Live Reviews

  Stephanie Manns, Laura Healy, Kenzie Mack, Chris Glen live at The Liquid Ship in Glasgow

The world goes round and round and you end up back where you started and, if you look at it from a gravitational point of view, then you should be grateful that you didn’t just fall off. Anyway, it wouldn’t be Friday without finding myself in a basement again. At least I wasn’t the only one there as Stephanie Manns, Laura Healy, Kenzie Mack and Chris Glen were supplying some musical entertainment.

Showing deep concentration and burning with affected intensity was Chris Glen. Glasgow, as we all know by now, does not suffer from a shortage of such one man and a guitar type entertainment and Mr Glen quickly proved himself worthy of joining the ranks of his anodyne contemporaries.

Moving on to Laura Healy as the times, and mood, were a-changing. It is said that good things come in small packages and the petite Ms Healy was a case in point. She had a band with her but it was her voice that took ownership of the basement tonight and, clearly and justifiably confident, she sang the kind of songs that people would actually want to play in their cars. Has Ms Healy got what it takes to achieve commercial success? I reckon so.

The unenviable task of following Laura Healy fell to Kenzie Mack. With only a guitar to keep her company, she appeared to suffer a case of faltering confidence with consequent effect on her performance and she was clearly a lot more comfortable with her own material than with her unadventurous choice of covers.

Last on was Stephanie Manns and she proved to be a fine way to end an evening as she brought both sparkle and a ukulele to a set filled with intelligent, thoughtful songs.  Her ukulele was clearly her new toy and it was used to neatly counterpoint her curiously fragile yet confident voice. That confidence – and it is key to a memorable performance – extended into her inter song banter that provided her with both a framework for her songs and an opportunity to muse on the unforeseen consequences of getting reviewed.

A final thought. There are times when I wonder if I should do the poacher turns gamekeeper thing and pick up a guitar. Perhaps not, as I’d only ever write songs about barmaids.

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