Amy MacDonald @ ICA 2nd February 2010

London welcomed the triumphant return of Scottish Singer/ Songwriter Amy MacDonald. The venue of this gig was the intimate ICA which only had a capacity of 350 people. As you would of expect this night was a complete sell out. After seeing Amy at a sold out Roundhouse it was so nice to see her in a intimate setting. One which didn’t have a barrier for photographers. After having toured the first album for about a year Amy returned with material from the new album. The support was provided by Leicester born Jersey Budd. The set was 9 songs long but it went by so fast. I really enjoyed the set and all the tracks were taken of the debut album Wonderlands. He is definitely worth checking out. My favourite song on the night was Shotgun Times.

Some people say the second album is always the toughest as you have to live up to the first. Well most of Amy’s set were new songs that are taken from the forthcoming album A Curious Thing. All in all there were 10 new tracks, 1 cover and 4 oldies. Hearing the new tracks for the first time I can say they are absolutely amazing. Amy does have one corker of a album. Amy made her entrance to An Ordinary Life. The band were already on playing the melody and when Amy made her entrance there were screams. Amy comes on wearing a black sparkly dress. It is an extraordinary song which is fast in pace. My favourite lines are:

“I don’t care about the cameras,
I don’t care about the lights,
All I want is for an ordinary life”

This song is then followed up by another newie this being Love Love. It is a nice pace song you can tell Amy is enjoying herself performing her new songs to the public. After it is onto fans favourite This Is The Life. This was the title of the debut album. It is a fast paced song with a chorus you just want to sing along. It was nice to see that the old songs hadn’t been neglected after Amy had been touring the first album for ages. This Pretty Face is a steady paced song but strong at the same time. When the song progresses the pace picks up. Give It All Up was next and again it is taken from the forthcoming album. Like with all the songs Amy delivers this song perfectly. I cant wait to hear the album version of it. Old song Mr Rock & Roll follows and this is a nice song with a brilliant beat and it is slight up tempo. Following on is Next Big Thing then Spark which are both taken from the forthcoming album. As for Next Best Thing I quite liked the song but I would like to hear it again. Sparks is a brilliant song which has a fast pace. It is both strong and powerful. The rest of the audience loved this song as when it was finished there was a rapture of applause and cheers. Before starting the next song Troubled Soul Amy mentions that she previously did this song with a choir so it’s a semi new one. Now this song is different compared to the previous ones as it is played at a steady pace right till the very end. It is a song which Amy delivers beautifully. The final new song on the night being I Got No Roots. The song is powerful and starts off steady pace but as soon as the drums kick in and Amy starts singing the pace is cranked up. The title of the album forthcoming A Curious Thing features as a lyric in this song.

The final two songs on the night being tracks from the first album. At first it is Run then it was onto one of my favourites Let’s Start A Band. I love the verses and chorus of this song. It may be steady paced but it is ever so strong. Amy’s vocals are so powerful she delivers the song perfectly. Well after the song Amy and the rest of her band leave the stage only to return minutes later. Returning are Amy and keyboard player Shannon. This would be the first song of the encore. The song being one of Amy’s favourite tracks to cover Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen. When Amy said the song she would sing there were cheers and for some reason some person decided to boo. Well this song is outstanding. All the audience participated in singing the song. Having 350 fans chanting this song sounded so surreal. Her version of this song was faultless she did this cover justice. Everyone else enjoyed this song as well. What Happiness Means To Me which was the penultimate encore song was also new. Again this was sung just by Amy and Shannon on keyboards. Now this is such a beautiful song with amazing lyrics. I found it nice that when Amy finished the rest of the band came on and they played a instrumental for 2 minutes. The final song being the forthcoming single Don’t Tell Me It’s Over followed on straight away. Now this is a nice fast paced song. Amy career in the music industy is far from over based on the new tracks I heard.

SET LIST

An Ordinary Life
Love Love
This Is The Life
This Pretty Face
Give It All Up
Mr Rock & Roll
Next Big Thing
Spark
Troubled Soul
I Got No Roots
Run
Let’s Start A Band

ENCORE

Dancing In The Dark
What Happiness Means To Me
Don’t Tell Me It’s Over

OVERALL: My favourite part of the set by Amy had to be the encore. Just hearing solo and acoustic Amy singing was amazing. My favourite song had to be What Happiness Means To Me. That song is completely sublime. Well the other new tracks were fabulous as well and I look forward for the release of A Curious Thing on 8th March. The thing I love about Amy’s performances is the banter with the crowd. She said that it was good to be back in the UK after having toured Europe. Amy said about when in Europe and she says something to get the audience to laugh, well the Europeans laughed at the punch line. As for the Germans they just didn’t get it as they did not understand a word she said. Also on the night Amy mentioned it was nice to play the new songs. Where as they were new to us the band have known them for four months. Amy was slightly nervous and had the wobbles because it was new material but when she got stuck in the nerves went and she sailed through a 15 song set. When I last saw Amy live I mentioned about changing guitars which were exactly identical. I know now the reason why it is to get them all tuned for the next song. From the 10 new songs sung A Curious Thing is going to be one hell of a album.

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