Gig review: Bob Dylan


THE SECC is a familiar battleground for Dylan's Scottish fanbase. The vast expanse of Hall 4 is required to accommodate their numbers every time old Bob rolls around on his Never Ending Tour. But the object of their ardour still has no interest in tailoring his show to fit an arena.

So his band of dudes, boasting a fine collection of headgear among them, occupied a relatively small space in the centre of the stage, lit by modest muted spotlights and, bizarrely, the occasional dappled or stripey projection which appeared to have no relevance to the performance.

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As usual, Dylan just needed to turn up to win over the crowd, who cheered enthusiastically at the very sight of his harmonica, even though his playing was, at best, as louche as his appearance. The opening salvo of Maggie's Farm and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right were relatively straightforward but then the Dylan guessing game began as familiar tracks were reworked to an almost unrecognisable degree – scuppering the crowd's efforts to sing along to Like A Rolling Stone.

The set recovered from a mid-show dip to end with a dynamic encore, which encompassed a powerful All Along The Watchtower, the dinky country swing of Spirit On The Water and a cosy rhythm'n'blues version of Blowin' In The Wind with Dylan shimmying about oddly in front of his keyboard. Like his decision to play nothing from his brand new album, Together Through Life, it was best not to ask, but just go with the flow.

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