Kristin Hersh’s music career has been an interesting and lengthy one to follow, not only has she released eleven solo LPs but she is also in bands, Throwing Muses and 50FootWave. With some of those records making it into the Billboard Charts despite her alternative style, and tonight’s performance, there is nothing suggesting that this is going to come to an end anytime soon. Her most recent and tenth studio album, Possible Dust Clouds is a highly personalised acclaimed offering that speaks of her mental health, a melodic, discordant and grungy with lyrics that highly suggest melodious it ain’t.
Supported by Scotland’s Peter Kelly, otherwise known as Beerjacket, and fellow band member, Fred Abong, Kristin Hersh was accompanied by a plentiful supply of talent along with an uncomfortable amount of fans, complete with cameras. Peter kicked off the evening with his alt-folk in Glasgow’s Mono, which opened the door for the alternative, but not quite preparing us for Hersh. Performing much of Silver Chords before giving Fred the space to entertain, Beerjacket intensely held the crowd through Nervous and Everybody’s Song.
Bassist for Kristin Hersh, Fred Abong recently released his own solo EP, Pulsing, which was adequately timed with this tour. He took to the stage to perform tracks from this, which had rather unique lyrics, I presume were only tongue in cheek. Firefly, Footprints and Wire all had a similar sound to Hersh, but the lyrics suggested there was a little maturing still to happen.
Hersh, however, when on stage, around 9:30pm ploughed her way through much of Possible Dust Clouds for the next hour and a half, with Fred on bass and Rob Ahlers on drums, providing the electric trio, and vocals that sit somewhere between Patti Smith and Shea Seger. She was not short of astounding. Fusing beauty with discord, light with dark, Kristin Hersh’s performance was a unique blend of opposites to offer something to many in this packed out Glasgow venue.
Incorporating a couple of Throwing Muses’ tracks, a 50FootWave track, as well as performing alongside Peter for Your Ghost, there was much about Hersh’s set to keep it varied and intriguing. Wonderful, and yet defiant, Hersh’s stage presence was unwavering. Committed to quality, I think most walked away from this gig adequately satisfied that Hersh lived up to her powerful reputation. Concluding the evening with Wave had rippling effects, the crowd desperate for more.
Photo courtesy of Paul Summers.