Review: Kiefer Sutherland @ Old Fruitmarket

Published

Melanie Wilhelm

Michael Craig
Writer

American television aficionados may know him as Jack Bauer in the action-packed 24, or President Tom Kirkman in political thriller Designated Survivor. Cult film fanatics may recognise him as the vampiric overlord from 80’s classic The Lost Boys. But at the Old Fruitmarket on Wednesday evening, Kiefer Sutherland was very much himself in showcasing his second studio album, Reckless & Me; raw, vulnerable, and exposed.

His country-rock beats were interspersed with personal anecdotes in-between tracks, as Sutherland opened up about his run-ins with the law (he has several past arrests for driving under the influence). He (over)shared the time he had to rush back to Canada, with the doctor informing him that his mum may no longer be there by the time his plane landed. Thankfully, much like his show, all worked out well in the end.

Whilst the crowd was there for Kiefer Sutherland, support act Twinnie made a huge – and lasting – impression on her Old Fruitmarket audience. The 32 year old York singer left the crowd mesmerised with her command of the stage and vocal range. She knew exactly what she was doing, soon diving into a cover of John Denver’s immortal Take Me Home, Country Roads, surely an eminently sensible choice for any country-loving crowd. Her own songs, such as Better When I’m Drunk and Type of Girl, are incredibly catchy tunes and allow her to fully showcase her vocal prowess. She is a rare breed, sounding just as polished live as she does on her recordings. Finding herself on the BBC Radio 2 B-List earlier this year, this is only the start of Twinnie. I can say with complete confidence that she won’t be supporting other acts for much longer.

Sutherland is closer in age to the majority of the audience than he was to myself, but that didn’t stop him rocking the stage with the energetic spirit of a fellow 23 year old. So much so that I can even forgive the rather questionable dad-dancing skills on display. The sound engineering sometimes felt a bit shoddy, Sutherland’s vocals often found themselves drowned out by his guitarists and, if you were only a casual fan, I can imagine it would be difficult to fully pick up on the lyrics. Taking nothing away from the excellent band, there is no doubt in my mind that Sutherland shone brightest when he played his more acoustic orientated songs. Two songs stood out above all in his main set. I’ll Do Anything from his debut album Down in a Hole, is one of very few songs he writes about love, admitting in his pre-amble beforehand that the lyrics came to him after sitting at home watching Bridget Jones’s Diary (this tale eliciting an approving scream from my direction). The other track was Saskatchewan, his mother’s place of birth – the lyrics to which he wrote on the plane to see her, after hearing of her stroke. Both these songs allowed Sutherland’s gravelly voice to come to the fore, without being drowned out by the band. Indeed, Sutherland sings in a slightly gritty tone, not too dissimilar from his heroes Dylan and Springsteen. I imagine this is one of the biggest compliments I could pay him.

It was very much a case of saving the best till last, with his three-song encore providing the crowd with their highlights of the night. The first of which – Calling Out Your Name – is a beautiful ballad that included a duet with Twinnie and really pulled at the heartstrings of the crowd. Next up was a cover of Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, a song that Sutherland let us know was played in his dad’s car (a Ferrari that Donald Sutherland won in a poker game, no less) for about 10 years straight. Kiefer Sutherland left us with one final song from his new album, Agave, which was a vastly different pace to the two previous encore pieces. With a fast tempo, the song was an inspired choice to finish on. The audience clearly agreed, dancing away to this more than any other song during the night. It left you in a jovial mood, walking out into the crisp Glasgow air just after 11pm with a renewed sense of vigour.