The first half of the night was helmed by Jared Celosse, who had completely flown under our radar until we were given the lucky opportunity to experience his portion of the Archipelago EP prior to release.
The fella of course treated us to a selection of tracks from the aforementioned record, including Wave, New Orleans and the goosebump-inducing Crashing Down, as well as additional older and newer pieces.
He had a magnetic quality, fixating the silently frozen crowd with his fantastic fresh voice and stellar work on the keyboard, and you know what? That was enough for us.
Don’t get us wrong, we adore the strings and the synths that give his songs a grandiose size, but those two traits of his alone had us all captivated and totally drawn in, even without the extra bells and whistles.
There are few artists that we know of that can capture that kind of magic in a stripped capacity – such examples being Carla Easton, Rosie Bans and Josephine Sillars; all incredible pianists in their own rights, incidentally – and Jared is one of them. What a privilege to be in attendance for a set of that calibre.
And now for the second half featuring Glaswegian mainstay Chrissy Barnacle, who we were super excited to finally see live again, especially after falling in love with her side of the EP.
For starters, her vocals were supremely good, not only covering a broad pitch range, but also flawlessly conveying the right emotions where appropriate to such a sharp degree. Complimenting that fact was her fiercely vivid spectrum of facial expressions, and wow, we’ve never seen a musician so focused and committed into a zone, as she was totally enveloped within every single solitary action, word, movement…just plain everything.
The songs, whether it’d be Witches, Cannibal Rats or Guard Dog, were magical and unpredictable in tone, more specifically in the writing department, spanning the gamut of being sad, interesting, bizarre, snappy, darkly comical; a little bit of all you could imagine, really; and completing the package was some outstanding skills on the acoustic guitar.
We were thoroughly mesmirised, sat still in awe from beginning to end, as were the rest of the suckered in audience. Chrissy is a unique enigma, a definitively one of a kind artist on another level that nobody else in the Scottish scene seems to match up to, and considering the hefty standard of the country’s talent, that’s one hell of an achievement.
It is a real shame that she has not already been recognised as such on a wider public scale by this point. Perhaps too radically different for the mainstream, but what’s wrong with having a square peg in a round hole now and again?