GG showcase @The Library

4 stars (out of 5)

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NGG Scrolleribbles and fizz in Soho on a Friday evening, followed by an intimate gig in The Library in St Martin’s Lane; you’d be mad not to. The point of this little intimate soiree was to focus our attention on GG, a Russian singer-songwriter trying to make an impact in the UK. GG did all the meet and greet with genuine warmth, entertaining us grizzled old music business hacks and winning them over her sense of humour. All very civilised, but then it was time for the showcase at The Library. Now, I like a bit of variety as much as anyone, but a bearded Scandinavian singer/songwriter performing songs about how much he loves his sister in an Estuary/Bob Marley accent is outside my comfort zone – the audience weren’t too keen either.

So, up next was GG, stripping her recorded arrangements back to just her vocal and the subtle and delicate piano backing of Molly Laws. You could hear elements of Tori Amos, or maybe even Kate Bush in there; the songs were strong with almost mesmeric repetition of half-lines, the piano providing the perfect musical setting for GG’s hugely charismatic and theatrical performance. Showcase gigs can sometimes be bearpits, with audience factions only interested in the artist they’ve come to support, but from the moment GG started to sing the background chatter stopped and all attention focussed on the stage. You get four stars just for achieving that in a showcase environment.

GG’s single “4 Days” is out now.