The Hug and Pint was all dressed for an intimate singer/songwriter gig, certainly the first time I had seen the venue with tables and chairs and a super relaxed vibe. The musicians taking the stage were precisely that, singers with guitars that personally addressed the crowd and this paid off as their fans approached them with ease to hint at their love of their music. Joana Serrat, a Catalonian songwriter that performed at Celtic Connections last year, was approachable and unassuming, whilst performing tracks from recent release, Dripping The Springs. Robin Adams, local to Glasgow, was delicate and lyrical in style, luring us to sleep with his indie-folk lullabies (albeit with a sinister edge).
Robin Adams was on first, fleshing out his set with bleak anecdotes, dancing with his guitar to create this illustrious sound. Singing songs about travelling and dreaming we were compelled from the get go, and it certainly appeared that the merchandise stall was busy off the back of that set. Clearly influenced by the likes of Neil Young and Peter Gabriel, Adams warmly surprised the audience with his expertise and maturity in writing, which we saw in tracks like Be Gone.
Joana, meanwhile, hinted at putting on an audience-led, intimate gig, and that’s what tonight was all about. Attired in black jeans and a black bomber jacket, she courteously addressed the audience, promising slow, profound tracks. She made us feel entirely like this was a gig dedicated to the fans, a folk hug impossible to resist. As she performed on the harmonica and guitar I could hear the influence of Dylan and also Springsteen and Cohen. With lyrics like “there’s this rusty road that I’m traveling, there is no reason to cry” or “there’s a memory now, I’m crying pieces at your feet” there is most definitely a beautifully lyrical aspect to Serrat’s work, which will keep her interesting and no doubt, gigging. With songs dedicated to those in prison and exile, and the state of Catalonia, this musician is not to be taken lightly and adds social commentary to the present situation with her work, much like Dylan.
We will no doubt hear more from Adams and Serrat in the coming years, with talent such as this.
For more on Joana Serrat including upcoming live gigs click here.