“You won’t see me when it’s cold outside,” simmers Nadine Shah early in her set, amidst the shuddering keyboard crunch and slowly rising trumpet line of Winter Reigns, and it’s a nice point at which to reflect on the quality of her live vocal.
Nadine Shah - King Tut’s, Glasgow
* * * *
On this track and the sombre minimalism of Used It All, and again throughout the evening, it would demonstrate a tense but utterly lovely warmth, womb-like in the way it seemed to sweep up and enfold the modest crowd.
Brought up in Northumbria, the daughter of Norwegian and Pakistani parents, Shah’s spoken accent was as hard to place as her singing voice was surgically precise.
She loved this venue and this city growing up, we were told, and her vocally proud mother was in to lend morale support for the evening.
Her debut record of earlier this year, as it happens, is called Love Your Dum and Mad, and the circumstances behind its creation involve suicide and her own struggles with anxiety.
Most of her songs are built upon her own sparse piano and the rich but lightly layered rhythms of a seemingly underemployed trio of backing musicians, and while All I Want (owner of the mighty phrase “you’re all that I want but you’re nothing like me”) and a cover of Dennis Hopper Choppers’ Blue best exemplified the uncanny shiver-on-a-summer’s-day effect of this music and her voice in full effect, the set was leavened by more gruffly characteristic rock ‘n’ roll passages in The Devil, To Be a Young Man and Runaway.