On first is local rising star Terra Kin. She’s a bit less jazzy as a solo performer, compared to the collaborative mood of her EP, ‘Too Far Gone’, though her vocal inflections betray this influence. Her plucked electric guitar is easy and unhurried, a soft foundation for her tales of young adulthood and its attendant perils. She gets some solid heckles from a dog in the other room, but doesn’t (totally) let it distract from giving an assured performance that won more than a few fans.
Rozi Plain is joined tonight by a full band to bring her excellent new album, PRIZE, to life. Though it would take twice that many to fully realise its multifarious sound. Thankfully, Dimi Ntontis is on hand with keys and synths to replicate as faithfully as possible.
Complicated opens the set, with ‘Agreeing For Two’ following shortly after, setting an easygoing mood that’s surprisingly danceable. Plain has moved away from her folky roots on the last two albums, creating a well-rounded sound that is more folk-pop in the vein of Aldous Harding rather than the skittishness of folktronica, despite the frequent electronics. There’s even space for a couple of scuzzy guitar solos courtesy of James (Tarquin) Howard.
A few jams from 2019’s ‘What A Boost’ also appear, such as the title track and ‘Symmetrical’. The latter showing off the subtle lyrical tics that Plain does so well and appear frequently across ‘PRIZE’: “Asymmetrical/To be symmetrical/To see symmetrical/To see symmetrically” which looks weird written down but that Plain’s atypical intonation carries off perfectly.
The band have a nonchalant air, laughing and joking throughout (and occasionally missing count-ins) that creates a friendly atmosphere, ideal for the cosy vibe of Celtic Connections. ‘Swing Shut’ is a brilliant main set closer, which could have ended the show on a high, but the addendum of ‘Help’ for the encore is the cherry on top.