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Review: Joesef @ Trinity Centre

Sean Lawrenson covers Joesef's latest Bristol performance at the Trinity Centre.

By Sean Lawrenson, First Year English

The Glaswegian singer made more than an impact at the Trinity Centre last Tuesday. With his melancholic indie-pop tunes and involvement of the audience throughout, Joesef continued his exceptional repertoire of live performances.

As I made my way to the Trinity Centre last Tuesday, I was met with a forty-minute walk consisting primarily of hail and the ever so often stranger cursing the weather. When I finally got to queuing for the gig, everyone’s spirits outside in the freezing cold were, shall we say, damp. However, once we all collectively shook of our downtrodden, gloomy facades, the evening began with a half hour set from South London based singer songwriter Etta Marcus.

Now, it was very clear from the outset of her set that most of the crowd were unfamiliar with her work, but by the end of her first song, the acoustic, gloomy ‘View from the bridge’ the crowd were swept up by her incredible vocals (which came to be a recurring theme for the evening). Towards the end of the set, just after her performance of ‘Crown’, one member of the crowd shouted out ‘what’s your name’, which was met with a cheeky grin from Marcus before she responded. At one point I saw a person in the crowd searching her up on Spotify, such was the impact she made in that brief half hour. It would be safe to assume that Marcus could well have played an 80-minute set at Trinity, like Joesef did, and I strongly doubt anyone would have bat an eyelid.

Credit: Sean Lawrenson

‌‌But whilst the crowd were unfamiliar with Marcus’s songs, when Joesef began his set, initially offstage singing, the crowd were quick to show their appreciation with them singing along before he even arrived. The night was full of noteworthy moments, such as Joesef saying that ‘anyone with any heartbreak right now, give it to me for the next ninety minutes, but after that, I’ll give it straight back to you’. There is an assuredness in everything he does on stage, a cockiness and wit which reminds me of how Lewis Capaldi is when onstage.

Perhaps the greatest triumph of the evening was witnessing just how striking his voice sounds live. There are some artists you go to see and right away there is a sense of impending doom as they hit their first of many bum notes, but Joesef is nothing like that. The difference between the way the man talks and sings in astounding, listening to him sing ‘It’s been a little heavy lately’ from his brilliant debut album (released in January 2023) Permanent Damage, I would not have paired the two voices together in a million years.

I am usually not a fan of the idea of an encore at concerts, I find it a little predictable for the most part, but this gig proved an exception. Joesef came back out by himself initially, getting the crowd to sing ‘Lover Boy’, followed by his incredible cover of Sister Sledges ‘Thinking of You’. The night ended with the most amount of energy, with Joesef coming down to join us in the crowd as we all jumped along to the vibrant, bouncy ‘Joe’. By the time I had to make my forty-minute journey back, the hail had ceased, spirits were high, all because I had just watched Joesef smash it out of the park at the Trinity Centre.

Featured image: Sean Lawrenson

Have you seen Joesef live?