Lizzie Reid live review: Glad Cafe, Glasgow, June 1

In the back room of the Glad Cafe in Glasgow, a small crowd began to gather for the first of Lizzie Reid’s three sold-out parties. It’s Reid’s first headliner of the year, but there shouldn’t be any ring rust: she’s just backed Paolo Nutini in front of a huge, rhapsodic crowd in Oban a few nights earlier.

Before Reid takes the stage, we are treated to an opening set of Tinyumbrellas. It’s a treat, with the English singer-songwriter rocking the growing audience with a short set that includes tracks such as Please Don’t Make This Weird and ends with the short, sweet one-minute ballad Tough to Be a Bug. It was soothing, uplifting, and the perfect appetizer for what’s to come.

After a brief lull, during which time the room fills to capacity, Reid and his band step onto the small, brightly lit stage and begin with the silky ballad Always Lovely. Dressed in a white blouse and plain black pants, the simplicity of her outfit contrasts with the density of her words.

She leads us through a maze of longing and desperate affection, with ballads like Seamless and Soda Pop Stream feeling like they’re sung for us rather than us. Between some songs, Reid tells us how they came to be, some inspired by long stretches of his life, and others fueled by fleeting feelings of isolation and sadness, with the lockdown mentioned as a trigger.

About halfway through the set, Reid points to a piano set against the wall beside the stage, and as we, her captive audience, move around in the rather unrealistic hope of getting an unobstructed view of the performance, she continues to perform the gripping How Do I Show My Love?, his latest release, before returning to the stage and performing Norah, a stunning track that stays with you like a bruise. The likes of Company Car follow before Reid announces the excellent Cubicle will be the last of the night, to whispers of disappointment.

Reid and his band leave the stage for less than a minute before returning and beginning their admittedly obvious encore with Tribute, before ending a great night of music with his single Bible, the final chord being greeted with rapturous applause.

It would be pointless to make such a broad and trivial claim as “Lizzie Reid is Scotland’s new voice”, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain any truth. But the only voice Lizzie Reid has to represent is her own, and she’s present beautifully tonight. For an hour, in a small venue on Glasgow’s Southside, she held the audience in the palm of her hand, gently rocking them back and forth with melodies of love, grief, loneliness and hope. Everything around that hour – the support, the crowd, Reid’s band and, of course, Reid herself – was on point.

Anyone who gets the chance to see Reid perform such intimate shows should do so soon, as it’s hard to see his crowds so small any longer.

Lizzie Reid’s new single Bible is out now

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