REVIEW: Ryan Adams, City Hall

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THERE were smiles all round as Ryan Adams stepped onto the City Hall stage.

He tucked himself behind his guitar, slung the harmonica around his neck and told the audience: “Now I’m gonna make you sad.”

And he tried his darndest for the next two hours. But failed.

By the end of it all, after a barrage of his ‘sad songs’, the crowd field out into another miserable April night with grins from ear to ear.

Nobody could blame them.

Adams had plundered Heartbreaker, Gold and Ashes and Fire to serve up a dream set list to send everybody to bed happy at sharing his heart- stopping sadness for an evening.

From opener Oh My Sweet Carolina to final number Come Pick Me Up (with the exception of an Alice In Chains cover as encore), Adams showed how, in a musical world awash with singer-songwriters, he’s is a true original: articulate, witty, talented and a total one-off (witness his improvised, odd ode to Mr Cat as he doodled on the piano).

There were rumours of tickets for this sell-out show on offer at £150 via the internet. Underselling again.

The concert was a priceless gem.