Things being what they are, all those little cramped venues that used to cram an audience in during the Fringe are silent and empty this year. Which means as much use as possible is being made of socially distanced open air spaces.
Which leads us to Assembly’s series of concerts in a southern corner of George Square Gardens. The downsides of this? The weather, as there’s no cover for the audience, only the performers have a roof over their heads (it was cold but dry on Monday night). Add to that the fact that there’s little to divide this space from the rest of the gardens, and as it’s a popular place at this time of year, there’s a fair bit of background noise to contend with.
The upsides? They’ve chosen a fine selection of musicians who are well worth your time, and – certainly on Monday – whoever was in charge of the sound was doing a damn fine job.
On Monday it was Roseanne Reid. Playing only her third gig in 18 months, a fact that reminds you just how hard the music sector has been hit by the pandemic, she played a set to lift anyone’s spirits. Largely drawn from her Teddy Thompson produced album Trails, with one or two songs from her forthcoming Horticulture EP (plus You Are My Sunshine) there was a lot to enjoy from one of Scotland’s finest young songwriters. No Steve Earl to duet on Sweet Annie, sadly, but it comes across well without him. As did Take It From Me, I Love Her So and everything else in the set.
It was an absolute pleasure to hear Roseanne again, and I hope it won’t be too long until we hear her again.