passion for supporting local music, Ben and Lucas have decided not to make a monetary return from it. Your entry fee covers all of their outlays, but their profit will be the profile boost for the business itself, thus linking back to the idea of positive public perception.

Any such positive press is undoubtedly a pleasing prospect for the owners, given the sheer amount of hard graft that has gone into creating Su Casa. They have essentially managed to turn what was originally a fairly small local bakery into a modern coffee house and arts venue with a genuinely warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their DIY ethos is visible in the decor itself, with an as-yet-to-be-completed handpainted mural of a tree (aptly illustrating the place’s potential for further growth) on one wall and LPs and pictures of local musicians adorning the others.

As you can see, dedication and commitment are also covered.

The public face for the acoustic night is none other than Ayr’s own Jamie McGeechan, a.k.a Little Fire, who was cemented as the evening’s weekly host back in its early days. Since then, Little Fire’s music career and popularity have exploded and the benefits of this are two-fold. For one thing, his presence as host and regular performer is enough to draw a crowd in itself and, in addition to this, his high level of involvement and wealth of contacts in the Ayrshire music scene allow him to handpick a fantastic variety of performers. Charismatic public face? Sorted!

There are also several elements that combine to make the evening unique. First of all, inkeeping with the idea of the efforts not being for monetary profit, a policy is in operation which permits attendees the freedom to bring along their own wine, beer or cider. This is obviously an enticing prospect for those who find Friday and Saturday nights out hard enough to pay for, without throwing a bar bill for Thursday into the mix.

Su Casa also puts a spin on the traditional format of the open mic night in that, while anyone is welcome to play, acts must sign up in advance. This does, of course, beg the question whether this truly is an open mic night, but it is not without its advantages. As well as ensuring the enthusiasm and commitment of performers, it also means there is a dialogue running between owners, host and local musicians throughout the week and not just for the duration of the event itself. This, it could be argued, goes to show the positive influence Su Casa has on the local music community.

Finally, there is the insistence that all songs performed are the original work of the artist playing. This cements Su Casa as a hive of creativity and ensures the audience experience something a little different than the same tired cover versions heard in so many other places.

So, there you go! On paper, it looks as though Su Casa is on track for that much coveted status we spoke of earlier. However, the only real way to decide is to try it out for yourself and see how the vibe sits with you. So, if you fancy it, a fiver’s entry fee affords you an evening of music, pizza, friendly vibes and a tipple of your own choosing. What better way to start your weekend?

Official Website

Elgato on Facebook (For live video performances from Su Casa)

Little Fire on Facebook

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