📸Izzy Reeve

If there was anywhere to be on February 10th it should’ve been to see Hamish Hawk and his band stun a sold-out crowd at Glasgow’s iconic Barrowland Ballroom. After a highly anticipated wait for Hawk to return for a solo date in Scotland, his charming charisma and lyrical intricacy did not disappoint.

📸Izzy Reeve

After watching Hawk play Edinburgh’s Connect Festival in 2022, it became evident how and why he has amassed dedicated fans and critical acclaim. With powerful baritone vocals honed over a span of four albums, most recently releasing the SAY award nominated Angel Numbers this time last year, Saturday certainly cemented Hawk as one of Scotland’s biggest talents.

From the get go, the audience had all eyes on Hawk as he entered, beaming at the Ballroom from a beautifully well-lit stage. He warmly introduced himself, “I am Hamish Hawk… we are Hamish Hawk, and tonight… you are Hamish Hawk”. They ripped through three driving openers, notably ‘This, Whatever It Is, Needs Improvement’ and ‘Calls to Tiree’ from the heralded, second album Heavy Elevator. I felt like they covered all the bases of a perfect live show – surprise guests (from Lizzie Reid on the smooth ‘Rest & Veneers’), epic dance moves, changes in pace and charismatic audience interaction. This was a band in their prime, spurred on by enthusiastic cheers from a crowd so excited they provoked a cheeky “get ahold of yourselves” from Hawk. As well as playing an unreleased song, possibly titled ‘You Can Feel Me’, Hawk took a moment midway through the gig to play a solo rendition of ‘Catherine Opens a Window’ from his debut album, bringing the Barras to awed silence.

With an incredibly talented band that uplifted the frontman’s energy, the night went on like a well-oiled machine to conduct one a slick, engaging live performance. All hands were in the air for the crowd favourite ‘The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973’, where it looked as if the entire room knew every brilliantly crafted lyric. Thankfully there was a positive update the following day on guitarist Andy Pearson, after an unexpected encore of an energetic rendition of Pixies’ ‘Debaser’ left him on the floor. If I had to choose, two of my personal highlights were ‘Angel Numbers’ and ‘Think of Us Kissing’, both wonderfully enigmatic numbers that exemplified Hawk’s theatrical presence.

It really felt like Hamish Hawk was where he should be, feeding off the energy of big, adoring crowds. Where his smart, experimental lyricism and song structures leave you scanning Genius lyrics for analysis, on stage he emanates the infectious energy of a wise storyteller enacting their greatest, most intricate tales. If this glowing account doesn’t imply enough, I would highly recommend listening to Angel Numbers and then catching Hamish and his band live before, undoubtedly, everyone knows his name.

About Izzy Reeve 3 Articles
I’m a photographer and student based in Edinburgh and from Hemel Hempstead in England. I love live music, especially in Scotland and am available for gigs, promo shoots and event work! Have a look at my website or Instagram for more info.