Monday, 6 May 2013

Tom McRae - Live at The Sage, Gateshead [6th May 2013]

[2013.05.06] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

As the final red sunset of the Bank Holiday weekend burns through The Sage's glass exterior, smartly-dressed families and couples peruse the merchandise stand. With options such as Tea-Towels with lyrics on, and Baby T-shirts, there seems to be a harmony between the artist and audience as to what point in life they have reached together.

Numbers are considerably reduced in Hall 2 as SWANN (a trio realising singer-songerwriter Chloe Swann) open proceedings. She performs haunted by the spirit of Nico and with her last note applause registers far beyond politeness. 

The room fills up, and McRae walks on to hearty applause. The tone is set with Lately's All I Know, balancing well-written songwriting with performance tricks from a seasoned sleeve. Along with the dry-wit of his miserablist introspection, he bonds 99% of the audience. Sadly one attendee may have enjoyed too much sun over the weekend and chose to bellow along with every word; the excellent acoustics of the room meaning often they were as loud as McRae. He was humble in trying to diffuse the sabotage, but sadly the etiquette took a duration for them to learn, in spite of the crowd and himself opposing it more and more pointedly. In closing, McRae acknowledged such challenges as part of a live experience, and the audience were admiring of the bravery he showed throughout the show.

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