BillCallahan_byHanlyBanks

Well it certainly is cosy down in Glasgow’s ABC for the concluding weekend of Celtic Connections which presents Bill Callahan and backing band to this capacity crowd. The lights are out, the bars are closed* and the band arrive onstage who all seats except for the namesake towering above them standing in the middle of the stage on an elevated pedestal**.

Although not widely known outside of ‘indie’ circles, Bill Callahan has built up quite the following over the years by sticking to whatever he wants to do, allowing people to take notice through their own will. Judging from those throngs of folk in attendance tonight this approach certainly seems to have worked for the man!

Opening with the first track ‘The Sing’ from ‘Dream River’, this seemed to forecast how the remainder of the evening would go as the majority of the set consisted of tracks from said album. Which the crowd seemed to deem acceptable with their polite ovations though it wasn’t until ‘Dress Sexy for My Funeral’**** from Callahan’s previous project Smog that he was met with an elevated display of audience appreciation.

At points the audience were so enamoured by Callahan’s baritone delivery that a whisper would came across as a shout. With little audience interaction except for the occasional sardonic banter which proved to be a highlight for me in what would have otherwise of been a sombre and serious evening***.

On the whole this was sober but soothing gig on the whole but with the intimacy of the show proving to be an odd counterpart to the size of the venue that it was taking place in. Not exactly a rousing Saturday night and not particularly mind blowing but still the man is good at what he does, just maybe not what I’m into. One man’s coffee is another man’s whisky after all*****….

*at the insistence of the man himself which led to bewilderment and resentment from more than one member of the audience.

**Soapbox anyone?

***It didn’t exactly lead to the most uproarious Saturday night but it’s the little things.

****The highlight of the night.

*****That’s if you got served before they closed the bar of course…

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