Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit ensure the Glasgow crowd know all about their latest album, Stay Gold, as the girls (Johanna and Klara) appear on The Old Fruitmarket stage to a rapturous applause in bright golden outfits.
After a slight delay, where the support had to cut his set short due to a medical emergency, the show is given the green light and the tense atmosphere among the crowd who had witnessed this event, soon becomes more relaxed, joyous and united.
Standing on either side of the stage, with spotlights on each sister, they open with the title track of the aforementioned album, more lights begin to rise through the venue displaying large simplistic shiny green pinewood trees in the backdrop of the stage, helping pull the crowd towards the band’s own identity and influences of Americana and folk roots.
As Johanna introduces herself to the crowd and her sister too, she states that this is the sixth time they have played in Glasgow and have always felt at home here as she lists the major venues the band have played before.
As the duo begin ‘King of the World’, a track in which, mentor and influential singer songwriter Conor Oberst helped write, it sounds like the venue’s ceiling has opened up and the harmonic voices of angels are being transported through the building.
To reignite the buzzing atmosphere in the crowd and to give them something to sing and dance about, the band burst in to fan favourite ‘Heaven Knows’, from The Lion’s Roar, and the people begin to clap and stamp their feet to the beat, as some link arms and ceilidh around with each other before the band break down the carnival ambience to focus on a more serious note.
‘The Lion’s Roar’ is next and brings the calm back to The Old Fruitmarket crowd, the backing pedal slide pours mournfully over the venue highlighting the band’s ability to change a captivated audience.
Appearing back on stage for the encore, the Soderberg sisters speak of how they were able to perform ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel for Paul Simon, in this wonderfully collaborated rendition of the song the girls slow down the pace, alter the rhythm and create a distinct engaging track, to which the crowd sing-along.
Much anticipated tracks of ‘Master Pretender’ and the legendary ‘Emmylou’ finish this fantastic eclectic set for the Swedes, who thank the Glaswegian crowd for their kindness and support.
As white lights dance around the stage it is clear the girls are enjoying themselves, now signed to Columbia Records, the future certainly looks bright, if not golden, for this young talented pair of folk treasures.
Words: Chris Flockhart
Photos: Gordon Ballantyne