Joesef @ La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 24 Oct

Glasgow rising star Joesef is an immediately charming presence tonight as he plays a sold out La Belle Angele, proving why he's tipped to go right to the top

Live Review by Max Sefton | 27 Oct 2021
  • Joesef live at La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 24 Oct

It’s been a rapid rise for Glasgow’s Joesef. In just a couple of years he’s secured a BBC Sound of 2020 nomination, a Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award shortlist nomination, and sold out a host of shows including at his native Barrowland Ballroom as well as this evening’s capital jaunt at La Belle Angele.

Tonight the stage is lit in pink, his roadies are dressed in pink balaclavas and his band are dressed up in slightly old-fashioned suits and shirts. It’s quite a way to make a first impression. Joesef himself is an immediately charming presence – part Glaswegian wideboy, part wide-eyed adventurer – and over the course of tonight’s dozen tracks he sets out to prove just why so many people are tipping him to go right to the top.

Does It Make You Feel Good? is a soulful and funky opener, while new single Fire deploys delicate easy-listening guitar in a swooning ballad. On his two EPs and assorted singles, songs are augmented with brass and strings but they’re no less effective in a slightly more stripped-back fashion. His bass player in particular is a formidable secret weapon, tapping out liquid grooves that get the audience moving and anchoring a tight and supple backing band, who seem as at home with the lush and pillowy Think That I Don’t Need Your Love as they do with a funky cover of Sister Sledge’s Thinking of You.

Ultimately though it’s the slinky-hipped frontman and his gorgeous croon that steals the show. One second he’s adding a harder edge to Kerosene, the next he’s bruised and heart-on-sleeve singing Comedown. At times the crowd response is so ecstatic that it seems as if the singer is genuinely overwhelmed by the love in the room. For show closer Loverboy he’s down on the barrier, encouraging the crowd to sing along and lingering just a moment to take in the applause. Catch him while you can, he might not be playing small venues for much longer.