GIG REVIEW | Joesef | MONO | 13/01/23

Glasgow’s very own, Joesef, graced the stage of Monorail music in an intimate performance of his recently released debut album, Permanent Damage. After having seen Joesef four times previously, I was very excited for this gig, and it did not disappoint. Before his performance, Joesef met fans and signed albums, which was a very special moment to get to congratulate him and chat to him about life as Glasgow’s newest soul-popstar. 

The performance began with ‘It’s Been a Little Heavily Lately’, a lively tune which really got the crowd moving, followed by the laid-back nostalgia of ‘East End Coast’. The lyrics ‘I think I miss Glasgow’ rang even more poignant that night as the crowd basked in our hometown pride, and that extra special feeling one can only feel at a Glasgow gig. That sense of pride and belonging was only further heightened when Joesef himself could hardly voice those lyrics without tearing up, luckily the crowd was there to help. 

Permanent Damage is a self-aware debut which leans on feelings of alienation, loneliness, and self-destructive tendencies, so although the crowd was often seen coming together, the gig also allowed for more private moments of personal introspection in songs like ‘Borderline’ and ‘Apt 22’. The mood of the crowd further shifted from a loud buzz to a quiet consideration as everyone was clearly taken aback by the weight of Joesef asking a lover to ‘remember what you loved me for, even when I’m on the floor’ in ‘Borderline’. As a young queer Glaswegian myself, Joesef’s music resonates deeply and reminds me that amidst all the darkness, there is fun, carefreeness, and light. 

Joe ended the night with a couple of oldies, ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Limbo’, which truly symbolised his remarkable progress as an artist. The crowd reacted well to these tunes, even accompanying the guitar riffs with their own whistling. 

 The crowd felt like a family, all there to support our Glasgow boy, Joesef. The tears, the laughter and the big smiles are all testimony to Joe’s musical and personal ability to hold a crowd. I could feel the pride ooze out of the crowd as we witnessed a true star being born out of a stellar debut album.

Seeing homegrown talent, Joesef, perform in a Glaswegian independent record venue, Monorail music, highlighted how important Glasgow’s music scene really is. Joesef has done the city proud and those who have yet to experience his music are in for a real treat. It might be too early to say, but I’m confident that Permanent Damage will be one of my favourite records of the year.