It has only been a few months since Amy MacDonald was last plying her trade in the Royal Festival Hall, but the all-conquering Glaswegian wunderkind has returned to the capital to deliver another rousing recital.
The support act comes in the apt form of the peppy Ben Montague, whose own brand of upbeat acoustic pop goes down well with the early arrivals. But Montague’s reception is nothing compared with the passionate praise Amy receives for simply arriving on stage.
The set list may not be an enormous departure from her last London show, with 4th of July, Poison Price, and L.A. launching the audience into a thrilling first half hour before her solo renditions appear, but it’s no less enjoyable for it.
There is an allure to Amy MacDonald that is never more apparent than in a live environment, and it extends far beyond her abundant folksy charm and even beyond her evident knack for crafting a catchy tune. She possesses an innate quality that the predominantly middle-aged crowd seems to genuinely adore. And after a night in her company it’s not hard to see why.
Amy is an accomplished musician, as are the band members flanking her. Her ear for stirring arrangements, perhaps best displayed in tracks like The Game, is undeniable, and the acoustics of the regal Palladium serve her sound remarkably well.
The warmth she extends to the crowd through her extended song introductions is returned through constant clapping, sing-a-longs and, to quote Amy herself, “the good kind of bad dancing”.
Ironically, the one song that best epitomizes both Amy and the concert itself isn’t found on any of her three albums. It comes in the shape of a delightful cover of Jackie Wilson’s 1967 soul classic (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher. It’s a great moment that sits perfectly alongside Amy’s own tracks, steeped in enduring optimism.
As the evening’s proceedings draw to a close with This Is the Life and Life in a Beautiful Light it would take a hard heart not to warm to Amy MacDonald and the bliss she so plainly and effectively brings to so many.
Photos: Adam Imiolo
For further information about Amy MacDonald and future events visit here.
Watch the video for 4th of July here: