Catching New York's Margaret Glaspy at Glasgow's Stereo last winter was a treat. Expectations were set at default, although word was that something good was to occur, and the general consensus following the performance was "Whoa!" with a complimenting 9/10 review. Upon return to this fine city, noting that this may be one of my last ever gigs here and with expectations heightened from the previous triumph, how would Round Two be with such "high stakes"?
Set in a room with an air of sophistication, the start of the set missed both the endearing and emphatic characteristics of the previous show, but then things kicked into gear. With Glaspy pausing to explain the importance of a particular cover, one of several included, that feel of community was reignited and the crowd seemed to settle into the show's atmosphere.
Tracks from last year's Emotions and Math and covers built the set in tandem as Glaspy seamlessly switched between her own tracks and those borrowed without a slip in precision or the audience's captivation. If you have to hear one track, the cover of Lauryn Hill's 'Ex-Factor' was as poignant as always as simply a vocal and a guitar weave some magic.
That debut record lacked some kick in recorded form, something that Glaspy's vocal and distorted guitar brings in the live setting. Upon debuting some new tracks, that oomph is cranked up further and catalysed by some potent material. Powered by romantic discontent, the cuts of new material leave the hype for Album Two high as crooning and guitars crash with great effect.
Understated on record, Glaspy cannot be overstated on a stage. Deceptively timid at first, she and her colleagues settle into their groove and provide an exquisite live music performance every time. Where musicianship meets simple humanity is where the enjoyment of this wonderful artist blossoms.