There’s something to be said for the joy that anticipation brings: it’s a strange mixture of excitement and nervousness that usually comes at big moments, be it a sporting event, getting exam results back or not knowing the lottery results until Sunday morning. In this case, however, it was the first headlining appearance in Glasgow for one of the most critically acclaimed artists of the year so far: Grimes.
In a dark and tiny ballroom in a hole in the wall at the very bottom of Sauchiehall Street, the level of buzz around Grimes was impressive for an artist that has only really been on the radar since the turn of the year (we reviewed her album Visions a few months back). It has to be said that I was far from impressed by The Berkeley Suite, too far at the back you see nothing and on more than one occasion our main act had to ask for the levels to be adjusted. I doubt she’ll have the same issue at The Arches in August.
However, the night is darkest before the dawn and with Grimes light came and stayed for her entire set. She admitted that it was a new setup and that patience would have to be shown, but by the end of her set she had made us all forget that. In surge of light and sound Grimes gave us a taste of something that could see her become a very special talent, she has an almost “aw shucks” feel to her banter with the crowd; something you don’t see that often in someone with obvious talent.
Oblivion gets the biggest cheer of the night – a song that I don’t believe would work if it weren’t for her Siren like tones. And I feel like that’s the best way to describe the whole show, like a Siren calling sailors although thankfully there were no rocks to crash into for the unsuspecting audience just a wave of electro-pop. She was even able to bring us some new “sketchy” material, which, considering she has three LPs to her name and one only out this year, to be making new material seems incredible – let alone that this “sketchy” material sounds like the finished article.
Like all good things the gig ended too quickly, Grimes declaring that she had ran out of songs to give us with the new setup obviously getting the better of her. A disappointing end but one to which you could say “I was there” when Grimes eventually becomes the worldwide star that I believe she’ll turn out to be.
Grimes‘ album Visions is out now
Words Matthew Foran