We went to see Tom McRae at the Melkweg last night. I’ve been aware of him for quite a few years but never really got around to listening to any of his music. The gig was reasonably good – and very much enjoyed by the core of dedicated fans up at the front. His five piece backing band was pretty tight, and the cellist taking on the role of lead guitar was impressive. But in general I wasn’t grabbed by many of the songs – and I found the overall sound to be a bit too clean and maybe over-produced.
From what he was saying his music seems to have a reputation for being pretty depressing, but I didn’t find it to be so. And he had some nice humourous exchanges with the band and the audience. Three stars from me.
As a side note, McRae’s rhythm guitarist, Brian Wright, was the support act. I don’t think he’ll be setting the world alight as a songwriter, although he did have some clever lyrics in places. What was notable was his reaction when a portion of the audience continued to chatter quite loudly throughout his set. He got a bit annoyed and made a few comments on- and off-mic. The thing is, surely it was his job to win them over…and if he couldn’t then he should have just performed for the people that were listening. Instead he served to put everyone on edge by getting annoyed about it – and ironically the people bothering him probably didn’t even notice as they were too busy talking!