The venue for tonight’s East End Social show is Rutherglen Town Hall, an unsuspectingly good venue with a relatively cheap bar to its city centre counterparts, and there are signs of a good night when wandering in to catch Richard Dawson’s set.
Dawson makes a good noise playing his acoustic guitar through a amplifier, playing a fairly unique brand of folk, however it isn’t long before the set begins to verge on a racket, while he screams down the microphone and rattles his guitar so it sounded disorderly and a bit of a rabble.
He then began to sing acapella, the most tasteful of which was one (amazingly, I know) on the topic of syphilis, it’s safe to say Dawson is an acquired taste as many in the audience do appreciate his set.
When RM Hubbert comes on stage, the crowd listen intently to his every note, as well as every word in his hilarious, self-deprecating anecdotes between songs, an early highlight is a version of ‘The False Bride’, which he recorded with Alasdair Roberts for his SAY award winning album, Thirteen Lost & Found.
Hubbert’s melancholy, intricate guitar work contrasts amazingly with his often humorous, yet extremely dark stories between songs, he speaks about his battle with depression and the death of his parents, among other things.
‘Bolt’ from 2013’s Breaks & Bone is described as a “pop” song, somewhat ironically, however it is a fine example of Hubbert’s awe-inspiring guitar wizardry, while also being on point and quite funny lyrically: “he broke your heart, you broke his jaw; at least you should’ve done”.
He also brings out frequent collaborator, and East End Social festival organiser, Emma Pollock for a number, and later apologises for Aidan Moffat’s absence for the brilliant ‘Car Song’, due to him contracting a cold on a trip to Legoland.
RM Hubbert’s set is something special, and he has the crowd in the palm of his hand, pin-drop quiet during the melancholy, flamenco-influenced songs, and often in heaps of laughter between them, yet another successful night for the East End Social project.
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Words: Neil Hayton
Photos: Vito Andreoni