Credit Olivia Marrins

Review: Joesef’s pinnacle gig of his career @ Barrowlands

By Olivia Marrins

The East-end Glaswegian singer sells out two nights.

Lights up, pints downed and Beyonce’s Break my Soul: the beginning of the Barrowlands gig for the East End singer was always going to be a standout. In a venue of such momentous Scottish music moments, the Barrowlands’ stairs welcomed a new crowd for such a personable, touching gig in Joesef’s old stomping ground. Spirits were high to say the least as sounds of 70s soul and pop classics primed the crowd; couples, groups of friends and singles brought under one roof for the ultimate dance last Friday night. 

The eerie, romantic sound of the strings warms up the stage as the band appears on a level just up from the stage, introducing Joesef. A mic in hand, and dressed in mid-90s business attire – oversized tie and chunky loafers – he comes up from the back of the stage to the red pool of light. 

Joesef greets the crowd at the front of the stage, honouring how special this gig means to him. The setlist progresses with songs from Permanent Damage, with East End Coast inducing a state of surrealism within the crowd, each person in the venue (though they may not have even been from Glasgow) shouting “I think I miss Glasgow” right back to the stage.

The setlist honours a moment of reflection as the bitter, melancholic lyrics of Comedown fill the room. Fans engage with the Jossef’s emotion on this night to remember old relationships in the spirit of moving forward into a happier place. 

As the gig drew closer to the last song, under a deep orange hue, Joesef dedicates The sun is up forever to firstly his mum and for anyone else who has been stuck to a troubling, conflicted relationship. Fans listen and sway in adornment of the singer’s personable attitude towards his music.

Clapping is replaced by feet stomping against the old ballroom floor as the crowd beg for just “one more tune”. Joesef treats the encore with a cover of Sister Sledge’s Thinking of you a track released towards the beginning of his first EPs. Joe then prompts the first night of shows to an end; the sea of the crowd jumping in unison to each chorus, audiences nodding heads at one another in awe. The uplifting surge at the end of the gig left Joe on loop in everyone’s heads (whilst others stayed and danced to Jump by Girls Aloud as it circled the Tannoys). 


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