In BBC Scotland’s recent history of Scottish pop, Rip It Up, Roddy Frame was an odd omission, given he can claim over 30 years as a cult singer songwriter and a clutch of proper big hits in his ‘80s Aztec Camera days. Perhaps it was down to Frame’s long exile, or just his laid-back schedule these days, but certainly his sporadic live shows have become a solid fixture in Glasgow at least. Frame was the first act to play the now fire-ravaged ABC O2 venue and on Saturday he became the 50th to play the rejuvenated Kelvingrove Bandstand, closing this year’s Summer Sessions.
Roddy Frame, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow ****
Saying he reliably puts on a good show sounds like faint praise, but it’s always a surprise to see how this slight figure can completely command an audience with charming banter (and Billy Sloan jokes), wicked guitar-playing and songs ranging from the tenderly wispy to the sing-along banger. As well as the expected favourites, he debuted a new song, Twilight, which though presumably not inspired by the vampire novel told a tale of destructive love over a deceptively gentle tune.
His gorgeous cover of Inside Out by Jesse Rae – who did feature in Rip It Up – and snatches of other songs, leading to an impromptu crowd version of If You Leave Me Now, highlighted his influences. But Frame’s own classics, the #MeToo-presaging How Men Are, joyful Oblivious and the yearning Killermont Street, closed another strong show as he cheerfully signed off with “See you in another few years”.