Amy Macdonald at St John at Hackney Church
Taking to the stage in the packed Hackney church, Amy Macdonald and her band delivered a stripped-back and reworked acoustic set of her classics as well as new tracks from her latest album. With ten years of experience under her belt, the multi-award winning singer-songwriter delivered a powerful and engaging performance that saw the entire crowd on their feet by the time the last song came around.
Macdonald opened the gig with a track from her very first record, Run, and quickly followed into The Rise and Fall. These reworked acoustic sets “are how the song is meant to sound” she said, before they go through the studio process. Giving the concert a sense of youthfulness and originality, but coming from such a seasoned artist, served to make the experience all the more enjoyable.
The acoustic set didn’t stop the Scottish artist from delivering an energetic and dynamic rendition of her wildly popular 2007 single Mr Rock and Roll, which had the entire venue out of their seats and on their feet. The ever charismatic Macdonald was keen to interact with the crowd, even offering to take on the “fun police” who were telling off people for dancing on the church’s pews.
Up next was the self-proclaimed “love song to America”, Fourth of July, which the singer jokingly said she had rewritten to be a tune of lament since the Trump election; this was met with a round of laughter and applause from the audience.
The soft and soulful acoustic version of Down by the Water almost made it feel like we were right at the start of the Scot’s career again, hearing her music exactly as she intended it to be heard. She followed up with her best-known song, This Is the Life, and from the first chord the fans packed into the little East London church knew they were in for a treat.
By taking her music back to its roots, and reworking her classics into these acoustic versions, the singer has been able to build on her ten years of experience to deliver a strong but equally passionate and refreshing performance. The only shame is that this was the last show of the tour.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit the Amy Macdonald website here.
Watch the video for Down by the Water here: