Monday, 15 April 2013

Steve Mason @ King Tuts, 9th April

 By his own estimation, Steve Mason is operating at about 80% strength tonight due to a lousy start-of-tour cold. But, he adds, “that’s still enough to level most people to the ground.” The lurgy may steal away vocal range and leave the Fife songwriter gulping lemsips between songs, but it does nothing to diminish the set’s overall impact, with tonight packing more clout than most performers dream of.

Naturally, Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time’s wings are clipped for the live setting, the album’s sprawling outreaches trimmed to fit a four-piece band: that means no choirs, no raps, and no ambient stretches. But none of that diminishes the sweep of Oh My Lord; the tender pleas of A Lot of Love; or the flinty anger of Fight Them Back. Mason seems relaxed throughout, trading banter with a spirited crowd and just about keeping his coughs out of the microphone. If he really does have another 20% in reserve, his next visit should skirt magnificence.

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