Sometimes, just sometimes, the stars align and for a minute or two and you feel like the luckiest guy on the planet. Well, that was me, that was how I felt walking out of The Glasgow O2 Academy at about half ten on Friday the 10th November. A blistering night of music and stories from Liverpool songwriter Jamie Webster lit the fire to help take the chill out of a cold night in Glasgow’s south side.
Now, my only knowledge of the latest scouse troubadour to take Glasgow by storm, was that he led the chants of the Anfield faithful as Liverpool conquered Europe in Madrid 2019, and sealed their first English premiership title in 2020. Cover versions, football chants and a healthy loathing of the current Tory government and their policies, in fact probably Tories in general.
My 15 year old son has become a huge fan of Webster’s music since I first introduced him to his sounds when then European champions Liverpool played Napoli at Murrayfield in 2019. Since then he has been an avid fan and listener. So when I picked up 2 tickets for the O2 in the day of the gig – you can imagine, he was buzzing.
From the lights being dimmed to the strains of Fatboy Slims “Praise You”, the raucous Glasgow crowd needed no invitation to launch into a chorus of “Here we, Here We, Here We Fuckin’ Go”. As Jamie and the band strolled on stage, he was given the welcome akin to a champion returning to his home town. The stage was set and the O2 was crackling just waiting for that switch to be flicked.
The opening chords to Voice of the Voiceless sent another charge across the Glasgow crowd.
I cant speak
I cant dream
I cant change it so you see the world like me
But there’s a pulse
So still I try………….
The O2 just erupted.
From in front of the stage, to the balconies and behind the bar – the euphoria exploded. There were no voiceless there, it was a united chorus, movement and cause. Make no mistake, there was Something in the Air, a synergy that flowed the entire night.
Jamie gave a breath-taking performance along with his band. A brilliant set list ranging from his early song writing days and cover versions, to his collaboration with Billy Bragg and his most recent album kept everyone lucky enough to be there in the palm of his hands.
The gig passed way too quickly, 18 songs including the encores were perfect.
I walked into the venue not knowing any of the songs or what to expect, the playlist my son made for the drive over was my only gauge. I walked back to my car after the gig with a spring in my step and a wish to relive the entire night again.
It looks like I’ve got some catching up to do with Jamie Webster songs and I honestly cant wait. If like me you’re new to his music I promise you wont be disappointed.
Martin Donaldson is a Glasgow East End Bhoy, He made my first trip to Celtic Park in 1983 for a 0-0 draw with Brechin City & thankfully that never put him off going back. He now sits perched high in section 409 of the North Stand with his 2 kids making memories along the Celtic Way.
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