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You The Critic: Andy McKee, Oran Mor

Event: Andy McKee, acoustic instrumental guitar, Oran Mor Glasgow

Image: @CalumMcMillan2
Image: @CalumMcMillan2

Verdict by Calum McMillan, 24, Glasgow: 4 stars

Review: The appeal of instrumental acoustic guitar music probably isn't obvious to everyone. It's a genre that seems almost exclusively designed for musicians. Artists like Andy McKee are doing their best to break down that particular barrier, with startlingly beautiful results.

Oran Mor's auditorium is the perfect venue for McKee's bright, intricate and entirely captivating compositions.The material from his 'Art of Motion' LP still elicits the most enthusiastic responses tonight, but there's an obvious excitement in the room when songs from the upcoming 'Mythmaker' EP are aired. It speaks volumes that McKee can pepper his set with covers, like the ToTo classic 'Africa', and not seem as if he's indulging nostalgia for popularity. His utter sincerity and genuine nature makes the entire evening feel like an intimate gathering of friends instead of an artist and a paying audience.

The beautiful and affecting 'Rylynn' is tonight's highlight, evoking an odd sense of somewhat joyous melancholy. Though the more up tempo and aggressive approach of the percussive 'Hunter's Moon' is also spectacular. The diverse nature of McKee's set is incredible when you consider he is a lone instrumentalist with no vocal hooks or lyrical ties for an audience to latch onto. Despite this, there's barely a sound in the room besides the raucous applause between songs and the honest laughter at the between song banter. Very few artists can inspire this kind of rapture. Even fewer deserve it half as much as Andy McKee does.

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