The first thing you notice about Jacob Golden, second on stage tonight in support on the Softcore tour, is that unlike opening performer Joshua English he seems almost fragile and comes across as more reserved and nervous being stuck on the stage alone, but when he starts singing that all disappears and his voice takes over, it's almost Conor Oberst-like at times, with a slight emotional warble. His songs are more dreamy, complex and epic in scope and rely heavily on his vocals. He fills the tunes with plenty of emotional depth, dipping down to a tiny whisper at times then building to a surprisingly loud crescendo, it's an impressive performance.
Again, like Joshua English, he is largely unknown to the crowd here in Cardiff, and although the venue begins to fill up when he's playing, the audience still hangs back. He manages to create a big sound for just one man and a guitar and encourages the crowd to come forward to the stage where they can see the effort and emotion he puts into each tune, as soon as that happens the atmosphere really picks up and it's not long before everyone's won over by his performance; his sweet, tuneful melodic songs are beautifully performed and his lyrics are often full of witty name checks that get knowing nods and smiles from those watching.