Music review: Lauren Spiteri, King Tut’s, Glasgow

Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way: singer-songwriter Lauren Spiteri is the niece of Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri. Her stepfather, Tony McGovern, plays guitar in Texas.

Lauren Spiteri

Lauren Spiteri, King Tut’s, Glasgow ***

Naturally this close family connection to one of the biggest names in Scottish pop has triggered accusations of music industry nepotism but she’s resigned to that. All this 30-year-old can do is hope that people judge her music on its own terms.

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Spiteri’s chief influence appears to be the smoky Spector-haunted pop noir of Lana Del Ray. Bewitching songs such as Someone Else’s Dream and the lyrically blunt Pretty could easily take up permanent residence on the Roadhouse jukebox in Twin Peaks. That’s why her occasional detours into mid-paced busker pop based around generic, ready-made chord progressions are so disappointing.

The lighter-waving likes of Live Like You sound tailor-made for a perfunctory mid-afternoon slot at T in the Park. She’s better than that.

Spiteri has a good voice, an appealingly vulnerable croon which swoops with ease into a warm chocolate mousse falsetto. As a performer, she’s confident without being overbearing. Her first live performances took place last year – this was only her second gig with her current band – but already she knows how to engage a crowd. Spiteri has talent, that much is obvious, but at the moment she’s compromising her tantalising country pop-soul aesthetic with lacklustre material. She’ll get there soon enough. Paul Whitelaw