Review: Luke Combs
Glasgow, October 2018

Review by Ali Donowho

Luke Combs

In Glasgow, When It Rains It Pours... Sunday Morning man she woke up fighting mad.... the weather that is

Glasgow on a Sunday morning in autumn can go one of many ways but on this Sunday the wind and rain was torrential. This, however, did not stop the country music faithful as they queued for hours, soaked to the bone to see Luke Combs and Ashley McBryde at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. Many have remarked how this was going to be the gig of the year and with it being essentially the kick off to Country Music Week (or Month) that was going to be a big ask.

The venue change due to the horrific fire that claimed the Glasgow School of Art and the O2 ABC was not one of great surprise. I actually think that had the fire not happened the gig would have to have been moved anyway due to the sheer amount of people wanting to attend. Approximately over two and half thousand people gathered in the Academy to see the biggest breakthrough artist of 2017 and his support act. Now as someone who attends a lot of gigs and sees a lot of support acts let me tell you there was no support act. The quality that came from the stage was worthy of two headliners.

Ashley McBryde Ashley McBryde has been on the music radar for some time but for some unknown reason has not yet been taken to the hearts of the American country world and been accepted for the star she really is. Her music has always struck a chord with me and, after seeing her on Sunday night, I am further transfixed with her. Stating she had a chest cold but would give everything she could to the crowd, she proceeded to wow the focused auditorium with a flawless 60 minute set of her own music and a Dolly track.

TheĀ  moment 'Bible and a .44' started the lower deck of the Academy were in awe. A real moment for myself and those around me and I am not scared to admit I nearly shed a tear taking it all in. If you haven't checked out her music yet, you really should as you are missing something amazing. With a strong hint of see you all in the spring there is a real belief and want that she will appear at Country to Country 2019 and that is no sad thing I would gladly see her again today.
She has Sass, style and so much talentĀ  if I wasn't in awe I would be jealous.

Now I mentioned the lower deck of the crowd. The upper deck however was ridiculously noisy. Why is it every review I am doing and most of the feedback on social media has to refer to the chatters in the crowd. Seriously people we are not paying to hear you. With several shouts of 'Stop Talking', 'Be Quiet' and the occasional one I won't write in this pleasant piece, shy are people not picking up on the idea that they need to shush? As the great Billy Connolly once said 'When the lights are up it's your turn to talk, when the lights go down it's my turn'. Ruining a night for others and the artist on stage is not big or clever it just makes you look arrogant.

Luke Combs With the time hitting just after ten past nine out strolls the band, much to everyone's surprise as Luke wasn't due on until an alleged 10pm. My only thinking for this was how bad the weather had become and how far they had to travel for the following day's gig.

What followed was an exemplary display of musical talent, from note one to the last the crowd were gripped singing along, dancing and drinking, just how a gig should be (thankfully the chatters went silent as well). Flowing through the 'This One's For You Album' with his laid back effortless style, seriously he makes it look easy.

Luke Combs entertained, joked with his band and sank a JD or two. For me stand out song was 'Beautiful Crazy'. I love this song, it is so true and pure about how you feel for someone regardless of any negatives they feel they have or may actually have, you love them wholly and unconditionally. Every band says the crowd in front of them are always the best but not every artist at the end of the show gets down into the pit with the rest of the band and get selfies and signs fans or paper of whatever they can.

Luke spent an easy 10-15 minutes with the lucky ones on the front few rows thanking them for attending and taking time with them. Maybe the title of his album is true, Maybe it really means 'This One's For You'.