DANIEL POWTER **
KING TUT'S, GLASGOW
YOU could be forgiven for thinking that Daniel Powter - the perpetually hat-wearing Californian singer/songwriter who had a Bad Day earlier this year and had to bring everyone else down with his horrible song - is another of those whiny middle-of-the-road troubadours in the David Gray/ James Blunt tradition. But no, he is a whiny, middle-of-the-road troubadour of a disturbingly chipper disposition, who is evidently so gosh-darned happy to be here with us delightful drunken Scots that he says corny things like "this is like my living room, so as far as I'm concerned you are my family", before cheerily introducing a song, Jimmy Gets High, about how he and his friend used to get messed up real bad on drugs and have no purpose in life whatsoever (he replicated the torture of drug addiction by singing in a painful croaky falsetto).
Whatever next? A light piano number about domestic strife? Actually, yes. "I wrote this song [Lost on the Stoop] about your parents f***ing you up." He laughed unnervingly from underneath his skip cap. "Mum and dad, this is for you!" Unsure how to react, the audience reverted to the default setting of loudly proclaiming their love for Powter while filming him on their mobile phones.
Despite the apparently dark subject matter, there was little trace of angst nor melancholy in Powter's music. From the sound of his conventional pop tinkling, he is a big Billy Joel and Elton John fan. There were even shades of the mighty Ben Folds on recent single Free Loop, one of the better tracks in a brief set mainly infested with mediocre heart-on -sleeve piano ballads but boasting one relatively rollicking upbeat number. For dessert, he covered the Cure's Just Like Heaven, slowing it down and drawing it out until all the charm of the original was excised. But even if you'd told him Christmas was cancelled, Powter couldn't have been happier.