Gig review: Ron Sexsmith, Glasgow

Two years ago, Ron Sexsmith suffered a health scare which inspired a lot of soul-searching on his subsequent album, Forever Endeavour – the rich irony being that Sexsmith has never been short on soul in the 20-plus years he has been releasing music.

Ron Sexsmith - Oran Mor, Glasgow

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It was there from the moment he opened his mouth at this gem of a show, tinged with his natural plaintiveness on the gentle country opener Tell Me Again and the simple shared humanity of Nowhere Is.

Mortality was on his mind as he negotiated the uncertainties of If Only Avenue and the McCartneyesque melodic twists and turns of Snake Road, but it was that innate humanity in his writing which enveloped the set. Gold In Them Hills, a precious find even in this distinguished company, might actually possess healing properties.

The world feels lighter in Sexsmith’s company, whether through the careworn catharsis of Nowhere To Go and Former Glory, the mellow velvet of Brandy Alexander or sweet, blithe moments such as The Idiot Boy and Sneak Out The Back Door, but he really scored with the blushing old school romance of Love Shines, Secret Heart, Deepens With Time and Nowadays, all of which felt like timeless standards.

With such riches at his fingertips, there was really no need to stray beyond his own catalogue, but, in recognition of “another big rock star” in town, he and his sterling band covered Springsteen’s Factory. Sexsmith’s gig may have been the more modest, but it was huge in heart.