Amy Macdonald – The ‘Love Love’ Tour, Manchester Apollo

Seeing an artist you like once is pretty impressive. Seeing them three times in a year is something special.

Amy Macdonald is an underrated singer in this country. Mention her name in Switzerland and there’s a frenzy – she plays huge outdoor festivals and accompanies symphony orchestras in Germany. So why is it that she can’t fill an average sized theatre in Manchester?

Her avoidance of the media probably is key to this. As she opened her eighteen strong set with An Ordinary Life she makes it clear that she never wanted fame. “I don’t care about the camera; I don’t care about the lights”. Her voice is quick to fill the room, its strength capable of holding any note.

Poison Prince was next in the firing line. Similar subjects are approached once again; with this Pete Doherty inspired number featuring some enthusiastic tambourine playing from a new addition to the band: Owen.  

First album favourites LA and Youth of Today are normally greeted with tame, appreciative crowds yet tonight one drunken heckler decided to offer a passionate interpretation of the latter. He stood up from the seated audience and enthused “We are the youth of today” with his shirt half open and beer in hand. It’s not a scene that’s often associated with the Scottish songwriter’s fan base but he was clearly enjoying it nonetheless.

Love Love and Mr Rock and Roll got the entirety of the crowd on their feet before Amy introduced a song that she admitted she’d shied away from of late. Before the opening chords of Footballers Wife, Amy made it clear that she was not oblivious to the irony but was a bit fed up of being asked the same questions about the topic. She stated that she is not a WAG as she buys her own clothes and owns her own house and when you consider the football team her fiancé plays for you can truly establish the fact that Amy is anything but a WAG.

An onslaught of songs from A Curious Thing followed. All were performed to Amy’s usual high standards with anecdotal stories being told between them in typical Amy fashion. She spoke of performing This Pretty Face on Switzerland’s most popular TV show which just so happened to be a ‘Next Top Model’ style contest hence the permanent smile fixed on her face during the performance. Similarly she entertained the crowd with the story of her mother’s suggestions for an album title – apparently “2010” was her mum’s favourite which Amy dismissed calling it unoriginal only for Prince to later release an album of the same name.

Reverting back to her first album’s hits, Amy finished the first part of her set with Run and This Is the Life before disappearing from the stage. The crowd clapped her back on for her encore in which she pulled out her cover of Born To Run as a solo performance before her band joined her for What Happiness Means To Me. Being the keen fan that I am, I was surprised when Amy left the stage to applause without finishing with Lets Start a Band. It was clear that I wasn’t alone in thinking this so we cheered once more and before we knew it the band had returned once more to finish the set in the way that leaves audiences still wanting more.

Whilst I wasn’t sold on the two encores (surely making one three song encore would have been just as adequate?) I still find it hard to fault Amy as a live performer. Her voice was as strong as ever and with her longest tour ahead of her (tonight was the first night of the Love Love Tour) I expect that it will maintain its strength.

So whilst she may not have crafted herself into the most mainstream artist, she will always have an audience who are eager to listen to what she has to offer. And maybe one day Britain will appreciate her in the same way that our continental cousins do.

Set list:

An Ordinary Life
Poison Prince
LA
Youth Of Today
Love Love
Mr Rock n Roll
Footballer’s Wife
Spark
This Pretty Face
Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over
Troubled Soul
Give It All Up
Next Big Thing
No Roots
Run
This is the Life
—————————
Born to Run
What Happiness Means to Me
—————————
Lets Start a Band

 

Amy Macdonald
The ‘Love Love’ Tour
O2 Manchester Apollo
19/10/10

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3 comments so far

  1. Stephen on

    Nice review!

    I’m seeing her on Sunday. Can’t wait. Your right that the UK does not appreciate her.

    I hope she plays this setlist on Sunday, There isn’t an Amy song i dislike, but the ones she left out are probably my least favourite ones 🙂

    Stephen.

  2. Paul Campy on

    Glad you got to see her again, but I know what you mean about the repeat encore thing – maybe just a little cliché’d these days, especially with Let’s Start a Band’s absence until then.

    Listening to the live CD that accompanies a version of A Curious Thing, you realise how different her live voice is to her recording studio voice. As much as I love seeing her live, I sometimes find her on-stage deeper voice a little forced.

  3. Yvonne on

    I’ve also seen her three times a year, in Glasgow, London and Oslo. she is amazing: DI Bill seats for the concert in Glasgow was sold out. And I think they were in London too. So she is bigger over there than here in Norway. But anyway, I can not understand why she is not bigger in the UK and other countries such as Norway, Sweden +++… Did you bought the CD from this concert? If so, how is it? Sorry for my English … Greetings from Norway


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