Gig review: Aztec Camera, Glasgow

“Where’ve you been Roddy?” cries a cheeky voice as Roddy Frame walks on.

Roddy Frame. Picture: Complimentary
Roddy Frame. Picture: Complimentary
Roddy Frame. Picture: Complimentary

Aztec Camera - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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He’s not late, but he’s been fairly quiet for a while, emerging now to join the trend of album anniversary tours by marking thirty years of High Land, Hard Rain, the celebrated album he made as a gangly 19-year-old with floppy fringe and fringed jacket.

If its acclaim ever seemed like a millstone around his neck, Frame seems to have come to terms with it, cheerfully reminiscing about early plays on Radio Clyde and the songs he wrote at an even younger age, signed to Postcard Records.

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He begins and ends with other songs, taking in the rockist stomp of Somewhere In My Heart, a country-flavoured How Men Are and the gentle middle-aged ballad Portastudio, throwing in plenty of banter and a few jokes too.

But the middle section is devoted to playing High Land in full, from imperishable Oblivious to the small-town teen anthem Down The Dip.

Though like any of these album-in-full tours, it’s a nostalgic rush, sending the audience hurtling back in time to their youth, it helps that Frame sounds as good as if not better than ever.

His voice is deeper and more confident, his virtuoso guitar playing sharp and exciting, with a four-piece band (not the original members) in support.

As the evening passes he’s visibly rejuvenated by the response, a welcome reminder not just of the classic status of his early songs but of Frame’s ability to tear at pop heartstrings.