On Tuesday audience members were treated to an impressive light spectacle, driving rock-folk music, and a vocal performance that could have filled Shepherd’s Bush Empire without a sound system. Amy Macdonald sings with a rich, resounding alto that is powerful enough to knock you backward, but enters your ears as if it were murmur.
The set revolved around the songs themselves, with little emphasis on the band, which allowed the lyrics and subject matter to shine from songs about the “youth of today” and real, everyday people without the gloss of the media. The songs were a mix of pounding rock, bouncy, playful numbers, and simple acoustic. Her guitar-only cover of “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen’s rock tale of growing up in small town America, was brought to life by her Scottish accent and its parallels with her own small town history. The music was accompanied by a dazzling light display on a background of leafless, ceiling-high tree images that reflected the colours of the lights on the stage.
From the first note to the end, you could feel the power of her voice and the emotion behind her lyrics. The set was packed full of songs from her two albums, 'This Is The Life' and 'A Curious Thing', along with down-to-earth banter and stories behind her songs. A highlight was her admission of how she likes to find faces in the audience to focus on - in this case, two people in the front who were “there smiling at me.”
Mentioning both her backing band and members of the road crew, she came across as a remarkable performer who cares about both her audience and the people with whom she spends the her time.
Also worthy of note was the support act, Jersey Budd, whose sound harks back to the 80s stadium bands. He is one to watch.
By Mark and Lindsay Wilson