Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert. Madhatters 1/7/18.

Not surprisingly given the talent on show this evening, Madhatters is absolutely jam-packed and uncomfortably warm. Siobhan Wilson starts with a set drawn from her sublime album “There Are No Saints”. Not for the first time I watch as she silences a crowd: pin drop quiet. To be fair, this is a crowd that has come to listen and they hang on to every note as she shifts between guitar and piano; the instrumentation is sparse and it seems to be that this is all about voice, melody and lyric. I swear that the fairy lights behind her come and go with her breath . . . it’s an exquisite, intimate performance and the perfect start to the evening.

Now I’d started Sunday in not too positive a frame of mind so I was taking a chance in coming to listen to Moffat & Hubbert. Featuring work predominantly from their current album “Here Lies The Body”, this is absurdist existentialism flyting with Calvanist miserablism on death, sex, love, loss, abandonment, the multiverse, and jogging (but not dogging). And it is beautiful. Moffats sardonic drawl litters the place with some truly poetic lyrics all perfectly balanced by Siobhan Wilson’s contribution on vocals, cello and piano. And then there is Hubby, and as he says, “this is a fucking beautiful piece of guitar”. Nobody’s arguing. Running through all of this is some very fine percussion and (just the right amount of) electronic wizardry. We are treated to a lovely rendition of “Only You” (Yazoo) and to finish “Car Song” – their first collaboration from RM Hubbert’s “Thirteen Lost and Found” album. Between songs the banter is tasty, feisty and very funny. Nobody left this place on a downer; I left with the new album in my pocket.

So, Siobhan Wilson’s album “There Are No Saints”: like I said, sublime and getting consistently great reviews. The aforementioned “Thirteen Lost and Found”, RM Hubbert’s SAY Award winning album from 2013. Wells and Moffat, 2012 winners of the inaugural SAY award with “Everything’s Getting Older”. If I were a betting man, I’d have a few pounds on “Here Lies The Body” at this years SAY award.