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Reviews: Music

Katy Perry

Katy Perry

SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Fears that Katy Perry's new tour would embrace the darker sounds of last year's Prism album proved unfounded as soon as her army of neon-clad, spear-slinging pharaoh backing dancers started playing jump-rope.

Dubbed "Prismatic", the show took its motif seriously from the moment a giant pyramid rose up out of the ground with its star inside. But there was plenty of space for ridiculous costumes, light shows and even an entire segment featuring a pink cat-suited Perry prancing around in front of a video backdrop of anthropomorphised cats.

Dressed in a light-up tennis skirt with matching hair extensions, Perry began the show with high energy and beat-heavy reworkings of Roar, Part Of Me and power ballad Wide Awake, interspersed with shouted platitudes about "loving yourself" and "forgetting your Instagram". The whole effect was that of a cross between a warehouse rave and an exercise video from the 1990s, and just about as soulless.

That was until the props came out: a giant mechanical horse in Egyptian headdress for Dark Horse, mummified dancers camping it up to I Kissed A Girl and a spaceship sturdy enough to hold three dancers and stage a mock-abduction during ET. Raps by Juicy J and Kanye West were piped in accompanied by cheesy onscreen visuals, but the effect wasn't enough to spoil the fun.

Still, Perry was at her best when the fireworks were turned off, giving her time to interact with and charm the crowd in her Little Pink Riding Hood dress. Prism closer By The Grace Of God was performed beautifully with just a piano and backing singers, while a self-accompanied acoustic guitar version of The One That Got Away was an easy highlight.

Chick Lyall Quintet

Glasgow Art Club

Rob Adams

Chick Lyall has been a significant presence, as both pianist and composer, on the Scottish jazz scene for the better part of 30 years now and in that time he's shown a sound grasp of a wide range of the music that falls within the jazz umbrella, from the purely acoustic to both the groovily accessible and the more experimental electronic departments.

Although the electronic sides were absent, Lyall still showcased quite a variety of his tastes, easefully straddling the American and European schools of jazz, in this agreeable session as part of Bridge Music's continuing Jazz Thursdays series. From the pre-funk but still decidedly groovy quality of Herbie Hancock's 1960s output to a completely free trio improvisation that touched on stormy tumult and gentle minimalism and on to the elegiac nature of Ralph Towner's lovely Summer's End via some cheery swing from bassist Tom Lyne's pen, this was not a set-list chosen by a leader looking to coast along.

Lyall's players took to the varied menu with accomplishment, with trumpeter Colin Steele moving to flugelhorn for the Towner piece and tenor saxophonist John Burgess showing his cool, almost detached side and his beefy, revelling in the changes mode.

With drummer Stu Brown being his habitual, adaptable self in cahoots with Lyne's sure presence, Lyall was able to demonstrate power, subtlety, a meditational quality and a certain, wry wit.

His own No Laughing Matter turned out to be rather a lachrymose, if attractively so, ballad and Dissonant Blues did exactly what its title promised, ducking and diving with a determination, successfully and enjoyably, to avoid the obvious blues statements.

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