Willie Nelson in Scotland (Review)

FIONA SHEPHERD

WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY ****
SECC, GLASGOW

THE aircraft-hangar proportions of Hall 4 at the SECC would not be the obvious first choice of venue for a rendezvous with the unshowy Willie Nelson. For the perennially laidback Nelson and his instinctively drilled musical family, though, size wasn’t an issue. Nelson’s warm, worn, conversational vocals invited the listener closer, so it felt as if he was only ever at arm’s length, rather than a figure to be squinted at from a distance.

Although Nelson famously never sings a song the same way twice, there was familiarity and comfort, even a degree of conservatism, to his bumper setlist, which all but ignored his most recent albums, including Songbird, his latest collaboration with Ryan Adams, in favour of standards such as Blue Skies, Georgia On My Mind, All of Me nd Stardust, which he could sing with his eyes closed (maybe he did – it was hard to tell from the back of the hall).

For all his enduring outlaw persona, the 73-year-old Nelson was at his most affecting on a succession of tender, open-hearted love songs such as Valentine and Kris Kristofferson’s A Moment of Forever. There was urgent shush-ing in the crowd, the better to contemplate Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, then total silence for his utterly penitent rendition of Always On My Mind, but the audience needed little encouragement to chorus softly on Amazing Grace. No surprises then, but much to soothe and delight.

This article: http://living.scotsman.com/music.cfm?id=155552007

Leave a Reply