[sic] Magazine

Glissando – Live @ Captains Rest, Glasgow, 07/02/09

Glissando travel the length and breadth of the UK several times a year and their desire has clearly not gone unnoticed. A respectful hush fell over the venue as core members Elly May Irving and Richard Knox took to the stage, backed by their Fleeting Glimpse Orchestra ( a set-up consisting of cello, violin, a second guitarist and visuals). The music they make is impossibly mesmeric; Irving is the dominant force, blessed with the voice of an angel and a solemn piano style. Knox, meanwhile, prefers to take a less commanding role ushering the sound along with glacial, Stars of the Lid-like drones fashioned from his pristine guitar and adding soft backing vocals.

There’s a hypnotic quality to their live performance that doesn’t come across as much on record, possibly due to the addition of their orchestra. Live they demand attention, take your eyes off the stage for a second and you’ll lose the place. “With a Kiss and a Tear” set a melancholic tone at the start, followed by a new number tentatively entitled “Lost Light”. The winding, cinematic “Always a Storm” collected a fantastic reaction and its euphoric climax is simply a joy to behold, coiling forlorn cello round Iriving’s gorgeous chants.

Having said that, its both “Grekken” and “Floods” where this writer believes Glissando excels. The former, their most immediate number, expires with a Godspeed-esque verve while the latter’s assemblage of beatific strings and enchanting vocals sends shivers cascading down the spine, almost bringing a tear to the eye. Not many collectives have the ability to affect an audience so, but the sheer beauty of Glissando’s music makes it their most potent weapon – it’s the sound of a thousand angels weeping.

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