Arooj Aftab – Mackintosh Church, Glasgow – 6 Feb 2022

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I had a ticket for another show in Edinburgh this Sunday night so went to Liverpool on Saturday to see Arooj … but the Edinburgh gig was cancelled, so I jumped at the chance to experience such an amazing artist two nights in a row.  And the gig moving to a bigger venue in the beautiful Mackintosh church, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh himself, was an opportunity too good to miss. So keen I was, I arrived early, getting front of the queue for a perfect seat in a church pew front and centre. Magic!

Not only is the church a stunning piece of architecture and design, such an appreciative audience was right up for this on the last night of the Celtic Connections festival … the atmosphere was crackling and I had some nice chats with some very knowledgable Scottish and World music fans. And they all loved this very special performance …same songs and quality as last night, but such a different atmosphere. Arooj was also very relaxed and laughed off her growing success with jokes about her record company choice of tour merchandise and her new, ‘out there’ stylist selected outfits.

I was so lucky to manage a few minutes to chat to Arooj outside after another brilliant show, cigarette and whisky in hand! What a smart and funny person with a dry wit. We talked about her touring experiences and the contrast between the venues and the occasions in Liverpool and Glasgow. She agreed that standing audiences can really get to move about and get into the groove that is there in her songs, but she was very grateful for the hushed attention in Glasgow and the thunderous reaction after her songs. She loves her whisky and was in the right place and mood for more of that!

Travelled home floating on air. I could not put the whole experience better than this beautifully written, spot on review by Graeme Thomson. So happy to be able to say ‘ I was there!’.

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