It’s Tuesday night and the Rumshack, Glasgow Southside’s beloved Caribbean bar, has transformed into a living room of sorts. The floor in front of the stage is covered in rugs and people are sitting in little groups on pillows chattering away. One guy is chilling on a bean bag, a girl is crocheting, the light is dimmed to make it extra cosy and it feels like coming home.
Who thought there could be a night out that feels like a night in? Mateusz Sobieski, a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) graduate and talented saxophone player, has created exactly that with LayLow, Glasgow’s “newest hotspot for Jazz and more at the Rumshack” as the Instagram bio proudly declares.
LayLow launched on November 8 2022 with Kitti Sings Ella (Fitzgerald) and proved to be a raving success with all pre-sale tickets, as well as the few tickets reserved for on the door, sold out.
Kitti, winner of ‘best vocalist’ at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2022, is currently one of Glasgow’s most talented singers with vocals that are reminiscent of Amy Winehouse. The audience sits on the floor, completely mesmerised by the performance the band of incredibly talented jazz musicians puts on. After the gig, everybody has glowing smiles on their faces, and it is clear the audience has fallen in love with this new concept. Sobieski smiles: “I think we made a space for people to be comfortable, you know? Tell young people they can sit on the floor, and they’ll come.”
Mateusz Sobieski got the inspiration for LayLow from one of the tents at the Shambala Music Festival (Northamptonshire) and he set out to create a new place for music lovers in Glasgow, especially for Glasgow’s vibrant jazz scene. “I didn’t want the classic jazz club atmosphere”, Sobieski emphasises, “I wanted to make it cosy and cuddly. It’s just nice to listen to this kind of music in a relaxed way, without having to wear suits.”
Since the launch night, LayLow has hosted four more concerts, each one very different in style, but played by equally talented musicians. The second gig presents Noovision, a quintet with influences of jazz, hip-hop, underground, and Latin elements led by Anoushka Nanguy. During the third gig Irini Arabatzi brings a bit of Brazilian sunshine to rainy Glasgow singing bossa nova, a fusion of Latin-American samba rhythms and North American jazz harmonies. In December LayLow hosts a Christmas special with a big band of 12 musicians and the first gig of 2023 is completely different again with Harry Weir playing a solo saxophone set followed by the projection of a 1925 silent sci-fi film with a live soundtrack from Paul Harrison and Jon Green. Because each gig is so unique, there is something to be found for everyone. Sobieski jokes: “I am just booking what I like, and I guess my taste in music is great.”
The former RCS student has big plans for LayLow in 2023. Three events are planned in January alone, the next one being Carved In A Melody on January 24 presenting Zoë Bestel, Robin Adams and Pippa Blundell, three talented singer-songwriters. Sobieski promises: “Expect great things. It’s gonna be really heart-warming and cosy, so bring your pals along for a cuddle.”
With a smile on his face Sobieski concludes: “If you are looking to relieve yourself from any concern, just for a little bit, come to Laylow and we will see what we can do about it.”
More at www.instagram.com/laylow_glasgow
Photos: Catalina Nieto