Gabby Young is the perfect antidote for the generally deflated post-election nation, many who are mourning another five years of greyness.

When she steps out on stage in the Ruby Lounge tonight she is vibrancy personified. There she stands smilingly, her expressive features framed by an elaborate floral head-dress in a gorgeous, self-made intricately patterned dress. Gabby's interesting and quirky couture is as daring and different as her music which I find hard to categorize. It's her own unique blend of jazz, burlesque, gypsy-folk, swing and all kinds of other sub-genres that bounce around the stage undefined and unfettered.

Tonight it's only Gabby and guitarist, Stephen Ellis, but between the pair of them they raise enough energy and atmosphere to equal an eight piece band (which is what they are when Gabby Young and Other Animals are all together) and this is something I'd definitely like to see after experiencing them in duo form.

They kick off with the irresistible 'In Your Head'...and the crowd lap up every beat and hand-clap. Next we're asked to choose a brass instrument and impersonate a brass band to replicate the original record with Gabby and Stephen telling us we had to beat the response they got in Glasgow last night. Apparently we do. Most of the crowd can't help but be pulled in, so contagious is the duo's enthusiasm.

I can't claim to be very familiar with Gabby's songbook but my favourite song of the night was 'Male Version of Me' which Gabby dedicated to anybody in the room who was in love. Whether you were or weren't this song was enough to make the spine tingle and the stars above twinkle...and her voice is both soft and strong, pliable but resilient.

This was a short set but in thirty minutes or less Gabby and the solo member of her menagerie whipped up a storm. Closing track 'Horatio'" dragged us through the dust of the wild-west and once again the crowd contributed backing vocals with one half instructed to shout "Hoo" and the other "Ha". All too quickly the set screeched to a halt and then Gabby and Stephen said their goodbyes.

I'm hungry for more. It's not every day I get to see musicians having so much fun on stage. Whether Gabby was playing kazoo, ukulele or guitar she was having a ball and Stephen snapped several strings he was playing with such gusto. It was pure delight to watch and listen. Thank you, Gabby Young and Stephen Ellis.

Photos by Melanie Smith

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