Thursday 18 September 2014

First Aid Kit at the Old Fruitmarket

I had great intentions to review every album I bought this year - it hasn't happened. However, one album that has been on heavy rotation has been Stay Gold by First Aid Kit.

Johanna and Klara Soderberg are two sisters from Stockholm in Sweden. The siblings have produced a delightful album; full of exquisite harmonies and glorious melodies. I couldn't wait to discover how they would sound live.

The fact that the show was in the Old Fruitmarket added to the appeal, not only for me, but for hundreds of others as it sold out quickly. I was actually too slow off the mark and it was only thanks to my friend Rose that I got to the show.

What a show!

The support act was a guy called Jo Rose. We were standing towards the back of the venue for a beer and a catch up chat. All of a sudden the music cut dead, like someone had pulled his lead from his guitar with a loud sharp bang. Unfortunately the guy had collapsed on stage. There didn't appear to be a great deal of panic around him on stage so we guessed he was OK - thankfully he was and after a good 15-minutes he was helped to his feet and left to a big round of applause. There were a few jokes floating around the bar that 'at least there was a first aid kit in the house'. (groan)

There was a bit of a delay following that and then an announcement to confirm he was OK. Time for First Aid Kit.

Johanna and Klara were joined by pedal steel guitar and a drummer and what a glorious noise they made together. They opened with Stay Gold in a blaze of golden light, looking absolutely stunning.

The colour theme continued with a beautiful Blue. The sisters harmonies were truly spellbinding and I found myself falling in love with Johanna, especially when she shook her long golden hair.

At one point the sisters came to the front of the stage and sang without any microphones. It was a very special moment that highlighted their voices, harmonies and beautiful raw edge that resulted in a huge cheer.

Pic from @thepopcop 

My Silver Lining and The Lion's Roar were real highlights in a very strong set. However the encore was even better.

A cover of Simon and Garfunkel's America sent shivers down my spine. We had moved down closer to the front around halfway through the gig and it was amazing to watch the two sisters singing together in close harmony, bouncing off each other, egging each other on.

Master Pretender was glorious before a beautiful mesmerising Emmylou ended the night. The band stopped at one moment to allow Johanna and Klara to step in front of their mics and sing with the crowd. I've never heard a Glasgow crowd singing so well!

I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June
If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny too
No, i'm not asking too much of you
Just sing little darling, sing with me

The Old Fruitmarket was a fitting venue for a memorable performance from a band riding on a high and in sensational form. I hope they come back soon.

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