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AIMEE MANN, O2 ABC, Glasgow

Praise the Lord, and pass the plastic glass of over-priced lager, but the seating had been banished from the former cinema on Sauchiehall Street for the last-but-one date on Aimee Mann's Charmer tour, co-opted in to the Celtic Connections programme.

The festival had also made the date a value-for-money evening with her regular support Ted Leo (the pair's partnership extends to duetting during each other's sets) appearing before Canadian singer-songwriter Amelia Curran in a three-hour triple-bill.

Sad to say, that started to seem like a long night about two-thirds of the way through Mann's set, which had a real end-of-tour, over-tired feel to it. Now in her 50s, there is something distant and stand-offish about Mann's manner, accented by those chiselled cheekbones and the slightly cold "Thank you so much" that acknowledges the applause after each song. The only time she approaches any sort of warm rapport with the audience – and the gig is both packed and adoring – is when she plays her songs from the soundtrack of Magnolia and muses wryly on her Oscar defeat at the hands of Phil Collins.

Her most recent album is understandably heavily featured, but the live incarnations of its songs don't really contradict the mixed critical reception it has had. Bassist Paul Bryan, who produced it, leads a four-piece band who are understatedly efficient, but the only real colour comes from Jamie Edwards's old analogue synthesiser in a sequence of samey one-paced tunes. Soon Enough and Living A Lie (with Leo taking the part sung by The Shins' James Mercer on the disc) are highlights, but only just. It was good to see the hall's massive mirrorball used though, albeit briefly.

HHH

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