Gig review: David Thomas Broughton, Glasgow

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A PERFORMANCE by Yorkshire singer-songwriter-experimentalist David Thomas Broughton is so much more than just a concert – quite literally it’s an experience, a sonic record not just of the music he makes but of the space we’re all inhabiting.

David Thomas Broughton - Mono, Glasgow

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While the modest seated audience watched in silence, he looped his own music and wandered the venue inquisitively, searching expectantly for the next sound to be made.

It was a performance art piece and a work of theatre as much as a gig, but the music was beautiful, a tender fog of softly picked acoustic guitar and esoteric lyricism delivered in a rich, definition-defying vocal tone reminiscent of that of Antony Hegarty, warm and rich and comfortingly sparse.

He crooned of “the promise of a perfect woman” and entered into dialogue with each of the four seasons, and at one point during Perfect Louse adapted the lyric to inform us “my favourite venues to play/ are the ones where all the doors, they creak”, in reference to those comings and goings which audibly encroached upon his set. In fact, ambient noise was as much a part of the show as anything else – while wandering the room with a loudhailer he squeaked the front door in time himself, while at the back of the room the squeaks of a tiny baby seemed perfectly in harmony with proceedings.

In fact the baby was brilliantly incorporated into the show, its mother stepping up to play clarinet towards show’s end and the infant being given a bell to rattle. If that all sounds a bit too clever and wilfully obscure, it was anything but, a beautiful and delicate performance which seemed utterly natural and wildly inventive in context.