Perhaps because the entire crowd arrived minutes before they take the stage, Stars seem to struggle to get the crowd warmed up as well as unseen support act Zeus could have. (Due to a typo on the ticket the Oran Mor was letting people in from 7.00 but no-one has arrived before 8.00) The first 20 minutes of their set are a little lacklustre; the vocal chemistry between Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan which works so well on record is simply missing for a while, and it seems as though the show could be disappointing. Campbell looks to be having an incredibly bad day and Millan has apparently developed stage-fright 12 years in to touring.

However, as soon as they get in to some of their older (and arguably better) stuff, the crowd is properly with them
and Campbell seems to get increasingly intense and engaging, perching inches from the crowd on the edge
of the stage. There is a spectacular turnaround after the crowd relaxes enough to sing along and dance a bit –
Millan smiles and starts cracking jokes in between songs, and Campbell tells us that his family are from Glasgow,
making it a ‘very special’ place for him. There are points when he turns away from the crowd to sit facing the
drum riser and the audience is left wondering if he has actually had a breakdown.

Campbell almost misses the encore while he goes to get a drink, and comes back just in time to perform old
favourite ‘One More Night’ with a whisky in his hand and tears in his eyes. The small venue and intimacy of
the music go incredibly well together, and as soon as Millan and Campbell re-establish their onstage bond it’s
wonderfully obvious that there’s something much stronger than the pay check keeping these Canadians touring
so far from home. In a brilliant bit of pathetic fallacy, the promoter appears to have arranged Glasgow’s first snow
of winter to be starting as the crowd leaves the venue feeling a little bit sad, a little bit elated and very pleased to
have witnessed this show.

[Emma Jewson]

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