Austin expat Alejandro Escovedo was in a nostalgic mood on his latest visit to Glasgow, reminiscing about his Texan punk roots with the clear implication that things ain’t what they used to be. However, he generally saved the indulgence for the delivery of an often blistering rootsy rock’n’roll set. Fortunately, the audience was also of a mind to indulge.
Alejandro Escovedo ****
His support act/backing band, Don Antonio, had earlier disproved their own theory that Italians can’t play rock’n’roll with a twisting take on Suicide’s Jukebox Baby riff, and there was plenty more to get their teeth into with newfound kindred spirit Escovedo, whose set encompassed classic rhythm’n’blues strutting, glam rock stomp and even an unexpected dub reggae infraction during the opening bluesy prowl Can’t Make Me Run where the burnished blues rock licks were worked up into a freakout squall.
Almost every song was dispatched as if the climax to the set but just when it seemed as if the sax injection and Neil Young-like guitar wrangling on the heroic, sprawling, freeform workout Sally Was a Cop could not be topped, a cover of Springsteen’s Always A Friend brought that natural uplifting energy that is a hallmark of the E Street Band.
Liberated from the usual club curfew, Escovedo returned for a heavy encore rumble but also showed off a softer side with the Latino-fragranced torch balladry of Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep.