Ada Lea @ The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 4 Oct

Despite a surprisingly poor turn-out, Ada Lea’s joint headline performance at Glasgow’s Hug and Pint proves a slow-starting victory for one of Saddle Creek’s latest signings

Live Review by Bethany Davison | 07 Nov 2019
  • Ada Lea

An evening of great musical diversity begins with Glasgow’s own Bobby Kakouris showcasing gently sweeping vocals and harmonically layered guitars. Kakouris' set is angelic and enticing, marking them out as one to watch.

Next we have the Alexandra Levy-fronted Ada Lea, who struggle at first. Throughout opening track mercury, Levy sings with a mildly frustrated expression, a gesture to the fact something does feel off. Whether its the mix suppressing her vocals, or some occasionally-mistimed drums, this is soon overcome. The trio blossom into a delicate and dreamy set largely comprising of her 2019 debut what we say in private, embellished with a pair of newer, unreleased tracks (Oranges and Damn).

The trio seem more together when performing those unreleased tracks, in a curious subversion of the anxiety that usually comes with new material. It can be difficult to replicate a studio sound in the live setting, but what we say in private tracks what makes me sad and 180 days still endure.

Disrupted towards the end of the set by ground disturbance from a passing train, Levy is unafraid to take this time to appeal on the importance of buying merchandise. The importance of the message is sadly highlighted by the poor turn-out.

Co-headliner Stef Chura should not go without mention. Rounding off the evening with an energetically loud, bass-heavy set – tied-up with a heartfelt cover of Silver Jews’ How to Rent a Room – Lea’s label-mate seem to embrace the dwindling occupancy of the room, performing with as much verve as a stadium headline act. Sticking around to chat over merch and to support Chura, both on-stage and off Levy is as warm, welcoming and honest as her debut album.