FRAN HEALY Fruitmarket, Glasgow, January 30 * * *

March 5, 2011

Although “knackered” after finishing off the last tour with Travis, it wasn’t long before the band’s frontman Fran Healy set about writing and recording his debut solo album. Entitled Wreckorder, tonight the charismatic singer played the album in its entirety along with a handful of Travis numbers suggested by the Celtic Connections crowd.

With the help of his three-piece backing band and string quartet, Healy put in a entertaining shift thanks to some well-crafted songs and a pleasing stage demeanour.

After a couple of promising openers, Shadow Boxing raised the bar, the song’s dark meandering melody making the slow-burner an early highlight, as was Sing Me To Sleep which benefited greatly from the addition of local singer/songwriter Vivien Scotson (chosen by Healy’s mum via Facebook).

The Travis or “busking” section of the show as Healy put it, didn’t get off to the best start with a faltering rendition of Turn, the singer struggling to convince on the song’s high notes. However he did fare better on Sing, the Travis hit drawing a sustained chorus of approval from the crowd.

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