The UK leg of “The Devil I Know” tour rolled into Glasgow and I caught up with the show at the iconic Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, a historic 1,900 capacity (all standing) venue that has hosted many legendary acts over the years. This was the first of Ashley’s two sold-out shows at the venue.
The audience were buzzing with excitement as the band took to the stage, rocking out the intro to “Blackout Betty”, to be joined shortly on stage by Ashley to the rapturous applause of the ecstatic crowd.
This was followed with her CMA nominated hit single “One Night Standards” and “Brenda Put Your Bra On” with Ashley, this time without her guitar, confidently strutting up and down the full width of the stage clearly having fun with the crowd as they threw bra’s on to the stage.
The tempo now slowed with “Whiskey & Country Music” and “Single at The Same Time” both from the new album and then with dark moody lighting and a gospel style intro “Water in the River” an unreleased track, but has featured on many of Ashley’s set-lists for a number of years.
After the upbeat “Made for This”. Ashley expressed her gratitude for the support she always gets coming to the UK. She recounted her first visit to the UK in 2018 playing at the C2C Festival and how terrifying and nervous she was but played everywhere she could over the festival weekend.
From the first acoustic guitar notes of “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” her anthem of resilience and determination. The crowd sang along with every word, creating a goosebump-inducing moment that I will never forget.
“First Thing I Reach For” was next with her keyboard / guitar player now showing his talents playing the fiddle. This was followed in quick succession with “Cool Little Bars”, “Learned to Lie” & “Women Ain’t Whiskey”. This section of the set finished with the powerful ballad “Sparrow”.
Clearly on top of her game, smiling and enjoying every minute. Ashley explained that what you hear on the records is HER band who have been with her right from the start. The band are musically are a class act, tight and energetic, creating a dynamic and cohesive sound.
Another two songs from the new album “6th of October” and “Coldest Beer in Town” which started with more audience participation. Following this we had “El Dorado” with a twin lead guitar intro. Heading to the finale now with “Tired of Being Lonely”, “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”, “Light on in the Kitchen” and finally the title track from the latest album “The Devil I Know”.
Ashley returned to the stage for her encore and gave an emotional acoustic rendition of “Bible and a 44” a song that pays homage to her late father. The band rejoined her on stage and Ashley stated that there was no way she was performing in Scotland and NOT playing this song. That song was the very Celtic sounding “Luckiest S.O.B.” from her 2016 debut EP.
Ashley McBryde is now undoubtably a major star in Country Music and this concert and the rest of the sold-out tour was a testament to her talent and charisma and in particular her popularity with the UK audiences.
She delivered a captivating and memorable performance that left the crowd wanting more. She is not going anywhere, and neither are her fans.
We’re still in January and have we just witnessed the best concert of the year?
Ashley McBryde, LIVE REVIEW – Glasgow, Barrowland – 24/01/2024
PHOTOS & REVIEW BY: DREW BURNETT