Gig review: Tanita Tikaram / Al Lewis Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow

IT MAY come as a surprise to the many who have not been following Tanita Tikaram’s career since her debut album Ancient Heart that she still has a career at all.

Tanita Tikaram / Al Lewis

Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow


In fact, she has released seven further albums in the ensuing 25 years – to diminishing commercial returns, it must be said – including her current offering Can’t Go Back.

Now 43, Tikaram no longer sounds old beyond her years. Her husky alto remains a distinctive instrument and you might say that her adult-oriented pop is now age appropriate.

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Backed by a talented trio of stylish jazz cats, she launched straight into an acoustic rendition of her first hit Good Tradition, garnished with Celtic soul saxophone and sounding relatively chipper in the subsequent light of the set.

New songs Dust On My Shoes and All Things To You ambled along in easygoing Americana style but, generally, she favoured her cautionary tales, often presenting love as a minefield or a baffling curiosity. So much so that her signature song, Twist In My Sobriety, has been translated into Chinese, she informed us, as I Have A Problem. No wonder she needed to clear the air with a sing-a-long encore of Love Is In The Air.

Opening act Al Lewis was an endearing presence though his music was strictly prosaic yet pleasant singer/songwriter fare in English and Welsh, with a mild dusting of angst on the title track of current album Battles.