Candie Payne (4 stars)

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 16 May


Phil Spector’s name may now be more likely to be linked at the moment to incarceration than innovation, but the eccentric New Yorker’s influence still casts a powerful shadow over the performance by diminutive Scouse songstress Candie Payne.

That the 24-year-old younger sister, one of The Zutons and one of The Stands, spent some of her childhood in the Big Apple is evident in the wall of sound that she and her dapper backing band project over King Tut’s, and there are definitely more nods to The Ronettes or Nancy Sinatra than anything closer to home.

But this is no mere retro trip, the musical ideas are fresh and here lyrics speak of experience beyond here tender years. Lines like ‘I pray that tomorrow I will know just what to do’ may bring the inevitable torch singer label, and although comparisons to Dusty Springfield reflect the bittersweet edge to her voice, they fail to convey its raw force which veers from James Bond theme huskiness to punky and upbeat Blondie-style echo during her short but sweet set. A performance as flawless as her perfectly-applied eyeliner.

(Emma Newlands)

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