“I ACCIDENTALLY made a happy album,” joked RM Hubbert, a guitarist whose soothing finger-picked post-rock sound is as therapeutic to its creator as to the listener.
RM Hubbert | Rating: **** | Glasgow School of Art
The lugubrious acoustic ace has indeed turned his attention from death and grieving to love and contentment (of sorts) on his new release Telling The Trees, for which he was joined by an all-female roll call of talented collaborators, many of whom were present at this album launch gig.
Hubbert’s vocal foils included the pure, pleasing tones of Sarah J Stanley, who deputized beautifully for some of the absentees, the lovely folk pop expression of Martha Ffion, beamed in from bucolic times and the more stylised delivery of fellow SAY Award winner Kathryn “puppy crusher” Joseph on the delicate, downbeat The Dog.
Even with company, Hubbert is a brooding figure but his droll anecdotes neutralized the more introspective tenor of the performance, and his dexterous playing providing a pulse through the electro pop of Sweet Dreams (not that one). He warmed to his happy theme with the undulating flow of KAS, which generated an “awww” from the crowd.
Surprise special guest Emma Pollock all but stole the show with her sultry delivery of the haunting Half Light before Hubbert kept his own company during an encore of older, sadder material.