Rising Edinburgh musician, Brodie Barclay, joins Irishman David Keenan for a night of magic at St Lukes.
An air of anticipation filled the iconic Glasgow venue, the LEDs casting their shadow on the famous organ above the stage. Barclay enters.
Offering a stripped back and intimate set of acoustic work, Brodie connected with the crowd. Titles like “Crumbling” and “Denim” showcased his depth as an artist. Songs brimming with soul and sincerity, one couldn’t help but feel the weight of the words. Silent awe fell over the crowd, rhythmic and gentle guitar notes lulled the audience into trance as Barclay sang. Lyrically, his work is raw and honest. His ability to lay bare the vulnerability of his work is what will set him apart from others in the scene. Treating us to unreleased work, enriched with emotion and drive, Barclay is carving out his sound for the year ahead.
Upon his return to Glasgow, the folk singer-songwriter from Dundalk embraced the growing crowd before him. By now, Keenan is no stranger to a Scottish welcome after his debut with Hozier. His second UK headline tour is a display of strength and promise for his blossoming career.
Storyteller, lyricist, musician and more- Keenan’s ability to paint pictures with words reflects his lived experiences but is only a fraction of his multifaceted capabilities. Carrying the wit of many a great Irish writer before him and an appreciation for the human condition, candour and vibrancy paired with an honest portrayal of the undeniable shadow side of life, is what shapes this poets work. A setlist comprised of work from his latest album “What Then?” and older favourites from the innovative and soul-bearing debut, urged everyone in attendance to unite.
As the night progressed, the Irishman’s performance resembled something of a spiritual affair. Dulcet tones practically shimmered from the PA. A sea of bodies singing each word in perfect harmony created an ethereal atmosphere. Each song transcended the last, lifting the darkened veil left by the dreich, rainy weather outside to expose a serene beauty within. Older tracks like “Altar Wine” and “Postcards from Catalonia” were personal favourites, though growth is evident. During lockdown and his time away from music, Keenan has matured as a musician yet maintained the depth of spirit that makes him so unique.
All good things must come to an end, and the night closed after Keenan’s stunning rendition of a traditional Irish piece. One thing is for sure- you should keep your eye on both gents next year!