ThomasOShea's current selection is:
It's All About You
by Edwyn Collins
You 'Wyn Again

Edwyn Collins at Arts Club, Liverpool | Saturday 7 September 2019

Heading into the final two songs of the main set - the hits in 'A Girl Like You' and 'Rip It Up' - Edwyn decides he's had enough of being sat down and wants to sing these standing up.

His consequent (and eventually successful) struggle to get to his feet using one arm, a walking aid and a bit of assistance from a roadie brings to my mind the following Manic Street Preachers lyric: "A cripple walks in a straight line/An imitation of dignity" - from despair to where indeed.

That Edwyn is still with us at all, let alone recording and performing, having suffered and survived two cerebral haemorrhages in 2005 is of course a wonder in itself, and he is nothing but stoic and dignified in the face of his adversity.

Whilst the speaking voice inbetween songs is perhaps hesitant and more deliberate, the spark and wit of his mind is intact and his singing remains remarkably strong, belying his obvious physical frailties, perhaps making it all the more remarkable that he's undertaking a 15-date tour of the UK and Ireland in the space of a little over three weeks - Saturday's show marking the exact halfway point as gig number 8 - before heading over to Austria for four more at the end of the month.

No wonder then that he announces on his return to the stage for the subsequent encore that "I'm exhausted...I'm exhausted".

Luckily, the opening song of it is one of the most reflective of both the evening and the new album Badbea in 'It All Makes Sense To Me' - unfortunately, it takes a couple of increasingly irritated shushes from the stage to quieten down the ignorantly chattering conversationalists in the crowd before its delicate strum can be commenced.

Suitably becalmed, the audience are then serenaded with the title tracks of both the latest LP and of Home Again, completed and released in 2007 after his recovery, ahead of the evening's concluding number right from the start of his career in Orange Juice's début single 'Falling And Laughing'.

After completing his singing on the latter, Edwyn took his final leave to a rapturous reception, one also afforded to his excellent cast of supporting musicians once they finished playing and also departed.

Earlier in the show, there was also an additional contribution from Edwyn's son William, who provided vocal assistance on 'In Your Eyes'. Whilst he certainly has the look of a younger version of his father, his own voice is somewhat different and higher pitched, leading to a fine contrast between the two and a compelling performance that would have moved even the stoniest-hearted of observers, much like the gig as a whole.

The Possibilities Are Endless? Perhaps so, but time is maybe starting to be at a premium to realise them.

(8/10)

#GigAntics (Returning for the busy forthcoming autumn/winter season!)
2019 - AED Records - United Kingdom
Posted: 9th September 2019
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