Live Review

Edwyn Collins, ABC, Glasgow

Edwyn Collins’ status as a hero is assured.

His son William, the spitting image of his father, joins the band to provide backing vocals for ‘Too Bad (That’s Sad)’, a Motown stomper. He stays to provide guitar for ‘See It In Your Eyes’. His mother, Edwyn’s partner and manager Grace Maxwell, is spotted by the stage, beaming at her boys. Edwyn loses track of the lyrics to ‘Losing Sleep’, but he is perhaps still a little overcome with paternal pride.

Singing comes easier than talking and Edwyn carefully announces all the song titles in lieu of much other banter. He jokes that “the Glasgow crowd is quite hard going” and prefaces new single ‘Dilemma’ with an assured, “It’s great! Northern Soul I suppose.” A fair description. He must miss playing the guitar, but is so generous to his band that he calls out their names for their solos and takes pleasure in every moment.

On his feet for ‘Rip It Up’ - “30 years. Imagine that!” – it still sounds like a solid gold classic and is treated like one. Walbourne is handed a saxophone for the solo break and does it justice. Then, ‘A Girl Like You’, with its indestructible riff, finishes the main set and has Edwyn waving his stick in salute as he leaves the band to rock it to a conclusion.

A gentler acoustic take on ‘Home Again’ and then ‘Blue Boy’ with its galloping beat. “It’s a good song,” remarks Edwyn, “a little bit dated in places,” but he has no need to be modest. Closing with ‘Don’t Shilly Shally’ Edwyn Collins’ status as a hero is assured.

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