MTV Review: Ryder Cup Gala Concert Warms Up Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Ahead Of 2014 MTV EMA
Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt and Nile Rodgers rock out to commemorate the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament…
By Jules Boyle
It’s been an incredible year for Glasgow all-round, with the Commonwealth Games, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and our own 2014 MTV EMA still to come, but Wednesday night’s Ryder Cup Gala Concert was really something really special. A celebration of music, theatre and culture to commemorate the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament coming to Gleneagles at the weekend, it was a night that held something for everyone.
Feeling: With opera and ballet performances peppered amongst the more mainstream acts, the atmosphere was reserved at times, but when it kicked off, it really kicked off. Unfortunately Twin Atlantic, the band most likely to cause mayhem in any crowd, drew the short straw and went on first while over half the crowd were clearly still in the pub. However, the boys were still awesome, playing tracks from their new album ‘Great Divide’.
The Look: Despite both golf teams appearing onstage with their wives in swanky evening wear, the best outfits of the night went to Chic, with the seemingly ageless Kimberly Davis resplendent in red leather and a blonde bombshell wig, while Nile Rogers was sharp as ever in an all-white outfit. The less said about hosts Edith Bowman and James Nesbitt in the official Team Europe Harris Tweed uniforms the better…
Tunes: Texas made the most of the backing of the mighty Scottish National Orchestra, turning each song into a barreling hybrid of '70s Motown and Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound.
Midge Ure was moved to tears after his bombastic RSNO-fuelled take on Ultravox's ‘Vienna’ raised a standing ovation, while Amy McDonald's cover of Springsteen's ‘Dancing In The Dark’ built from sparse acoustics to a sweeping finale.
It was no surprise that Nile Rodgers stole the show. The orchestral backing was the perfect enhancement to his irrepressible groove, their original disco strings being replaced by a new, more massive, but no less funky sound. Tracks like ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Le Freak’ were epic, while ‘Good Times’ turned into a note-perfect cover of The Sugarhill Gang's ‘Rappers Delight’. Incredible stuff.
Banter: As the only American on the bill, Nile Rogers had no problems getting the crowd firmly onside, saying, "Believe it or not, this is the first place Chic ever played in Europe! We played a place called the Apollo. It had a high stage and we thought we were gonna fall off. There was a row of skinheads in the front row and they were gonna throw rocks at us, but they loved the music so much they became our roadies!"
Scottish acts like Twin, Amy, Nina Nesbitt and Eddi Reader seemed genuinely honoured to be there and playing under the huge Saltire. Maybe Jake Bugg was too, but he was his usual laconic self ("thank you"), so it's always hard to tell.
Sweat Factor: With such a huge crowd of all ages and as varied a line-up as you'll get, it was always going to be difficult to get a party going all night long, but headliner Nile Rodgers had no problems in whipping several thousand golf fans into a disco inferno. He's still got it.
Summary: A real spectacular in every sense of the word, the Ryder Cup Gala Concert did Scotland proud, and was immense from start to finish. Bring on the 2014 MTV EMA!