Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
"We're getting louder as we get older rather than quieter," Margo Timmins told the reverential audience at Cowboy Junkies' Wednesday night show at Kelvingrove. She's not wrong. The hushed and wide-open spaces of the band's recorded template are enhanced live by shards of harsh electric guitar.
It makes for a hypnotic experience, made the more so by the classic elegance of a venue which makes up for in atmosphere what it sometimes lacks in sound quality. It was a brave set, relying heavily on recent material from the Nomad project, which consisted of four albums released in 18 months between 2010 and 2012. It says a lot for the quality of that material that you only occasionally find yourself pining for the ethereal beauty of their classic second album The Trinity Sessions, which established the band as a major force 25 years ago and is represented here by four songs which remain highlights of the live set. Working On Building is a broody, swampy opener in which the main theme emerges from what sounds like an improvised sonic journey; Blue Moon Revisited still glides with an almost supernatural sway; Misguided Angel tears your heart apart; and their cover of Sweet Jane is simply bewitching. They may be older and louder, but the Cowboy Junkies' haunted beauty is as addictive as ever.