Gig review: The Webb Sisters/Simon Lynge


HAVING scored the dream ticket of featuring in Leonard Cohen's band on his recent world tour, Kent-born siblings Charley and Hattie Webb have leapfrogged the option of playing smaller venues for this debut Scottish headline appearance. The impression they made was attested to by the proportion of the audience who'd come along on the strength of those shows, but the rapturous reception here was entirely their own work.

The Webbs' central strength is the minutely nuanced care they take with their voices' shifting alignment, variously trading lines, echoing and overlapping one another as well as simply singing together. Even within their most hushed, fragile numbers, skilfully modulated dynamics imbued their sound with depth and vitality.

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Alongside their own songs – a beguiling blend of folk, pop and country flavours, from delicate balladry to punchier upbeat fare – there was a sprinkling of covers, including Tracy Chapman's Baby Can I Hold You, subtly refashioned, and a prayerful version of Cohen's If It Be Your Will.

The duo's expert self-accompaniment on harp, mandolin and guitar lent further distinctive colours and rhythmic sinew, periodically complemented by violin, cello and percussion.

Support act Simon Lynge, all the way from Greenland, also won his share of loud applause.