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Review: Leah McFall at Stereo Cafe, Glasgow

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Published by Glasgowist.

It’s a crisp, slightly chilly Monday night in Glasgow’s city centre and Northern Irish singer-songwriter Leah McFall, runner-up on The Voice UK 2013, is set to play Glasgow for the first time at Stereo Café as part of her debut ‘INK’ tour. After breaking away from her label and independently releasing her mini-album of the same name, Leah is now embarking on her first tour, visiting cities including Birmingham, London, and Bristol.

During my interview with Leah back in February, she told us it was important to her to find local, unsigned artists to support her in each city throughout the tour. After scouting for a local act in Scotland, Leah picked homegrown talent, Deni Smith.

Originally hailing from Dunfermline but now living in Glasgow, Deni warms up the crowd with her acoustic guitar and sweet, trickling voice. Promoting her new single ‘Bring Back the Sun’, the baby-faced songstress will be gigging all over Scotland this summer. Blending an eclectic mix of folk and pop with a delicate but powerful voice, Deni Smith is definitely one to watch this festival season.

After Deni’s set, it’s time for Leah and her band to take the stage. Following the release of her first mini-album ‘INK’, Leah is now touring the UK with Glasgow being the second date after a homecoming gig in Belfast. The crowd is rowdy and lively as Leah steps on stage in a white Nike t-shirt and long pink coat with matching shorts, signifying the artist’s unique, quirky style. Performing songs from her EP including ‘Happy Human’, ‘Wolf Den’, ‘Bottle It’, ‘Language’, and the moving ballad ‘Colours at a Funeral’, Leah regularly intersperses tracks with chats to the audience as she dishes the dirt. Throughout the set, Leah takes the crowd on a painted journey of life as a writing, recording, gigging artist working independently and getting her music out there.

The EP, sounding like a mix of 1990s R&B and contemporary pop with an electronic edge, is a refined collection of stories about breaking free from creative shackles and refusing to fit the cookie cutter mould for the standard chart musician. Leah has retained her madcap fashion sense, her ridiculous, gravity defying voice, and her spirit to remain true to herself and her music.

Giving the crowd an exclusive listen to some unreleased tracks including ‘Solid Gold’ and a currently unnamed ballad preliminary titled ‘The Emo Song’, Leah gives the Glasgow crowd an intimate insight into her professional life, heartbreak, finding love, and going against the grain. Covering fan favourites including ‘Loving You’ and ‘I Will Survive’, massive cheers follow every impossibly high note as Leah’s vocals blow the roof off.

While the gig is filled with expressive tracks and emotional moments, it’s virtually impossible to have a nice, quiet gig in Glasgow. From an admirer in the crowd buying Leah several cans of Red Stripe to fangirls in the front row gushing over every single lyric and riff, the audience is in love with the quirky, pint-sized star.

Hoping to go on to release more music, play festivals this summer, and perform to bigger and bigger crowds, Leah’s wonderfully weird voice is set to take the UK, and beyond, by storm.

Leah McFall’s new EP ‘INK’ is available to buy from iTunes.

What do you think of Leah McFall? Let me know in the comment section below.

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