JAMES GRANT--Virgin Megastore, Princes Street (4 out of 5)
With no other Edinburgh shows confirmed in the foreseeable future, all 300 tickets for this in-store appearance by former Love and Money frontman James Grant were snapped up in double quick time.
He rewarded the faithful with an exquisite acoustic set on Gibson guitar and dobro which may have been short, but was very, very sweet.
"As you can see, I'm still as miserable as ever," he deadpans, after delivering the title track of his debut solo album, 'Sawdust In My Veins'.
Grant found the machinations of the music business more than he could bear when Love and Money stood on the brink of the big time, and seems much more at ease these days, even perched on a mini-stage between CD racks.
"To survive you've got to have something to sell," he sings in 'No Chicane', perhaps an indication that James has finally struck a balance between the creative and commercial demands of being a musician.
The droll patter flows easily, as he insists that all his brothers and sisters ran off with the good records in his house (The Beatles as an example), leaving him to grow up with Al Jolson and The Black And White Minstrels.
Like his new record, the performance is blessed with some beautifully simple songs, and he treats the crowd to 'All Her Saturdays' and an aching 'If You Love Me Leave Me Alone'.
Two old Love and Money tunes are lobbed in for good measure. It seemed like everyone bought a copy of the record and got the artist to sign it for posterity.
His only scheduled appearance in the near future is another acoustic show at the Renfre Ferry in Glasgow this Friday (1st), which you are advised not to miss.
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