Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 18 April 2015

Ryan provides some great support

Rule number one of inviting a guest on stage: make sure they won't upstage you.

It's clearly not a lesson that Belfast native Jason Clarke has learned yet, because after an hour of tedious, formulaic pop-rock he introduced fellow singer-songwriter Ryan McMullan with the words "prepare to be blown away".

While that may have been stretching things somewhat, McMullan's brief but engrossing performance served to highlight the inadequacies in what we had heard so far. In the sophisticated surroundings of the Merchant Hotel's Roof Garden bar before an audience dressed for a cocktail reception rather than a gig, Clarke ran through his repertoire with the aid of a stripped-down version of his usual band – acoustic guitar, piano and percussion.

He's an accomplished performer with a glint in his eye, but he was let down absolutely by his songwriting, so bland you suspect James Blunt might reject it as insufficiently edgy.

In contrast, McMullan's more bluesy approach overflowed with soul, as well as some nifty work with a loop station.

"He'll be supporting me at every gig until I support him," said Clarke.

Be careful what you wish for.

CHRIS JONES

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

You must be decisive. Don't leave your Fate in the hands of others. If you need more money, ask for a raise. Are you dissatisfied with a relationship? Issue an ultimatum. Are you perturbed by an ethical matter? Speak on behalf of justice. People will be uncomfortable with your dramatic behaviour, but they will respond to it. Waiting for a miracle to arrive simply isn't wise. When you want to make a change, you have to take action, even at the risk of being unpopular.More