REVIEW | Sean McGowan – The Old Hairdressers (03.05.17)

sean mcgowanFor the better part of the last month, Southampton artist Sean McGowan has been touring across the UK, primarily landing shows in unfamiliar territories, and this included a Glasgow gig at The Old Hairdressers courtesy of The Colour Of Vinyl.

A trio of drunks being kicked out certainly made for an compelling start to the night…


Kyle Wood, aka Lovers Turn To Monsters, opened the show and dedicated all his songs to one of the aforementioned drunkees.

The most prominent aspect of Kyle was his knack for sharp writing; in particular, the tune about McDonald’s was brilliant. He also showed a fierce intensity with the snappy New Jersey.

Following that, he gave us a pair of neat tracks on the ukulele – 10pm, Still Hungover and James Earl Jones – before further entertaining us with Scottish Weekend, Not Going Out and Chainsaw.

Being our first time seeing Kyle, he did more than enough to retain our interest and left us pretty satisfied.


Benny Monteux from Edinburgh wasted little time, diving straight in with the very upbeat Greetings From Nowhere City.

The majority of the setlist covered personal subject matters based around Benny’s own life, such as breaking up in Red Doors, being the victim of a stalker in Devil Eyes and his relatable battle against anxiety as covered in Slow The Engines.

He kept the pace going with Find Your Soul and Let’s Be Friends, before offering us a stripped version of Teeth And Claws which was notable for a memorable chorus, plus there was some crowd participation involved; undoubtedly, the highlight of the set.

Wrapping up with Hold Tight, he had demonstrated great harmonies and tonnes of enthusiasm throughout, and it was all in all a performance that was very much worth our time and money.


Despite suffering from dramatic plane and taxi rides over the last day or so, among other plaguing personal events, Sean McGowan was raring to go.

Through the likes of No Show and Apple Core, Sean exhibited real depth and a sheer fervor, with him never appearing phony whatsoever; every single word and action was pure and genuine.

He gave a loving middle finger to his old workplace via £5.25 and thoroughly impressed us with the fantastic Neverland. Emotion shined through in the soft Patchwork and especially with Fill Your Boots. He brought it back up with Never Let Us In, before closing out with a robustly passionate piece titled All The Best.

Sean spent half of his time on stage chatting to and amusing all in the room with a range of life anecdotes. Through these, we were able to get to know him and he proved to be a cool and easy person to latch onto.

He was eternally grateful for everyone that made the effort to come down and see one man who had essentially traveled from one side of the country to the other, with little money to his name on top of that, to do what he does best, and it was exactly just that – his best.

There was absolutely no uncertainty when we say that this is one of the most gripping and gratifying performances we have had the pleasure of witnessing this year, and it is abundantly clear that Sean is destined for bigger things, and after all that he has accomplished both under his musicianship and over his life in general, he deserves everything that is coming to him.

 

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