The Voodoo Rooms Speakeasy quickly floods with people. Squeezing her way through the packed room is West Lothian singer-songwriter Angela Musk. She flutters her way round the crowd, eager to greet and chat with as many people as she can before the show kicks off. With no rows of seats, the audience cluster in groups, and a happy-go-lucky feeling of carefree partying fills the air. Musk is met with rapturous reception when she takes the stage, a roaring reception that is followed by a sudden change in tone as she begins the emotional opening number. Throughout the show, Musk shows range and the ability to leave a lasting impression, guided by lyrics that lend themselves to intimacy.
The gig follows hot on the heels of Musk’s most recent EP release. Some of her tracks are slower and more solemn, a song being performed for the first time in ten years more so than any. Others are crowd-pleasing toe tappers, like the closing medley Strength, which sends the eager crowd of fans into a mild frenzy of swaying and dancing. Musk’s songs are thematically quite similar, but stylistically they are all unique. She keeps up the surprises with a range of instruments introduced at different points of the show, the trombone in particular proving a welcome accompaniment.
It is a deeply personal show. Musk uses her songs to confide in the crowd, and to express feelings that she has had over the years that at times have risked getting her down. Other times it expresses the unpredictability and self-doubt that can creep in when you are falling in love. She shares these moments with her brother, manning the keyboard, and a beautiful violin rendition courtesy of her father. Musk and the band each play to their strengths, never seeming to miss a beat and fusing together to craft tunes that stay with you long after you leave the room.
A Scottish songwriting talent to savour, Musk hits some sensational highs as she leaves a packed venue full of fans very happy indeed. She is a singer as much determined by her own will and words as she is by the genre of her music. Her own experiences are the roots from which the rest of the show grows, with all the versatility and talent that this brings.