26/10/2010 | Amy MacDonald – Hammersmith Apollo, London

Lisa Ward

Amy MacDonald arrives to greet a diverse audience and whilst her dress is a dazzling number adorned with sequins, her set is as varied those which gaze upon the stage. Whilst at times her up tempo songs and easy banter go a long way to confirming why both albums have spawned success in the charts, the set is sadly as sporadic as her single success. As she opens with An Ordinary Life, which merges straight into Poison Prince without so much as a change in tempo, it’s clear to see the crowd adore her and as they clap and dance it’s hard not to get swept along for the ride.

Nevertheless as she jumps into the more rocky Love Love there’s a sense that her voice is somewhat shaky and that she’s almost battling with the volume of the band, but this doesn’t deter the festive spirit of the audience, which transforms into a sea of faces singing along. For someone who feel in love with almost every track on This Is The Life I can help but find slight disappointment with the newer songs. Whilst Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over and No Roots are brought to life with the addition of strings (a treat for the London audience alone) they simply don’t have the ‘instant hit’ factor that songs from This Is The Life contain.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Amy to sweep me off my feet and seduce me with her live performance and with the older songs she definitely had me ready to declare undying love. But the newer songs, in comparison, seemed to be something of a passionless fumble in the dark. It’s to my delight then, when she punctuates the middle of the set with the Killers inspired Run and the passion fuelled Youth Of Today. Markers of Amy’s song writing power and ability to create pop songs with a difference it’s clear why on leaving some fans described it as ‘the best gig of their life’.

Indeed, her closing numbers which included a cover of Springsteen’s Born To Run and the epic sing-a-long Let’s Start A Band mark her apart from many contemporaries. Nevertheless her decision to repeat Love Love complete with jazz clarinet accompaniments from Max Rushden of Soccer AM might have been comical but it seemed almost uninspired. A Curious Thing, is perhaps aptly titled then and whilst Troubled Soul and This Pretty Face are goose pimple worthy, I’m ultimately left to literally wish for something more.