Live Music + Gig Reviews

Kimya Dawson @ ABC2, Glasgow

14 May 2008

Kimya Dawson contributed to the soundtrack of Juno, but she goes way back to 1994, when she was one half of The Moldy Peaches.

Her cutesy, girly voice accompanied the Juno plot beautifully. Tonight the owner of that voice, now a mother, takes to the stage in track suit bottoms and a t-shirt for a set devoid of gregarious decoration.

With only her acoustic guitar, Kimya’s set is a sigh of relief, a gig that doesn’t require dancing or gimmickery because the music speaks entirely for itself.

Kimya’s fast-paced ditties may all sound similar, but her sweet, pure and beatific voice is one that keeps an audience hanging on every word. She begins her show from the solitude of her chair, playing her signature tunes about death and despair: “I will lose my shit if even one more person I know dies, so please don’t die.” Her songs are sung so clearly that no word is minced, and the themes of her life are thrown into stark relief.

Kimya is keen to play us some of her new songs, designed for children. In these songs we see Kimya as a mother as well as a performer. Intended for children they may be, but the subliminal messages peeping through make it difficult not to be touched by her desire for us all to be who we are. They’re not too far removed from her adult songs, just without the swearing or sex references.

With Dirty Pretty Things playing in the venue above, Kimya confesses that her songs do not compare to their high-energy buzz. But in between their songs, she says, DPT are telling their audience about Kimya’s ‘wild’ antics below.

But she doesn’t need fame or a massive following, because she has a voice and something to say with it. Her songs are short and sweet and the crowd leave tonight feeling warm inside. Kimya, on the other hand, leaves the stage rather abruptly to tend to her crying toddler.

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Kimya Dawson @ ABC2, Glasgow