Gig review: Trey Songz, Glasgow Academy

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WITH a run of three top three albums in the US and another trio of sold-out dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo fresh among his career highlights, it seems the legend of Trey Songz – 28-year-old Tremaine Neverson of Petersburg, Virginia – is taking time to work its way north.

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The balcony was closed at Glasgow’s Academy and the ground floor was noticeably long on space around the edges, a strange situation for a guy whose core audience seems to consist of drooling women in their late teens.

Backed by a full live band, Songz created music which was an entirely serviceable combination of R Kelly’s soulful power balladry and Tinie Tempah’s futurist R’n’B, with a small but heavy-handed hint of 50 Cent swagger. Clearly, this was music for one form of romance or another, from the glossily yearning epic Simply Amazing to the machismo-drenched Bottoms Up via Heart Attack’s comically impassioned declaration that he “never knew love would hurt this ****’n bad.”

It wasn’t a bad show, an entirely predictable but professionally produced tribute to the shaven-headed Songz’ smooth but gritty vocal and his tattooed biceps. It ended on a sour note, though, when he plucked a young woman from the audience and proceeded to nuzzle her neck, place his gold chain on it and instruct her to wait backstage.

She wasn’t complaining, and that’s what was depressing.

david pollock