Lynsey Ure

12:45 28th May 2008

London based, Pete Du Pon was tonight’s opening act for Amy MacDonald’s homecoming show. Presenting a short but sweet set that showed great vocal talent, complimented by acoustic guitars, cello and soft drums. Pete played tracks from his recently released EP ‘Lost’, including the title track and ‘Tell Her’. Producing harmonies and instrumentation which have comparisons to Turin Brakes, Pete and his band captivate the early comers to the show. Finishing on a high note by playing a beautiful cover of Green Day’s ‘Basketcase’. His vocal is rich and Pete makes the track his own.

Julian Velard is an extremely enthusiastic performer, which appeals to the “pop” fans among the audience. His Brooklyn charm and comedy amused the crowd as he performed a short set of cabaret numbers including ‘Love Again For The First Time’ and future single ‘Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen’. With stage props and all the fun of the fair, Julian had the qualities to be a budding Mika. Julian is a real crowd pleaser as he teases with stories of the tour “ … 9 hours sleep is a novelty yaaaa alll, my girl Amy is aaaa paaarrttyy animal…”
And as the sound of Bagpipes and drummers fill the Carling Academy, everyone knows its time for our local lass to make her appearance. Amy has a full band and a feeling that tonight’s is about showing she can rock and roll as much as the next. ‘This is The Life’ is her opening number and immediately allows the Glaswegians find there voice. Amy plays songs from her debut album including ‘LA’, ‘Poison Prince’ and ‘The Youth of Today’, which she explains is her oldest song written only 6 years ago. It really brings it home to the audience how much this young woman has achieved in the past few years. Her vocals mirror the image of a mature and wise woman, with similarities to fellow Scots vocalists, Shirley Manson and Sharleen Spiteri. ‘Mr Rock and Roll’, her biggest hit to date, has the crowd dancing and cheering as she sings “….Rock chick of the century/Is acting like she used to be/Dancing like there's no one there/Before she never seemed to care…”.
Amy plays only a couple of new tracks explaining that its hard to find time to write as she spends most of her days stuck in a bus with 13 sweaty men. “We invent games though, lemony chuck is our latest, basically chuck a lemon and catch it on a knife…” she “blethers” away to the crowd, feeling very at home. A new offering came in the shape of a song called ‘Your Time Will Come’. The track shows that Amy’s lyrics are maturing as she ages, however with bursts of energy from vocals and guitars, it’s clear that it is an Amy Macdonald track. Using her powerful voice, she makes a classic her own as she covers Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in The Dark’, singing solo with acoustic guitars allows her voice to be the centre of attention. Amy explains that she is a massive fan of The Killers’ and talks of how she wrote ‘Run’ as she could imagine Brandon Flowers singing it.

The encore came in the shape of traditional Scottish song ‘Caledonia’, which has the Carling Academy drown out Amy, “… Oh, but let me tell you that I love you/That I think about you all the time/ Caledonia you're calling me/And now I'm going home..”. Joined quickly by her full band again, Amy kicks out a fantastic version of her idol’s, The Killers ‘When You Were Young’. Her vocal being so powerful and deep in tone, she at times shows comparisons to Brandon Flowers vocal. Full of energy from the band and the audience, this proves to be a real highlight of the evening. Finishing the evening with ‘Barrowland Ballroom’ explaining that although other venues in Glasgow were great, there will be no other venue as special as the Barra’s.