It had been a while, according to Gemma Hayes, since she had played in Glasgow; so she was pleased that the city still remembered her.
Which was funny, since I had hardly thought about the Irish singer-songwriter since the release of her gorgeous, Mercury-nominated debut Night on My Side in 2002. Yet Hayes has hardly stopped working since: latest album Bones + Longing is her fifth release, and its polished, summery folk-pop songs made up the bulk of her West End Festival setlist.
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The aptly titled "Joy" is your hazy, lovestruck summer road trip soundtrack; while "Making My Way" began as reverent as the audience - although kicked up a gear when the drums came in on the first chorus. Like much of Hayes' work these songs are simple but affecting, ending with a three-part harmony courtesy of her touring band.
Hayes claims not to be able to write happy songs - she introduced the deceptively upbeat "Happy Sad" with a story about a journalist who had a go at her for "always being so miserable" - so her warm, funny stage persona was a bit of a surprise. She even hinted that she was about to cover "My Lovely Horse" from Father Ted - "the best thing that Ireland has ever done" - before playing new single "Palomino" instead.
But the sad songs, when they came, were delicate, beautiful things: on "Shock to My System", which Hayes described as "a really nice miserable song", her voice became a husky, gorgeous instrument of heartbreak while soft mandolin and a jarring minor chord gave the song its atmosphere. And when she played "Back of My Hand" from her debut, it turned out I still knew all the words.