Gig Review | Dylan John Thomas @ Barrowland Ballroom 09.11.23

Dylan John Thomas’s return to Glasgow at Barrowland Ballroom for the first night of a three-part concert series was a great celebration of music and community. The Glasgow-born singer sold-out the venue, with queues wrapping the block before the doors opened. This three-night event marks his first time performing in the city since December 2022.

Photographed by Byron Turner

Despite the delay in schedule, the crowd was dynamic and there was a strong sense of Scottish camaraderie. Hearing all the thick Scottish accents singing in unison brought me back to assemblies at school. Barrowland  Ballroom’s iconic status, coupled with an impressive lighting setup, elevated the experience, making it feel like more than just a concert.  

“Fever,” was a fan favourite and Thomas’s vocals were a standout alongside his captivating guitar solo during “Wake Up Ma.’ The strong Scottish accent in his delivery added authenticity, though it might have been a challenge for non-local attendees to understand. 

It wouldn’t be a Glasgow gig without the familiar crowd chant of “No Scotland, No Party” and this show was no exception. The floor was shaking as everyone jumped during “Feel the Fire”, and the red and orange lighting lit up the room. 

The whole experience felt very festival-like with people sitting on people’s shoulders. It was clear to see after being mentored by and opening for Gerry Cinnamon, his impact has rubbed off on Thomas’s stage presence. But with the engagement he had from the crowd, I can see his career following a similar projection. 

Dylan did a surprise cover of “Mamma Mia” added a much appreciated playful and nostalgic touch to the show, with everyone knowing the iconic song’s lyrics.

All in all, the show performance was great, and it is always nice to see Scottish artists coming back to their hometowns stage. His music’s evolution was very evident when he performed the songs from his new single and it will be great to see how his sound continues to change and grow.