Oran Mor, Glasgow, March 29 * * * *

Corinne Bailey Rae’s new album The Sea heralds the return of a singer/songwriter whose career was in full flight before personal tragedy forced her to take time out. Two years on from her husband’s death to a suspected overdose, Bailey Rae is taking her first tentative steps back into the public eye with a handful of intimate shows before touring the States.
Tonight with the help of her five-piece backing band she played the album in its entirety to a packed and judging by their reaction, captivated audience.
Afforded the warmest of welcomes, opener Are You Here with its sublime chorus showed Bailey Rae’s ability to weave a melody has grown stronger, while on the more sombre Love’s On Its Way it was that soulful voice, strong yet fragile, tinged with regret and resilience, that seemed to illuminate the former church.
Obviously buoyed by the crowd’s response to songs like The Blackest Lily and Paper Dolls, the highlight of the night was seeing Bailey Rae smiling, something she did more and more as the evening unfolded.

King Tut’s, Glasgow, March 26 * * * *

They may have made a low-key entrance but there was nothing subdued about the Archie Bronson Outfit once they launched into tonight’s set. Men of few words between tracks, the trio – rounded off to a four-piece with the addition of a synth player – made a blistering start, and for the first handful of songs seemed unstoppable, dispensing their quirky mix of psyche-infused blues rock.
Blending waves of fuzzed-up guitar, galloping drums and swirling ethereal synth, the band led by singer/guitarist Sam Windett, were a potent force early on, rattling through Modern Lovers, One Up On Yourself and the dark hypnotic Kink.
After such a relentless start there was an inevitable lull but thankfully it was short-lived with only Hoola, Run Gospel Singer and Bite It And Believe It, lifted from latest album Coconut, lacking the energy and maniacal edge of their predecessors.
The pick of the new material came during a frenetic encore of Harness, the song’s thunderous riff provoking nods of approval from the sold-out crowd.