James Grant – Edinburgh

James Grant at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh 29th of May 2015.

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James Grant has been a force to be reckoned with on the Scottish music scene for decades now. Love and Money released four outstanding albums from 1986 to 1993 including the classics “Strange Kind of Love” (1988) and “Dogs in the Traffic” (1991) before splitting up in 1994. James Grant’s first outstanding solo album “Sawdust in My Veins” was released in 1998 and since then he has released four other albums including the essential “Strange Flowers” in 2009. In 2011, Love and Money reformed for a one off show during the Celtic Connection festival in Glasgow but due to the success of the event, the band carried on to release a new album called “The Devil’s Debt” in 2012 and “Strange Kind Of Love (Live in Glasgow 2011) in 2013. Since then James Grant has continued to tour as a solo artist and released sporadic tracks on download including the beautiful “Work of Art” in 2013.

On the 29th of May 2015, James Grant returned to the Queen’s Hall to delight a crowd with songs from his solo albums and Love and Money’s back catalogue. As always, James Grant is a charismatic performer and gifted musician who enraptured the audience with his humorist storytelling and dry Glasgow wit. However at the core of any James Grant concert is the exquisite songs. Without a doubt, he is one of Scotland’s finest and most underrated song writers. The audience responded to each song like a reunion with a dear old friend. This is not surprising when you consider many of these songs have been part of people’s lives for years. The songs have become the soundtrack to the hopes, dreams and disappointments experienced by his fans. An evening with James Grant can become a truly cathartic experience, allowing the listener to enter a space where the aspiration of youth and cynicism of experience are reflected on but you still leave the concert hall with a warm comforting glow.

During both parts of the concert, James Grant treated the audience to some jewels from his solo albums including the beautiful but bleak “My Father’s Coat” from 2009 “Strange Flowers” and “Jacqueline’s Shoes” from 2006 “My Thrawn Glory”. He also opened with the sublime 2013 single “Work of Art”. The concert also featured many of the classic Love and Money songs including “Halleluiah Man”, “Walk the Last Mile”, “Jocelyn Square” and the title track from 1988 classic album “Strange Kind Of Love”. Songs from the outstanding album “Dogs in the traffic” were also featured heavily in the show including “Winter”, “Whisky Dream” and the divine “Lips Like Ether” which still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Hearing the songs presented in this stripped back form made me realise just how bloody good they are. With just his voice and an acoustic guitar these songs managed to entrance you throughout the whole show.

Like a fine malt whisky, James Grant just keeps getting better and better with age. I can’t recommend investigating his back catalogue or catching him live highly enough. As a music fan, these are songs you live to hear and the concerts that make you remember why music has become a truly spiritual and emotional experience to you.

Malcolm.

For upcoming concert dates, tickets, music store, videos and links to social media and his journal visit jamesgrantsongbook.com

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