Monday at the Hug and Pint, and Michele Stodart, best known as one quarter of family band The Magic Numbers, was approaching her gig with at least Thursday night levels of cheery optimism, while treating the audience to the gentle Sunday night strains of her solo material, creating an intimate listening party atmosphere with her personable presence.
The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
There was a blithe spirit to her songs, whether fragrantly folky or groovily bluesy, even as she delivered some bleakish sentiments. Her Invitation to the Blues was indeed inviting and even her angriest song, Foolish Love, was as much a pleasure to behold as it was doubtless cathartic for her to perform.
Beginning sparse, solo and acoustic, she layered on the instruments as her band members joined her piece by piece, rounding out the sound with the warm wash of keyboards, diverse percussion – including a mean washboard wielded by CJ Jones – and an extra guitar. There was good-natured instrument-swapping between Stodart and her support act Raevennan Husbandes, with whom she has struck up a natural musical rapport. Husbandes’ sweet vocal tone, complementary close harmonies and her beautifully burnished bluesy guitar playing did a great embellishing service to Stodart’s engaging, but not spectacular, songwriting.
Stodart joked that she was taking a breather from playing with The Magic Numbers “for health reasons”. If so, there was good medicine to spare at this affable gathering.