The Community Beat. What is it? A band? No. A group of bands perhaps? Not quite. Rather, it’s a movement of music in the town of Stonehaven; a volition of belief, a celebration of youth, and the determination to make it against odds.
The town hall is well attended by a conspicuously young and annoyingly full of life crowd. Knowing many of the attendees, it’s easy enough to fit in, but there would still be a paranoiac tension for anybody over the age of twenty-five trying to find the rhythm to this beat of unruly bunch, and as the very young Logan Morrison hops up on stage to play a set of indie classics and sets the wheels into motion of what turns out to be a raucous and debauched ride, you can’t help bit sit nervously and contemplate the futile mental perambulations of a deep existential crisis.
The middle of the event consists of first off, The Scares, who aren’t that scary (apart from the front man). Fuelled by the guttural bleats and wails emanating from his lanky, discombobulated figure, this is probably the most unique and original music of the night, with a distinctive sense of distinction in every transition of distorted chord or violent beat.
Secondly is the Ben Lee Collett Band, fronted by (you guessed it) Ben Lee Collett, who deserves credit as not only the main forerunner and organiser of The Community Beat, but as a beautifully talented musician and songwriter with a voice that makes you supremely jealous.
Lastly, is The Shackles, and afterwards The Popping Candies, who both, especially the latter, magnetise the now fitfully intoxicated audience to the front of the stage with their brands of indie-pop. It is well apparent by now that gig is a success; making a bitter and instantly regrettable remark about The Popping Candies instigates a friend to say: ‘Aye, but the front man’s got stage presence like.’ And he does, as I suck on the lemon of age-induced-envy which, while embittering the experience somewhat, has also left its residue of sweet nostalgia in my nauseated brain.
The event ends where it begins, with Logan Morrison taking the stage for an impromptu encore, but with the crowd this time well up on their feet and singing to every line of every tune. It is the most appropriate end where the youngest musician playing – and one with a final set that fittingly plays up to what The Community Beat represents as a bastion of the transcendence of youth and love and fucking up and doing whatever you can to find yourself – is lauded and revered by the people that are living it: believing, celebrating, determined to make it against the odds.