In an industry where pyrotechnics and expensive sets are ten a penny it was great to be able to go to a gig where the performer’s voice needed no elaborate accessories.
Sandi Thom shot to fame seven years ago when ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker’ hit number one and her debut album went platinum but her show at The Maltings on Monday proved that she isn’t just a flash in the plan.
Although her post-2006 material hasn’t made as big a dent in the charts, she’s now on her fifth album, meaning the Henry Travers Studio audience were treated to a whistle stop tour of her back catalogue so far.
Opener ‘‘Help Me’ set the tone for the evening as Sandi combined her guitar skills and vocals to great effect.
And what a voice she has! She didn’t need big belting power ballads to showcase her vocal prowess; songs like ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘Runaway Train’ did the job just fine.
What was so good about the gig was Sandi’s willingness to share the stories behind the tracks.
‘The Shape I’m In’ from her second album ‘The Pink & The Lily’ was introduced by a tale of Sandi being evicted from a L.A hotel after 50 Scottish men were found naked in the pool while ‘The Human Jukebox’ , one of my personal favourites from her set, was preceded by a tale of a karaoke singer from a bar Sandi frequented when she moved to London.
As well as cherry picking songs from her own repertoire to impress her Berwick audience, Sandi also covered tracks by artists that had inspired her , cue gaging takes on Foo Fighters ‘Times Like These’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’.
The intimate space of the Henry Travers studio was ideal for an artist like Sandi.
Her raspy vocals filled the room and held her audience’s attention from start to finish.
I could here mumblings of ‘isn’t she amazing?’ and ‘wow she can really sing’, around me- both fully deserved critiques .
To some she might be the singer of an annoyingly catchy song from a few years ago but to anyone who had the pleasure of being in her company on Monday night, Sandi Thom was a woman who knows her craft and has come a long way since singing about flowers in her hair.
After an encore of the touching ‘Last Picturehouse ‘ Sandi took her bows, looking like a singer safe in the knowledge she’d done a good night’s work.