Kiefer Sutherland O2 Ritz Manchester 20th October 2019
Kiefer Sutherland played to a Sold Out Ritz on Sunday with support from up and coming country singer/songwriter Twinnie, who won the crowd over with her beautiful voice and northern humour. Originally from York, and having a career in the west end, films and on T.V’s Hollyoaks she has now decided to go down the country road to Nashville.
With songs like Better When I’m Drunk, Cupid and Daddy Issues she brings a relatable, fun element to the night, explaining how lots of her songs are about her own love life which she admits ‘is sh*t’. She can also belt out a really good ballad and stuns the crowd with a rendition of Whitney Houstons I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
The legend himself, Kiefer Sutherland arrived on stage wearing a white jacket and cowboy hat and he kicked off the set with some of his more up beat country songs and even showed the crowd some of his fancy footwork as he toe tapped and jumped, not fell, off the steps. He played tracks from his first album Down In A Hole and most of his new album Reckless & Me which is a mixture of country, rock and sentiment and slightly less grungy than the first album. There was a story behind a few of the songs which he would explain beforehand, for instance, the title track apparently started off about his horse called Reckless, but he realised that somehow it had become more about him as he wrote it. Kiefer admitted he wasn’t a fan of the traditional love song which is why he wrote the track Faded Pair Of Blue Jeans, which was about when a couple had already made it and they were now in the comfortable stage of a relationship rather than looking for love or losing it. This Is How It’s Done is a great track about when he was young and first introduced to the drinking and fighting of bar life. The best story though had to be about the tearful track Saskatchewan, which is about when he was on his way there to see his mother but he might not make it in time to see her alive. He wrote the song on the plane but when he arrived at the hospital she was still alive and subsequently got better. He then thought it was a good idea to play her the song and it really upset her. Turns out she really doesn’t want to be buried in Saskatchewan. The crowd went from tears of sadness to sorrow in seconds.
Shirley Jean is always the track that brings me to tears, this is not autobiographical, explained Kiefer, but inspired by Johnny Cash song Folsom Prison Blues, and is about a guys last night in prison before his death and how the picture of his first and only love got him through his time. Other songs he played from the new album were Open Road, Something You Love, Blame It On Your Heart and Run To Him.
The end of the set turned to the more grungy rock songs like Down In A Hole, Going Home and All She Wrote which sounded amazing with the guys in the band playing out of their skins before they all left the stage to a rapturous applause.
Kiefer returned for the encore with the beautiful ballad Calling Out Your Name from his first album. Twinnie joined him on stage after the first verse to sing the chorus alone, they then harmonised and acted the rest of the song out together perfectly. Kiefer then gave the crowd a special rendition of Bob Dylans Knockin’ On Heavens’ Door before finishing with his up beat track Agave which had everyone dancing. It’s not the usual kind of gig we normally go to but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed both Kiefer and Twinnie, excellent singers, songwriters and all round lovely people. What a fun night!!!
Review by Joanne Marsland
Photos by Philip Goddard