John Grant at The Usher Hall with the Royal Northern Sinfonia


the view from the very, very back row of the upper circle of the Usher hall

the view from the very, very back row of the upper circle of the Usher hall

Oh my Lord.

You know when bands hire six cello players to play on TV programmes like Later…with Jools Holland and it’s quite good?  Adds a wee frisson?

Well try touring with your six piece band and a 26 piece (est.) orchestra.  Now, that’s more than a frisson, that’s a full blown “When Harry Met Sally” moment.

Actually much more than a moment.  This was two hours of ecstasy in a world class acoustic venue.

I saw John Grant on the Park Stage at Glastonbury this year and he was my joint favourite act (alongside Massive Attack) but that was rock and roll/clubland electronica.  This was very different.

He has enlisted the help of Fiona Bryce to score his first two albums and at least four new songs and jeepers, the results really are quite remarkable.

In particular the Wagneresque (although I think he claimed it was Rachmaninov) opening to Pale Green Ghosts that literally blew the audience away.  Glacier was truly astonishing.

Contrast that with “But I am the greatest motherfucker that you’re ever gonna meet from the top of my head down to the tips of my toes on my feet” and you get the measure of the man.  He’s electrifying.

He’s also humble.

It was a rare treat tonight and I feel honoured to have shared a night with him.

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