11

Feb

Live review: Ray LaMontagne @ Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Gigs aren’t usually memorable for their silences. During the gaps that exist from the end of one song and the start of the next RAY LAMONTAGNE said virtually nothing to a 2,500-strong crowd who hung on his every word.

The silences made a handful of individuals so uncomfortable they couldn’t help but fill the void with the kind of embarrassing heckling that reminds you why Glaswegians should be banned from radio phone-ins. This is how the banter flowed about six songs in…

Glaswegian woman 1: “Say something, Ray!”
Ray: ” ”
Glaswegian woman 2: “We love you, Ray!”
Ray: ” ”
Glaswegian woman 3: “Hi, Ray, how are you?”
Ray: “Hi.”
[Euphoric applause]
Glaswegian man 1: “Do you know any Bob Dylan?”
Ray: “Sorry, I can’t help you.”
[Crowd goes bananas]
Glaswegian man 1: “Any chance you could play Jolene again?”
Glaswegian woman 2: “Any chance you could shut the fuck up?”
[Ray leaves the building]

Perhaps he just wanted to save his voice for what it is renowned for – enchanting songs like Burn In My Skin, Jolene and Trouble. And he sure belted them out with passion and gusto, stomping his right foot onto the floor like a petulant teenager. Ray LaMontagne certainly won’t be the last man to take the contents of his tortured heart and empty it into lyrics, but few make you feel every pinprick of emotion like he can.

However, such is the inherent perfection in that voice and the aptitude of the American’s backing musicians, his songs come across as carbon copies of the studio versions. Clearly this is a good or a bad thing depending on whether you want your live performances to faithfully reproduce the originals or be a bit more spontaneous.

If, like us, you’re in the latter category then you’ll probably understand why it was The People who provided the main talking points.

4 Ray LaMontagne – Achin’ All The Time
4 Ray LaMontagne – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)

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