Barlow‘s acoustic set included Sebadoh and Folk Implosion songs, as requested by the audience. He also played a cover of a Tammy Wynette song and some new material.
Barlow had decided to do the three gigs – which see him supported by Eugene Kelly and Glasgow band Speeder tonight (8 September) and Idlewild and The James Orr Complex on Saturday (September 9) – after bumping into a Glaswegian friend. He decided he wanted a holiday in Scotland, and to cover the costs played the low-key shows, which are his only UK dates.
He admitted he was nervous at the start of his solo set, saying: “I’ve been flown in especially, and there’s no-one else to blame if things go wrong.” But some tuning problems aside, he gave a fabulous performance – a 90-minute trawl through his considerable songbook, from opener ‘Social Medicine’ to a beautiful ‘Love is Stronger’ at the end, amounting to over 30 stripped-down songs. The gig had a very intimate atmosphere with plenty of audience interaction, requests and banter.
Specially-invited support acts Astrid and Mogwai‘s Stuart Braithwaite also turned in acoustic sets, Astrid performing a “cheeky” cover of Barlow‘s ‘Perfect Way’, while Braithwaite, playing guitar, tackled a variety of cover versions including the Velvet Underground‘s ‘Pale Blue Eyes’, as well as a fragment of Mogwai‘s ‘Cody’.