Live Music Reviews

  Susanna Macdonald, Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete, Emma’s Imagination, Rob Sproul-Cran live at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow


I hate daylight. There are no surprises in it. No shadows for life's unexpected moments to hide in as it's all there for you to see in glorious Technicolor. You don't need night goggles. You don't even need to eat lots of carrots. Further hampered by a serious case of sobriety, the call of the basement was just too strong to resist. The world - or at least some of its many wonders - can be found in the basement. Reckon I'll find some words there too.

A few songs from Rob Sproul-Cran start off the evening. A man and an acoustic guitar is not an uncommon sight these days but a voice such as his is not. Easily moving between the high, clear tones of a folk singer and the gritty growl of a rocker, his short set passed way too soon.

Then a standard lamp appeared on the stage. One woman, a guitar and a chair also appeared. But a standard lamp is not something you often see. Possessed of a serenely confident voice, Emma's Imagination - actually the stage name of Emma Gillespie - warmed the room. Reminiscent of Laura Marling, she captured, and indeed entranced, the audience.

louise mcvey

Talking of the voice of a soul stealing siren - we were, weren't we? - that would lead a man to crash his soul on to the rocks of eternal torment leads me on to Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete. Only tonight, it was Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete that got tormented with the brief and bizarre appearance of a miniature heckler. Someone once said that this band would find a home on the soundtrack of a David Lynch movie but this was one nightmare the band could probably have done without.

Susanna Macdonald - a national treasure in my humble opinion - rounded things off in her inestimably dramatic way. Promoting her new album "Some Misconceptions" had given her a reason to venture from Edinburgh to west coast and replete with top hat and an array of electric toys, she looped and swooped through her set with the highlights being the mildly psychotic "Here Comes the Maniacs" and the cabaret closer "The Whole Shebang".

I know that apples and oranges are but what, pray tell, is a cranberry. This sobriety thing had led me to consume a variety of squashed fruit drinks, you see. She told me it was a real fruit but I don't ever recall seeing one in Asda. She wouldn't make such a thing up, would she?



Reviewer:
Review Date: April 21, 2010


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