Thursday, December 16, 2021

Elles Bailey at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

Glasgow, Scotland. Thursday 09-December-2021. 

This is the third time we have seen Elles Bailey. The two previous occasions were at the Great British Rock and Blues Festival at Skegness. The first time was 2017 on the introducing stage where up-and-coming artists perform in the central atrium and the act with the most votes get to appear on one of the main stages the following year. We voted for Elles and sure enough in 2018 she appeared on the Jaks stage

We booked these tickets forgetting that it clashed with the excellent Martin Harley who was appearing in Penrith that same night. No matter, we were happy to make the trip to Glasgow. It gave us an opportunity to stay with Mary‘s sister, meet up with our friends Geraldine and Alasdair for a curry and fit in some shopping.

As it turned out Geraldine and Alasdair were not able to make it and we ended up going for a Cuban meal instead. We got to King Tut's before the doors opened as there is a bar where you can wait to go in. It must be one of the smaller venues we have been to with limited seating but because we were there early we were able to get one of the benches at the back of the room. 

There were two support acts. Given that Elles Bailey has a strong country music tinge to her repertoire it was no surprise that the two support acts were very much at that end of the spectrum. We are always amazed at the number of talented musicians and singers out there trying to make a living.

Up first was Katie Whittaker who is very much country style and did an excellent half hour set, apparently under strict guillotine to give time for the second act to prepare so it was less chat and more song.

The second support was Demi Marriner. She was there as the guest of Elles and again a very enjoyable half hour. 

Elles Bailey had a full backing band: drums, guitar and keyboard. She also clearly has some devoted followers have been to all the previous gigs on this tour. She played a number of songs from her upcoming next album and few from her back catalogue.

It's a personal preference but I am not a fan of the "everyone does a solo" thing. It it common across the whole music spectrum from jazz ensembles to rock bands and I find it a little too self indulgent no matter how fine the virtuosity. 

The guy on the mixing desk decided that we needed a grand finale and cranked up the volume for the last two songs to a level that I was starting to find uncomfortable. I should know to always take my earplugs with me just in case of excessive volume. 

Elles did a couple of lockdown sessions with just her on keyboards which meant we got much more a feel for the person behind the musician. During lockdown we also bought the vinyl of her last album "Road I Call Home" and the download version, which is excellent and much listened to. We await the next album which is out next year.

Given the confined nature of the venue we decided to keep our masks on which meant no beer so we were, unusually, stone cold sober by the end of the gig. Staying with Mary sister made the logistics of getting home a lot easier than a 2 hour drive back to Penrith. We got the last train back to Bishopton where the brother-in-law was a hero and picked us up.

We are doing our bit to keep music live.

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