Her songwriting, though, shines all on its own, and the truth is that tonight’s set feels a lot more playful than the album it leans so heavily on; intensity on record is consistently swapped out for bright and breezy guitar pop, especially on ‘Showgazers’ and ‘Great Australian Bite’. There’s moments that a relayed faithfully, particularly the sprawling set centrepiece ‘Analysis Paralysis’, which unfurls slowly, but for the hour or so that she’s onstage, Cloher rattles through her back catalogue with the sort of purpose you’d expect from somebody who’s been plugging away for over a decade to be here.
The morning after the show, Barnett announces her second LP, which is bound to be as huge as her first. Tonight, though, it’s Cloher front and centre – a very different talent to her wife, but a similarly brilliant one.
Jen Cloher, The Deaf Institute, Manchester, Wednesday 14 February 2018
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