THE current commercial face of Nashville flashed its pearly whites at a receptive Glasgow audience, as one of two concurrent Country to Country package tours hit town.
Lady Antebellum/Kip Moore
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
The raspy-voiced, musclebound and backwards baseball-capped Kip Moore affected a hard-living stance but his music was as safe and generic as it comes and, on this outing, delivered without much conviction. His lyrics celebrate the simple pleasures of the porch party, but musically this is where country meets arena rock, and all quite a long way from the downhome culture he is depicting (along with so many other good old guitar-slinging boys).
Headliners Lady Antebellum are a marginally different shade of country beige, though, initially, they seemed just as keen to document fuzzy nights out on opening number Bartender and freewheeling kicks on Our Kind of Love. But soon enough they broke out the bland ballads, such as the laboratory-tested sentiment of One Great Mystery, fuelled by clichéd expression and soft rock backing.
With their groomed looks and practised moves, the frontline trio of vocalists – Hilary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – beamed professionalism. Selfies with the front rows, posing with small children, going walkabout in the crowd were all just part of the slick service.
Their perfunctory cover of Islands in the Stream only highlighted their lack of vocal character. In this, they were matched by a proficient band who threatened to drown out banjo, mandolin or anything else which might have added texture or interest to their formulaic Nashville sound.
Seen on 05.03.15