Music review: Nathan Evans, St Luke's, Glasgow

He’s still an inexperienced live performer, but this Glasgow show gave a glimpse of the artist TikTok sensation Nathan Evans might become, writes Fiona Shepherd

Nathan Evans, St Luke's, Glasgow ***

Two years ago, Airdrie postie Nathan Evans became an overnight TikTok sensation with his home recording of New Zealand forebitter Wellerman, spawning a cute trend in remote harmony singalongs, a fleeting revival of interest in sea shanties, prime time TV appearances and major label remixes. The question now is can Evans parlay this into a music career?

Recently released debut album, Wellerman, is a decent start, showcasing, in the X Factor parlance, the artist he wants to be. Based on this solo outing, the artist he wants to be is an amalgam of Gerry Cinnamon, Lewis Capaldi, Amy MacDonald and Ed Sheeran with a side order of Mumford & Sons – melodic, commercial, derivative but with a dash of authenticity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Nathan Evans PIC: Andreas Rentz/Getty ImagesNathan Evans PIC: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Nathan Evans PIC: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Evans is an inexperienced performer but has just enough charm to carry him through, wrangling with a loop station which allowed him to work the stage and concentrate on his strong and true vocals. In a set of songs old and new, original and traditional, he jumped from pacey acoustic indie strum to doe-eyed piano ballad to folky knees-up with the air of a man who can’t quite believe he’s been given this platform.

Lyrically, his own material wasn’t rocket science, from Perfect Storm’s ever serviceable weather metaphors to the homeward bound concerns of Old Town. Although neither were in the shanty tradition, the continuity of sentiment was clear.

Wellerman was dropped into the middle of the set, sorely lacking the additional male voice harmonies for that worksong oomph, but eliciting some hearty audience participation instead. Beyond his most recognisable number, there was a sense of casting around to see what would stick – in front of a home crowd, sentimental Scots favourites from Wild Mountain Thyme to a premature Auld Lang Syne and encore rendition of Caledonia did the predictable business.