Gig review: James Morrison, Glasgow Academy
AFTER braving the elements at T in the Park, James Morrison returned to Scotland with barely a day’s rest to bring his latest headline tour to Glasgow.
Played on stage by an unusually static backing band, Morrison’s set, tailored around his most recent album, The Awakening, lacked any real punch from the outset.
Over the years, Morrison has sculpted a career out of inoffensive, soul-influenced radio hits and although his most recent work has been known to reflect his personal take on heartbreak, depression and the joys of finding love, his set was frustratingly one-dimensional; more a country-road commute than an emotional rollercoaster.
It was only when he stripped down arguably his most potent crowd-pleaser, Broken Strings – most famously sung in duet with US chart-topper Nelly Furtado – to its bare bones, that the performance really showcased the strength of both his voice and his songwriting.
In comparison, the rest of the set felt needlessly bloated and buffed-up, without any strikingly positive results.
However, when he stepped back to let the audience take the chorus, it was about as touching and organic a moment as he was able to conjure all night.
Whether or not the crowd in attendance were looking for anything beyond the hits they’ve learned to love, it was a fleeting indication that underneath the clean-cut, well-rehearsed exterior, there might in fact be an artist as soulful and affecting as his influences – artists such as Cat Stevens, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding – would suggest.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West