Amy Macdonald @ St John At Hackney 25th November 2012

The Little Noise Sessions 2012 came to an end with a spectacular set by Scottish singer/ songwriter Amy Macdonald. I arrived at the church around 3pm to find myself being the 2nd person there. 3 hours later the doors then opened and then it was an hours wait until the first act of the evening took to the stage. Just like the 1st night, hosting the evening was Jo Whiley. The first act took to the stage around 7.50pm and this being Swedish born Karin Park who I actually really enjoyed. Although this was the 1st time I had witnessed her she was not a new artist as she released her debut album in 2003 and now Karin is up to her 4th album. Park is definitely want to see again. She actually reminded me of Robyn and what she sung Electro Pop. The 2nd on the night was Newton Faulker who got the call at the last minute as Keane (Tim Rice Oxley and Tom Chaplin) had to pull out because Tom had lost his voice. He was actually doing his DIY at the time. I am not a massive Newton fan but I really enjoyed what was sung including his cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Amy Macdonald took to the stage around 9.40pm and opened with the current single and this being 4th Of July. I found this to be both beautiful and uplifting. This tune is about Macdonald’s love for New York City and the 4th of July is Independence Day in the U.S. Actually this was a really upbeat and infectious track which was faultlessly delivered. It was then straight onto Spark. This was rather pacey with lyrics that were delivered to perfection. Spark was a hit with the rest of the audience as everyone clapped along in unison throughout it. “I’m so happy to be here to help raise money for such a good cause. Thank you so much for coming down this evening. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks in Germany on tour. Yesterday we actually played a gig in the mountains of Austria outside at 7 “o” clock. So it feels nice to be able to feel my fingers and actually not be freezing. What a strange strange life. This next song we’re going to play is the 1st kind of proper single that I ever released back in 2007” Macdonald said before getting stuck into Mr Rock & Roll. This infectious song had pacey upbeat verses which were delivered to perfection. This tune easily got me moving. Amy breezed though it at ease I really liked its middle 8.

“We’re going to do a song from my new album. This is a track that sounds a bit different from songs that I usually sing. I wasn’t sure about putting it on there” Amy said before The Game. This song tackled the difficult prospect of fame that comes hand in hand with a successful music career. The Game was an epic song which was both incredible and powerful at the same time. “I know this next song I’m going to play has been a big hit in Poland. So you should know all the words. I hope you do. This next song its got. After every chorus there’s a little refrain. I always find it sounds really cool if everyone sings. Even if you’re tone death you blend in with everyone’s voices. It makes you sound OK” Macdonald then said to the audience. There were fans from all over Europe in attendance. What came next was Slow It Down. I found this to be utterly contagious, delivered at a fast pace and it also has killer lyrics “I guess I’ve been running round town leaving my tracks, burning out rubber, Driving too fast but I’ve gotta slow right down, Back to the moment the very start, from the very first day you had my heart but I’ve gotta slow right down”. Everyone sang along to its chorus.

“We’re going to do something a little bit quieter now. This is a song from my 2nd album. On the record it’s kind of big and bold and really loud. But we’ve totally stripped it back so this is a new 2012 version” Macdonald said before her new reworked take on Give It All Up. Amy had placed her guitar down for this one and what was showcased was Macdonald’s impeccable spine tingling vocals. This was delivered at a steady pace which sounded so entrancing.

“Did you all enjoy the Olympics? I enjoyed the Olympics, I was very fortunate that I was able to be there at the very end and sing as all the athletes were finishing their parade around the city. I felt so honoured to be there. I felt like a complete imposter standing next to Chris Hoy ‘cos we had absolutely nothing in common” Amy said before getting stuck into Pride which she performed at that parade. This beautiful song was written about when Amy performed to 50,000 people at Hampden Park. Pride was a cheery infectious song which had lovely verses aided by a luscious chorus “’Cause I’d move mountains if you asked me to, I’ll swim the seven seas, I’ll be the one to hold your torch again, I’ll do anything you asked of me”. It was then straight onto Run. This was a flawless song and it was delivered sublimely. My highlight had to be the chorus which was rather mellow. Actually it was really infectious. Once over Amy introduced her band which received lots of applause. “This next song that we’re going to do for you is a song that I wrote when I was about 17 I think and I wrote it in my bedroom. I’d been banished to the bedroom because of the crazy way that led to illegally going into nightclubs with my sisters ID” Macdonald said before singing This Is The Life. A song which she wrote when hungover and under age. This pacey song was a mixture of Folk and Rock which was a combination which worked wonders. This Is The Life was played at a furious pace and it oozed plenty of energy.

Ending the evening was Life In A Beautiful Light which was also the name of the 3rd LP. I found this sublime tune to be rather beautiful and its mellowing lyrics were infectious. Once over Amy and the rest of the band left the stage only to return minutes later as people were wanting an encore. “Thank you for having us. Its been a pleasure to perform for such a good cause as well” Macdonald said before starting the encore with The Furthest Star. This song sent shivers up my spine and showcased Amy’s vocals perfectly. The Furthest Star was mellowing and it was delivered at a steady pace. “Everytime we do a show, the guys and I all sing the most ridiculous songs. Tonight it was The Birdie Dance and we all done the dance together. Previously its always been this next song. So many people heard us singing it and they all said we should do that live” Amy said before launching into her all time favourite songs and this being Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher. I must say that she made this song her own. The vocals were powerful and plenty of soul oozed from it. This outstanding event was then rounded off with Let’s Start A Band.

SET LIST

4th Of July
Spark
Mr Rock & Roll
The Game
Slow It Down
Give It All Up
Pride
Run
This Is The Life
Life In A Beautiful Light

ENCORE

The Furthest Star
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
Let’s Start A Band

OVERALL: This was an incredible night and my love for Amy just grows and grows. Every song that she sung was superb and her music just makes you feel happy inside.

As for the supports Newton Faulkner was a nice little treat whilst Karin Park is someone I would like to witness live again.

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