Live Reviews

  Collette McKendrick live at The Hold in Glasgow

The streets are quiet. It might well be nearly Xmas but there are no signs of merriment on the street. This is normally the time of year for the amateur drinker. Let off the leash but once a year, he (or she) embarks on a quest to find freedom through the excessive consumption of alcohol. All much to the detriment of the professional drinker.

The Hold is a venue unknown to BluesBunny. Situated under the Admiral bar, it has a small stage and Kronenbourg Blanc. A classy beer for a classy performer called Colette McKendrick. She takes the stage.

Colette McKendrick

For those accustomed to simplistic, programmed, repetition of modern popular music what follows would surely prove a culture shock. We have an actual band playing here. We have tempo changes mid song. It all works. Ms McKendrick leads the band through "Peter Pan's Biggest Fan". It will be the first single (if such a thing still exists) released off the album Etheria. BluesBunny goes misty eyed at the thought of 7" 45rpm vinyl.

"Stylish Funerals" is a fine example of why BluesBunny likes Ms McKendrick. Sharply observed, almost acidic, lyrics show her ability to give insight to the human condition. Whereas the song highlights the pretensions of a successful life, Ms McKendrick has an understated stage presence that does not shout "Star!" But it should. She is the real deal. "Find Me" washes over the small but appreciative audience and leaves them wanting more. She finishes with a song called "Kangaroo". Nice one.

Ably supported by her backing band, she has produced a remarkably complex and rewarding collection of songs. Almost cabaret at times, she clearly values the contribution of her fellow band members. BluesBunny has often thought that jazz was complexity without regard for music. Here we have an artist that uses complexity to hold our interest in her music.

Colette McKendrick is the commentator on our suburban lives and has created something for those of us who value intelligence in our music. When reviewing her album, BluesBunny was tempted to ponder on the possibility of a musical from Ms McKendrick. After seeing her live, BluesBunny began to think that she would write a rock opera. Perhaps a Tommy for the 21st century?

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