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Music

Alison Moyet

Alison Moyet

Kelvingrove Bandstand

RUSSELL LEADBETTER

DUSK fell, evening took hold, and a full moon hung low in the sky, just to the right of the stage. It made for a spectacular backdrop to this outdoor gig by Alison Moyet.

Moyet began her 75-minute-long set with Horizon Flame, one of the strongest cuts on her most recent album, the minutes, and followed it immediately with "a song I wrote when I was 16" - Nobody's Diary.

The setlist bore a passing resemblance to that at Moyet's last Scottish show, at Perth in May: songs from the minutes and a healthy glance back at her old catalogue. Supported by John Garden and Sean McGhee, both of whom switched between keyboards and guitar, Moyet proved herself, once again, an engaging, chatty and open performer.

The loudest cheers were reserved for the chart hits that everybody knew by heart: Only You, a slowed-down, gripping version of Is This Love?, All Cried Out, Love Resurrection (which almost immediately got the audience on its feet), Situation, and the encore numbers, Whispering Your Name and Don't Go.

But the newer songs got a good reception as well, particularly Filigree, which was prompted by Moyet watching an arthouse film in Amsterdam (reputedly Terrence Malick's Tree of Life) and When I Was Your Girl.

This Magners bill had been opened by The Bluebells, "all the way from Woodlands Road", who turned in a brisk and enjoyable 11-song set that included Red Guitars, Tender Mercy, Cath, and an accordion-tinged version of their biggest hit, Young at Heart.

They greeted one of their old bandmates who was in the audience, plugged their new compilation of early-80s material, Exile on Twee Street, and ended with a great version of the Staple Singers' I'll Take You There.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

Ryan Drever

Over the past decade, Belladrum has asserted itself as a strong summer festival contender. Selling out faster and faster every year, but never compromising the draw of its small scale, its familiarity is almost as exciting as its surprises.

Joyous power pop ensemble Randolf's Leap make a big brassy impression early on the Hothouse Stage, also home later on to thrilling turns from the hypnotic Band of Skulls and the incredible (and also incredibly late) Grandmaster Flash whose hour-long DJ set is ecstatic and runs the gamut of hip-hop history, showing off his pioneering skills on the "wheels of steel".

Frightened Rabbit meanwhile light up the main stage in the middle of a brief spot of rain, which almost suits the triumphant melancholy of much of their set, but by raw-throated closer Keep Yourself Warm, its anything but a wash out.

Elsewhere, the Mekons and Robbie Fulks toast the sunset on Saturday with a knee-slapping blast of punky folk tunes, a great follow on from Billy Bragg's solo stint on the mainstage earlier in the day. At times more of a life lesson than a gig, Bragg is on top form, warning us of the dangers of our own cynicism and charming with his socially conscious anthems.

The arrival of Sir Tom Jones undoubtedly steals it though, flawlessly rifling through his hefty catalogue on Friday with a big Welsh grin. Sharp-dressed as ever, he delivers songs such as Sex Bomb and Mama Told Me Not To Come alongside staples Its Not Unusual and Delilah, with a smooth, jazzy flow.

Razorlight, in direct comparison however, lack the wealth of material to choose from, and can't touch the singalongs or even the energy of what came the night before, but as Saturday night headliners they bundle out a few hits for the die hards before they're ultimately upstaged by the fireworks.

But thankfully its not enough to be a damp squib on an otherwise fantastic instalment.

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