OVER a hectic career, Martha Wainwright has been an angry young woman, an interpreter of Édith Piaf, a confessional songwriter and a fervent collaborator.

Every persona was present on stage in Cardiff as the restless French-Canadian singer entertained fans in the capital. 

While her brother Rufus packs out the gargantuan Millennium Centre when he visits Wales, Martha opted for an intimate evening at the compact Tramshed.

All the better, as her voice echoed around the small venue and seated audience - who were treated to a varied set culled from one eclectic back catalogue.

With a backing band kitted out in matching boiler suits, she re-visited many shifts in style and kept the crowd laughing with quips.

Last year's long-player Goodnight City made up much of the set and a particular highlight was the bluesy showpiece One of Us, co-written by Glen Hansard of The Frames. Backed by piano, Martha stood bathed in red light delivering the poignant lines: "This may be hard to swallow... but one of us will lose." 

She told us at one point: "I'm trying to write some songs that are less negative."

The audience left on a high, singing the soaring melody of closer Proserpina, so she needn't worry.

Declan Harte