Amy Macdonald - The London Palladium

A sold out London Palladium was the host venue for tonight’s eagerly awaited gig from Amy Macdonald, currently in the middle of a European tour and continuing to enjoy the success of her third studio album Life in a Beautiful Light.

Support came in the form of the up-and-coming Ben Montague, celebrating the release of his second album Tales of Flying and Falling. Ben’s sound is perfectly charming pop, with well-focused lyrics; certainly plenty of radio-friendly numbers to be had, with highlights including ‘Liberty Road’ and its endearingly catchy chorus doing wonders in warming up the crowd. Montague also proved to be a capable storyteller, injecting his set with a nice balance of humor and humbleness as he thanked Amy for inviting him on her tour. A fun chap indeed, who should hopefully rise higher from here.

Amy and her band then entered stage to rapturous applause. As with Life in a Beautiful Light she opens with the blistering ‘4th of July’. Vocals are on perfect form, her band are tearing it up, and it’s clear that tonight is going to be very special. From the local Glasgow pubs of her early days, to the subsequent festivals and iconic stages such as this, Amy has clearly come a long way in honing her craft.

There’s a sense that the live circuit is where her heart truly is as she continues belting out hit after hit with her soaring vocals, which do well to outmatch her studio recordings. It’s the kind of passion that’s best reserved for the stage perhaps, as she showcases a winning command over her audience. As the set progressed through numbers such as ‘Slow it Down’ and ‘Sparks’ the seated crowd leapt out of their seats to clap along and dance; it took a little warming up early on, mind you, as Amy - somewhat jokingly - didn’t seem convinced that she was in for a memorable evening, but the punters heeded the call and made the show all the more fun.

The setlist was varied, as the band mixed up old and new, throwing in some re-worked tracks to suit some acoustic cool-down time along the way. Keeping with her Bruce Springsteen adoration she would sing ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and later took on a cover of Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’, which she happily reminded us featured in Ghostbusters 2.

Much of the charm of tonight’s performance came from her continual crowd interaction, displaying a welcome candor as she told amusing anecdotes, with light back and forth banter. From talking Scottish stereotypes and Irn Bru as a perfect hangover remedy, to explaining the influence behind some of her songs and her recent appearance on Top Gear, Amy was a fun and lively girl, more than up for some general piss-taking. A powerful show all round, you’d be hard pressed to find much better at the moment. See her if you can.

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