Chastity Brown Pleasance Theatre

There are certain gigs that you just know are going to be a joy, even before you get to the venue. There’s something that leads you to make your way through a freezing, wind-swept, January night in Edinburgh to see an artiste that you only know from having seen perform a couple of numbers on Jools Holland’s show, because you know, you just know, that this is going to be worth it.

And worth it she certainly is. Faced with a theatre that due to circumstances beyond her control – a last minute decision to add this date to the tour coupled with a lack of publicity for the gig – was decidedly lacking an audience, Chastity Brown turned in a gem of a performance.

Whoever made the decision to turn the show around and seat the audience at the back of the stage, giving the performance a house concert type feel, got it exactly right. OK, it was something of a cold atmosphere, but the quality and intensity of the performance was more than enough to dispel that.

Chastity, along with the skilled and sympathetic accompaniment of Luke Enyeart on guitar, produced a set that transcended the chilly surroundings with her blend of blues, soul and a touch of folk (Finney’s Daughter) that paid tribute to her Irish roots. Along with her recent single Colorado, the inclusion of I Left Home, Drive Slow, How Could I Forget and above all, Solely, made this a night to remember.

Edinburgh, you don’t know what you missed. Should she return, get yourself a ticket. You wouldn’t want to miss her twice.

And before I close, a mention is due to The Jellyman’s Daughter for an opening set that confirms the promise contained in their album.

Jim Welsh