Elles at King Tuts
ELLES BAILEY KING TUTS Glasgow
Dec 09th 2021
It was with some degree of surprise that, due to personal circumstances plus the ever-present threat of cancellation due to the onrushing train of Omicron, that I even managed to get to this concert. Even then I was late arriving, which I always consider disrespectful to the support act, plus rather gallingly I had to leave early thereby missing part of the headliner’s set. Aaargh! So I am sorry but, on the basis of only catching the final song from opener Katy Whittaker, I can not really comment on her performance. Having said that she had obviously been well received by the Glasgow audience as she got a nice warm response as she departed the stage. I must track down some material of hers and have a listen.
Somewhat unusually there was a second support in the form of, I think, Bristol based singer Demi Marriner. This young lady is certainly one to keep an eye on as her songs had the double whammy of a very good sense of melody coupled with insightful lyrics, often with a surprising ability to hit you with a knockout line. These had a maturity of understanding of the frailty, and vulnerability of life well beyond her seeming young years. In particular I really liked Wrong Kind Of Right, Cold Coffee, Learn To Love and Gone. As a solo performer, on this night, she quickly captured the audience and there was a big queue at the merchandise table afterwards.
So on to Elles. I had been due to interview her back in 2019 but had to pull out due to illness. Then we were due to meet and chat in March and November 2020 but no guesses as to why that did not work out. So with much anticipation I stood, as socially distanced as possible, towards the rear of King Tuts as she, and her band, blasted out of the blocks with The Game, Stones before pulling back a bit with Miss Me When I’m Gone. There is always something magical when you catch an act absolutely totally across their game. As far as I am concerned Elles did not put a foot wrong. She is a good communicator, engaging with the crowd and bringing them onboard with some friendly banter. Power she has aplenty however, once the more subtle elements of songs perhaps more Blues based in style come along, she really comes into her element. What’s The Matter With You, When I Go Away and Riding Out The Storm are great examples of that. Strip away all the power completely leaving just voice and a solo guitar, beautifully played by Joe Wilkens, then it becomes clear that this is a lady who totally understands how to perform a song. An aural delight is Walk Away from her Sunshine City EP and what she does with John Prine’s I Remember Everything is just perfection personified. This is not just hyperbole from a fan, trust me when I say you could hear a pin drop from the completely enthralled audience.
Cheats And Liars brings the rest of the band back on and please forgive me if I got this wrong; Jonny Henderson on keyboards plus a very tight rhythm section comprising Matthew Waer on bass duties and Matthew Jones drums. Help Somebody a nice little bit of a Country feel to this one before a soulful cover of Wilson Pickett’s Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool Ya.
It was at this point that I had to leave to catch a last bus back to Fife. Damn bad luck but I am so glad that I made it through for some very good live music. Now I just have to await a full chance to catch up with Elles properly.