Sunday, 15 June 2014

Edwyn Collins

Edwyn Collins (With support Colorama) 

@ Òran Mór Glasgow 15th June 2014

14th December 2013 was the last time I saw Edwyn (at the Kid Canaveral Xmas Baubles event in Portobello, Edinburgh) so this was an opportunity to see him back performing in his old stomping ground in Glasgow. 
Òran Mór was packed with a real mix of ages - from the grey haired crumblies in their 1970s Postcard T-shirts (that were now too small) to the skinny-jeans teenagers that bagged the front-of-stage spot from the start. 
The band took the stage to much applause, but as Edwyn wasn't with them, there was a slighty muted response. Someone in the band said "Quiet in here tonight" and the obligatory wag in the audience shouted back "Give us a tune!" and they did - launching into a quite a funky jam with plenty of chucka-chucka guitar and fine bass and drums. 

From the back left hand corner, we could see Grace, Edwyn's wife, helping him up the small set of stairs to the stage. He made his way slowly, amidst rapturous applause, to the centre of the stage and parked his bum on the monitor speaker. 

"Hello nice Glasgow people" he said as the crowd cheered.

Carefully he said "Falling", "And", Laughing" and we were off on a wonderful trip through old Orange Juice classics, post-Orange Juice numbers from Gorgeous George, Texas Fever and Hope and Despair and a lot of more recent tracks from his later albums Home Again, Losing Sleep and the wonderful Understated (which is currently still in the running for the Scottish Album of the Year)

Next they moved quickly into "What Presence" with a lovely saxophone backing from Sean Read and some nice controlled guitar from Dave Page. We'd already had some impressive guitar from Dave Page as part of Colorama, the support act, but he really shone in Edwyn's band. 
Dave Page and Edwyn

Edwyn introduced the band slowly and with a few mistakes "It's called aphasia" he said explaining his halting speech. The crowd didn't care - it was just great to see the smile on his face as he was obviously enjoying being there with an adoring audience.

The band were: Paul Cook ex Sex Pistols (drums), Andy Hackett (guitar), Sean Read (saxophone, keyboards, backing vocals), Carwyn Ellis (bass), David Page (guitar) - Ellis and Page had previously strutted their stuff as one half of the support act Colorama.

Andy Hackett

Highlights for me were Make Me Feel Again from Gorgeous George, Wheels of Love from Hope and Despair and Forsooth from Understated. Edwyn introduce Forsooth as "Very Velvet Underground" paying homage to his early influences. 
Forsooth - Velvety Underground

They rattled through some more excellent old and new numbers, before Edwyn said "And now our first, no... second single -  Blue Boy". The band were firing on all cylinders as they launched into Blue Boy, followed by Rip It Up and of course A Girl Like You - everyone was jigging, even the crumblies. Edwyn was standing for the latter two numbers, and looking happy as I've ever seen him.

That was the end of the first set, and Edwyn slowly left the stage while the band jammed on for an up-tempo extended finish to A Girl Like You. Then they too left the stage. It was pretty close to 10pm, the Oran Mor shut-off time, but the crowd wanted more.... and kept on cheering and clapping. The stage manager ran on with two chairs and plonked them either side of Edwyn's monitor-cum-seat. Then on came Carwyn Ellis and David Page with acoustic guitars, closely followed by the man himself. Big cheers!

They got themselves settled and performed two really beautiful acoustic numbers - Low Expectations and Home Again.  The stripped back nature of the performance really showed the quality of the songs - possibly my favourite part of the whole gig.
That must be the end we thought. It's past 10pm, but the rest of the band came on, Carwyn and Dave swapped back to their electric instruments, the chairs were removed.... and Edwin said "Felicity" 

Off they went - a real driving version of Felicity followed by Don't Shilly Shally - the small Oran Mor venue was jumping.

Finally it was time to finish. Edwyn raised his cane to wave goodbye, but the low ceiling over the Oran Mor stage stopped him making his farewell gesture properly. The band drove on with Shilly Shally - finally Paul Cook brought it to a drum crash finale and the house lights came up. Edwyn said "Goodbye Glasgow, see you again....sometime.... soon" 

Really look forward to it Mr Collins!

Set-list was:  
Falling and Laughing
What Presence
Make Me Feel Again
Poor Old Soul
Wheels of Love
Dying Day
Losing Sleep
Blue Boy
Rip It Up
Girl Like You
Acoustic encore with Ellis and Page:
Low Expectations
Home Again
Full band encore:
Don't Shilly Shally

The support was...


Colorama are currently on Edwyn's AED Record label and are led by Carwyn Ellis (Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar and Bass) with Luca Guernieri (Drums)  David Page (Guitar) and Andrea Garbo (Bass) - Ellis and Page were to return as part of Edwyn's band.

Recent releases - "Good Music" LP 2013 and "Heaven’s Hotel" EP 2014 on AED Records

I didn't know any of their tracks in advance of the gig, but really liked the first couple of songs. The level of musicianship (is that a word?) was obvious, and they were a fine warm up for the main man. I think I need to review some of their material online.


  1. Great write-up. You missed your vocation !

    1. Thanks Ian - praise indeed from the man who's reviews inspired me to put words on a blog page - appreciated

    2. Thank You - but you really need to start working backwards now - preserve those memories.

    3. Haha! too late - they're already gone.