Music review: Amy Macdonald, Hydro, Glasgow

Amy Macdonald may have joked about “getting her Adele on” at this homecoming show, but she really does have a strong enough voice to fill a venue the size of the Hydro, writes Fiona Shepherd

Amy Macdonald PIC:  Roger Deckker
Amy Macdonald PIC: Roger Deckker

Amy Macdonald, Hydro, Glasgow ***

The biggest homecoming concert of Amy Macdonald’s 15-year career has been a long time coming – partly because of the steady growth of her profile, but also because of the pandemic.

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Now her moment had arrived, she made the most of the larger canvas with a huge curtain on which to beam panoramic shots, mostly of a VisitScotland sweeping vistas nature, celebrating Skye’s landscapes as a backdrop to a new souped-up arrangement of Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over, but also projecting classic images of Manhattan to accompany The Hudson, which memorialises her parents’ youthful escapades in New York. She even brought her own ticker tape shower for Mr Rock and Roll, long earmarked as a fan favourite.

Beyond the standard arena playbook, there was little new to report. Macdonald remains as down to earth and upbeat as ever, thanking her travelling European fanbase and teasing her home crowd to elicit a noisier response. But there were no grounds for hysteria in a set where a brief foray into a higher vocal register on Run was about as adventurous as it got.

Her latest album The Human Demands has at least delivered the sturdy, driving Celt rock of We Could Be So Much More and Bridges, though the title track was served up as a bit of a sonic soup.

Macdonald and band dutifully stripped back a couple of numbers for the time-honoured acoustic interlude, but came roaring back with indie stomper Poison Prince, the rousing nostalgia of Statues and the breezy optimism of This Is The Life.

Token big ballad Never Too Late was reserved for the encore but, while Macdonald may joke about “getting her Adele on”, her rendition was a reminder that she has a voice to fill this space, while the big finish of Let’s Start A Band was an opportunity for her band to let loose with some unabashed rock riffing.

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