Gig Review – Shura, Stereo

Shura took to the stage of Stereo on Monday 5th of December, donning her signature black beanie with a huge white denim jacket draped over her shoulders.

Bathed in pink light, she introduced herself and dove straight in to the disco influenced title track of her debut album – Nothing’s Real. Playing the keyboard surrounded by her backing band – all dressed in black – she finished the song to an enthusiastic reception from the audience, before shouting in reply how happy she was to be back in Glasgow.

She launched straight into her second song, the fast paced “What’s It Gonna Be?”, before thanking the audience for their enthusiasm.

“This is the first part of my flu-blow-my-nose-shu-flu tour” she says, to general laughter, going on to rhetorically question why her flu wouldn’t come around as soon as she started her new tour. Remaining positive that she’ll power through it for the audience, she goes on to sing the glittery “Kidz ‘n’ stuff”, changing the pace from the first two songs to a pensive, slower tempo, with distant echoes of the song’s lyrical hook “how could I not be?”, before launching back into an almost tribal-sounding breakdown to end the song.

Taking off her beanie to the opening chords of the 80s influenced “Indecision”, she begins to dance in short jerks along to the song’s fast beat, clapping when she gets the chance. After loud cheers at the end of the song she moves back from the keyboard, picking up a white guitar in preparation for her next piece. She jokingly apologises to a fan at the front for their almost certain contraction of her flu and assures a refund, no doctors note needed.

She goes on to ask if there are any shy people in the audience, and then chuckles when no one answers due to the paradoxical nature of the question. Confessing that she is, in fact, a shy person offstage, the audience cheers as they begin to realise that she is preparing to play a fan favourite – “2Shy”.

Bringing the tempo back down to a slow and sultry one, she begins the ballad, which along with her sultry voice, would fit perfectly into the final scene of a John Hughes movie, where Molly Ringwald finally gets the guy she’s been chasing for the whole movie. Opting for another uptempo breakdown at the end of the song, it’s clear that Shura doesn’t want the audience to get too comfortable with slow songs – a smart move remembering she’s got plenty of uptempo songs still to play.

As the opening chords for “Make It Up” begin to play, she remarks that the song is about getting dumped and having to get public transport home – while crying. Still on the guitar, and without her faithful beanie, her hair falls in front of her face as she sings and plays, giving her an oddly desperate look and making the song seem somewhat more personal than the rest.

Continuing straight on to “What Happened to Us?” She brushes her hair behind her ear while moving back to the keyboard. Dancing along to the uptempo beat of the song, halfway through she disappears behind a curtain – presumably for a drink or paracetamol – and returns thrashing her head back and forth to make up for her brief disappearance.

At the song’s finish she asked if there were any fans of “Narcos” – the Netflix original series – in the audience, going on to talk about her 9-episode marathon of the show earlier that day, joking that she’s now becoming almost fluent in Spanish – in preparation for her non-Spanish tour.

The last time she was in Glasgow, she recounts, she played at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy on Sauchiehall St, and had the misfortune of witnessing a couple getting very inappropriate during her set. Shura then thanks the audience for not doing this, or at least for being discreet about it if they are, before going on to explain that her next song – “Touch” – was the first song she wrote for her album.

Slowing down the pace again for a sensual performance of the sexually-charged song, she has the audience in the palm of her hand. After this she gives a shout out to her friend in the audience “Pheebs”, moving on to her final song “White Light”, and the tribal influence comes back for a final breakdown. She thanks Glasgow again and is rushed offstage, presumably straight to bed with a hot toddy in hand.

Overall, Shura’s quirky, down to earth ¬†personality contrasts with her sultry vocal tones in order to create a cool atmosphere for her fans, who can enjoy her music and have a laugh along with her at the same time. Although she never played one of her signature tracks – “Tongue-Tied” – it is safe to say that any fan would not be disappointed, and even though she was suffering from the self-proclaimed “Shu-Flu”, her resilience against the virus made up for any shortcomings that may have came from it.

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