Glasgow’s Joesef has closed the UK leg of his headline tour with two sold-out nights at the Barrowland Ballroom.
The gigs marked a long-awaited homecoming for the singer-songwriter from Garthamlock, who counts Elton John and Paolo Nutini as fans.
“I’m from a very working-class background, we didn’t really have a lot of stuff when I was growing up, so you never really imagine you can get into an industry like this,” he told STV News before the tour.
“To be at this point in my career, all this good stuff is happening, every day is like the best day ever because I know how different it could have been.”
Joesef, an independent artist, has been on an upward trajectory since his debut album Permanent Damage was released in January, peaking at number one on the iTunes chart.
Tracks like East End Coast and The Sun is Up Forever are influenced by his upbringing in Glasgow.
On stage at the Barras he recalled growing up with his mum and two brothers.
“My dad was very abusive and died when I was young,” he said. “Speaking to my mum, she said it was a dark period in her life, but once she got through it, ‘The Sun is Up Forever’.”
“All this is wild; I’m just a boy from up the road that’s here to have a good time”Joesef
Joesef started singing in the jazz band at school, although he admitted to STV’s What’s on Scotland that he kept it a secret to maintain his “street cred”.
After school, he sang in public for the first time at an open mic night at St Luke’s – a gig venue a stone’s throw from the Barrowland Ballroom.
His first professional gig was at King Tuts in 2019, returning to the venue last year for a free, intimate gig that sold out in seconds.
He held his album launch party at Platform Glasgow, hosted by comedian Paul Black. Joesef’s mum was sitting proudly in the front row.
In the queue for the concert at the Barrowland, one gig-goer aptly described the atmosphere around the singer’s two-night residency as like “a Glasgow holiday weekend”.
“The Barras is absolutely bouncing,” they added.
“There’s such a specific experience of being from the east end and playing at the Barras,” said Joesef.
“I’ve been backed 100% by my hometown from the very start of my career.
“All this is wild. I’m just a boy from up the road that’s here to have a good time.”
From the roar of the 2,000-strong Barrowland crowd, it’s clear that’s exactly what happened.