The Halt Bar, Glasgow, Sun 6 Jul
Claire Wood is off to seek her fame and fortune in London after spending the last ten years in Glasgow’s piano bars. She decided to launch her EP, Grow‚ and say farewell to her friends, family and supporters of her music.
Together with her band, Nicola West on cello and Paul Tracey on acoustic guitar, she opens this set with the title track: haunting synths, swooning cello and heartfelt vocals that hush the crowd immediately.
‘Here to the Finish Line’ showcases Wood’s accomplished piano style. Lyrics like ‘not my intention to race you again but here we are crossing some kind of finish line’ draws comparisons with Faith Hill. Alluding to her piano bar past, Wood throws in a couple of covers: The Waterboys’ classic ‘Whole of the Moon’ gets a swoonsome makeover with gentle, tinkling piano and breathy vocals. Claire Wood is very good at writing angsty, breathy ballads, though there isn’t evidence of much else here. Wood needs to break away from her past life to define herself as the complete artist.