Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
The age profile of the audience suggests that Kelly Rowland’s appeal is more limited than that of her day job group, Destiny’s Child. With the hall populated mainly by teenage girls, it would appear that she is working a pop, rather than r&b audience.
This is almost certainly intended. Nothing in the empire of the Knowles’ family is left to chance, and the implication is that Beyonce and her younger sister, Solange – who was the final one of the parade of support acts – will carve up the adult market. By contrast, Kelly, who does not write her own songs, opts for a slightly more lightweight pop/ soul approach.
Throughout, it is hard to escape the presence of the Knowles’ clan. Beyonce’s album plays between acts and at the end of the show. In the middle of Rowland’s set her dancers, covering a costume change, gyrate to “Crazy In Love.” At 17, Solange, who also co-wrote two songs on Rowland’s album, is an assured and convincing performer.
It leaves a sense that Rowland is perhaps being sold a little short. She looks fantastic, the show is perfectly choreographed, the vocals impeccable (both from Rowland and her trio of backing singers) and there is plenty of energy in her performance.
Yet it often resorts to showbiz cliché, and at just over an hour (and featuring only twelve songs), there is far too much padding. When it works, on “Love/ Hate,” “Stole” and “Train on a Track” it suggests a singer with a realistic chance of a lengthy solo career if supplied with better and more distinctive material.
She draws a couple of times on the Destiny’s Child canon for a version of “Bootylicious” and an ill-advised Bee Gees medley, both of which added to the sense that these shows have arrived too early in Rowland’s career. Her future seems assured, but these were hesitant steps.