Amy Macdonald – Live Review

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Amy Macdonald, ICA, London – February 2nd

Looking slight and distinctly sparkly, Amy Macdonald stepped onto the stage of the boxy ICA Theatre on Tuesday night to applause from her sizeable fanbase – her first album shifted an impressive 3 million copies so she’s not short of admirers. On Tuesday though, it was all about her new album A Curious Thing which is due out in March with the odd track from This Is The Life thrown in to get everyone singing along…

The first thing that struck me was that she looked like a young Jill Half’Penny, currently treading the boards in the West End’s Legally Blonde; the second was the thumping bassline of intro track An Ordinary Life, in which Macdonald sang about wanting just that but with such a distinctive voice, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. The new material didn’t deviate too much from the folk-pop with a Celtic frosting she’s been peddling since her arrival on the scene three years ago and while admitting nerves in playing the new tracks live, there were few kinks showing as she rattled through a set of melodious storytelling with highlights included Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over, This Pretty Face and the delicious I Got No Roots on which she started stripped down to just her and her guitar.

As she got into her stride, the Scottish singer also laughingly confided that she was glad to be back on Scot-comprehending soil, “because in Germany or France, they can’t understand a word I say.” In contrast, the London crowd hung on every word, especially the permed giant who insisted on flailing limbs whenever possible and often when strictly not. In an age of electro-pop divas, Macdonald is a breath of fresh air who sings from the heart with not a GaGa-style gimmick in sight. At only 22, she is to folk-pop what Paolo Nutini is to blue-eyed soul – it’s a good time to be a Scottish troubadour.

(Clare Lydon)

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