Music review: Amy Macdonald

Amy Macdonalds first album came out ten years ago; she is now showcasing her fourth and has stuck to a successful formula
Amy Macdonalds first album came out ten years ago; she is now showcasing her fourth and has stuck to a successful formula
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As she pointed out in one of various moments of flawlessly amiable raconteuring while introducing one of her earliest compositions, Youth of Today, it’s been 10 years now since Amy Macdonald released her debut album This Is The Life. Written when she was still a “very shy teenager,” who “didn’t have a clue what was about to happen to me,” the Bishopbriggs singer-songwriter is now approaching 30, having devoted all of her formative years to a music career which will soon round 10 million record sales worldwide if her fourth studio album Under Stars enjoys much more success.

Usher Hall, Edinburgh ***

Plenty has happened to Macdonald in the last decade, then, but you’d be hard pressed to know it from her music, which remains so steadily unchanging you could practically set your watch by it.

The first quarter of her set – which includes Under Stars, Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over, Spark and Mr Rock & Roll – spanned each of her albums to date, but was interchangeably forged in an identikit conservative spirit of foot-stomping, vaguely Celtic-flavoured acoustic-electric pop-rock.

The highlights of this entertaining but never especially inspiring set were its minor diversions: a tenderly stripped-down version of 4th of July, a party band cover of the Doobie Brothers’ Listen to the Music, the soulful Americana infusions of Down By The Water and the bit when she took a voice-salving sip of a hot drink from what conveniently happened to be an Amy Macdonald branded mug, “available at all good merch stalls” she joked, prompting an amusing football terrace style chant of “Amy’s mug, Amy’s mug, Amy’s mug!” from one well-oiled clutch of fans.

malcolm jack