Tom Petty, king of grainy-voiced freeway rock, who died last year, was more than given his due at this effusively affectionate tribute hosted by Roddy Hart, whose Lonesome Fire – notably lead guitarist John Martin – proved a sterling house band to back performers – too numerous to fully name-check here – from both sides of the Pond who stepped up to sing their own material and Petty’s.
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Among the more predictable covers, some real surprises included the slight figure of Sierra Hull, toting a mean mandolin and neatly applying her Tennessee drawl to Southern Accent, and, at the piano, Londoner Nerina Pallot demonstrating a startling vocal range before coming to the front for Petty’s Wild Flowers.
Glasgow’s own (and snazzily suited) Rab Noakes closed the first half with the all-out rock and roll of the ultimate freeway song, Runnin’ Down a Dream, while the duo of Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae delivered a real highlight with Learning to Fly, couched in those circling guitar chords and biting slide.
There was the bluesy growl of Lera Lynn’s Breakdown, while Nova Scotia’s Joel Plaskett brought a holler from the heart to Even the Losers and joined effusive fellow-Canadian Leeroy Stagger for Refugee and The Waiting.
With everyone on stage for I Won’t Back Down and … what else but the anthemic Free Falling, it was left to Hart and his band to close the night with a suitably upbeat account of American Girl.