Esther O'Connor (4 stars)

Esther O'Connor

Brel, Glasgow, Wed 29 Oct

An ethereal vision in a white lace corset, voluminous cotton skirt and flowing red hair, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Esther O’Connor had stepped either out of a painting or off the set of a period drama on to the stage at Brel.

But there is an unmistakably modern twist to her music, and she flits effortlessly between upbeat, husky poppiness on the likes of ‘Saturday Man’, to wonderfully mournful country torch singer on a sublime duet with Sam West of Fortunate Sons, and later on in tonight’s set, a soulful, stripped down and spine-tingling cover of ‘The Look of Love’.

She also proves herself to be a self-deprecating host, admitting that her set-list was written in eyeliner and that her backing band consists of her husband, brother and dad. She also manages to give Barras market stallholders a run for their money by wryly offering a range of deals on her merchandise.

Dedicating ‘Hope’ to a girl of the same name she met in Africa, Esther thanks her for giving her a more grounded worldview and leaves the audience with a welcome warm glow on a bitterly cold night.


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