Ben Howard, Hydro, Glasgow ***
The decision to dedicate his main set exclusively to a chronological rendition of his less familiar new album, Noonday Dream, was a single-minded sign of how much Howard cares for giving the audience what they want.
Despite a full muscular rock band backing, plus synths and strings for that arena- friendly celestial swell, there were moments when the carefully sculpting of sound tipped over into a navel-gazing exercise and the sound of crowd chatter could be heard over the band.
Touching, tender moments emerged from the ether. The mournful lament All Down the Mines dovetailed into a sombre cover of Cat Stevens’ Wild World. The folky melody of There’s Your Man was pepped up with a propulsive Krautrock-influenced rhythm and the mellow vocoder incantation of Murmurations was a lovely, if low-key, set-closer.
Finally Howard threw fans a couple of encore bones in Black Flies, his only offering from Every Kingdom, which was greeted like no other song, followed by the measured canter of In Dreams. - Fiona Shepherd