CONCERT REVIEW: Ian Donaldson, The Admiral Bar Glasgow, 7th Oct 2019

Ian Donaldson - Admiral Bar - 7th October 2019

Photo Credit James Edmond

On the backstreets of Glasgow on the outskirts of the financial district of the city, in the downstairs venue of The Admiral Bar, a packed house was waiting for frontman of Glasgow band H2O to take to the stage.

The night started off with local band “The Tufty Club“, 4 piece comprising of two acoustic guitars, bass and beatbox playing original songs and covers that were enjoyable, the talented band, who started the night off with a brilliant set of songs and gained great support from the audience throughout, thus increasing the atmosphere and temperature in the venue, the capacity filled venue was geared up for Ian Donaldson and his band to take to the stage.

After a short break the background music reduced and the band took to the stage before the man himself was given a brilliant reception before the opening chords of “Ticker Tape Parade” from his debut solo album “From Stars We Came” released 2018, an immense song to kick start the show, the venue bursting at the seams, enjoying the distinctive vocals of the H2O frontman. As Ian explains the show will be old and new, delighted the Glasgow audience. They were treated to the songs and accompanied by his band of talented musicians, little encouragement was required as the audience were singing word for word to his set featuring classics from back in the day to new songs that are at the forefront of his set including “You Take my Breath Away”, “Street Car Desire”,”Let Love In” and “Success” with help audience members.

This was the point in the set that from the back of the venue to front, Ian had them singing and dancing along to the songs, you could see from the band and Ian’s smile on their faces, this was going to be a night to remember for a long time to come. The opening of “Turn on your Radio” set the scene for the middle of the set, before “I Dream to Sleep” from H2O back in the 1980’s, this was good to hear, but the audience were more than happy and singing along to Ian’s new music that stands high with “Angel Pale” and “From Stars We Came”.

As Ian introduced his latest song, this was greeted with excitement with the audience who were intrigued to hear it performed with the band, “There Are Days”, is a beautiful song with lyrics resembling a song about your life. The song opens with a beautiful musical intro before Ian speaks the opening lines before the band kicks in to deliver a powerful background to Ian’s vocals. This was truly the highlight of the show, gripping the audience with his passion and emotion.

The show concluded with “Faraway Place”, “Just outside of Heaven” and the excellent “Blue Diamond”. As some of the band left the stage, Ian said “Forget that coming on and off”, he called the band back to perform one last song with a rendition of one of Ian’s heroes, a David Bowie classic in “Rebel Rebel” , before the band left the stage for the final time, and thanking the audience for attending.

This was a show that would go down in memory for years to come, from a true gentleman performing new and old songs in his home town to a sold-out venue in the back streets of Glasgow.  

Review by Karen Edmond & Photography  by James Edmond