Gig Review | Rianne Downey @ Church, Dundee | 16/09/23

Glasgow singer-songwriter Rianne Downey performed in Dundee for the first time on Saturday night and delivered an exceptional debut in the City of Discovery. There’s arguably not a better Scottish vocalist out there at the moment than Rianne, who has quite the year so far. The singer has been very busy in the studio releasing the ‘Come What May’ EP back in February and following that up with the ‘Method to My Madness’ EP in June. That comes alongside a very busy Summer, touring the festival circuit. Not content just performing her own sets but also providing guest vocals with the legendary Paul Heaton.

Rianne recently kicked off her solo tour with a small run of Scottish shows, going through Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Her Dundee show saw support in the form of local singer-songwriter Katie Nicoll who performed a solo acoustic set. I’ve seen Katie perform a few times now and even with a slight cold holding her back, her voice is simply spectacular. I remember seeing her for the first time in November last year and it’s been fantastic to watch as she continues to progress as an outstanding songwriter. Make sure you check out her latest single, the lovely ‘i just miss my dog.’

Rianne Downey took to the stage with her band performing ‘Stand My Ground’ and ‘Do or Die’ from her 2021 debut EP ‘Fuel to the Flame’. Flashing the biggest smile and thanking the crowd profusely after every song, Rianne performed ‘Devil’s Gonna Get You’ and ‘Hard’ before her band left the stage for a run of acoustic songs. Rianne performed ‘Start Again’ from her debut EP solo before she was joined on stage again by guitarist Nathaniel to perform a new song ‘Lost In Blue’ which the two performed as a duet sharing one microphone. Nathaniel then switched through three different instruments to accompany Rianne through the next three songs. Keyboard for ‘Method to My Madness’, electric guitar for ‘Paper Wings’ and finally acoustic guitar for a tribute to Paul Heaton in the form of a cover of The Beautiful South’s ‘Rotterdam (Or Anywhere).’

The rest of the band returned to the stage as Rianne urged the crowd to get their dancing shoes on. The band launched into ‘Dancing in the Rain’ and ‘Alright’ which had the crowd dancing, singing and clapping along. Rianne dedicated the beautiful ‘Songbird’ to her ‘wee Granny’ before performing a cover of ‘Caledonia’. After all, no Rianne Downey set in Scotland would be complete without a cover of Caledonia. Closing out the night was the fan favourite, the absolutely incredible track ‘Home’. A fantastic end to a fantastic evening of live music.

Rianne now has a little break from her UK tour which restarts in mid-November and consists of 14 shows across England, Wales and Ireland before finishing off back up north in Scotland. The big homecoming show in Glasgow is on the 9th December. Although initially a sell out, the venue has been upgraded and will now take place at SWG3 and tickets are still available for what is guaranteed to be an unmissable night.