Music review: Kiefer Sutherland

Actor/musician Kiefer Sutherland
Actor/musician Kiefer Sutherland
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Glasgow loves its country music. And presumably its teen vampire flicks and tense real-time espionage thrillers too, because not since David Duchovny graced this stage 12 months ago has there been such eager curiosity to see a screen superstar out of water.

ABC, Glasgow ***

Lost Boys/24 star Kiefer Sutherland has donned stetson and turned his hand to raspy rootsy rocking in the last couple of years, and it transpires that he possesses a pleasingly gruff bluesy baritone, not a million miles away from Bob Dylan in its conversational phrasing.

Sutherland knows his genre. He had the good taste to sing his love of the outlaw country singers – Cash, Kristofferson, Haggard, Nelson – with his own pastiche number Shirley Jean and a barrel-load of drinking and misbehaving songs such as the mildly maudlin last dance of Not Enough Whiskey and the Allman Brothers-style heavy roots rocker Down in a Hole.

His songs are not spectacular – meaning that they could at least bear comparison with much that filters out of Nashville these days. But there was a ring of authenticity to his performance, which is either the product of writing from grim experience, or really good acting.

He filled out the rest of his set with a brace of credentials-establishing covers, including Merle Haggard’s honky tonking The Bottle Let Me Down, Lone Justice’s Ways to Be Wicked, Tom Petty’s brawny rocker Honey Bee and Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, which he prefaced with a lovely story about his dad’s free-spirited approach to parenting.