I first saw Blair Dunlop when he was the support act for Matthews Southern Comfort about five years ago. I was immediately struck by both his ability and his maturity. Now in 2017 he is headlining his own "Gilded" tour and last Friday came to the delightful Yorkshire Town of Selby.
Despite being a very small venue, the atmosphere was electric and Blair's performance will have undoubtedly thrilled all present, both existing fans and new devotees.
The evening opened with Somerset singer Kitty Macfarlane. This delightful young singer opened her set with an unaccompanied West Country song. A very brave thing to do for any performer but the lack of accompaniment allowed the clarity and power of her voice to soar and become evident to all at the venue. Her set was fairly short but exceptionally well received none the less. She is definitely a young artist to watch out for.
Blair's set with his three piece band, Fred on Drums and Jacob on Keyboards, was based mainly on his recent album "Gilded." He saved "The Egoist," played extensively on Radio 2 last year, for his finale but in between the audience were treated to a musical walk along Blair's' "extensive back catalogue." His words not mine. With superb finger style guitar playing and the occasional use of a Fender, the whole set was delivered with humour and a maturity way beyond his years. Kitty joined the band for one song at the end of the evening allowing Blair to practice his skills as a session musician, her voice perfectly complementing the band's style of play.
It is apparent that the band is not only a set of musicians in complete musical harmony, but one that also seems to have a great time on stage. Most certainly Blair does and his easy going manner makes for a memorable evening.
I reviewed "Gilded" in 2016 and thought then, and still do, that it was one of the standout albums of the year. I feel the same about his stage show and would encourage anyone who likes good music played by a future superstar to go along to a show. I guarantee that you will have a great time.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many gigs we can get to. We'd really like to expand our national coverage of the live scene as it remains the life blood of music.
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