Gig review: Liverpool Acoustic Live @ The View Two Gallery
Zoe Mulford, Northerndaze, Ste Hedley, Property of Nadya Shanab
Friday 28th January, 2011
Fresh from a viewing of an Erotic Art Exhibition across town (don’t ask too many questions there…) I found myself at Liverpool Acoustic Live at the View Two Gallery for for what turned out to be a warming brew of words and sound in cool and creative surroundings.
NORTHERNDAZE, in what is according to the singer their first gig to an appreciative audience, were first up and one can only imagine which venues they were playing before as there was a lot to appreciate, from their committed vibe to their solid performance of songs, such as commanding opener Deeper Shade of Green, and We Get By – a quiet song concerning how we all get up in the morning despite what may have happened in our lives, with the uniting lyric ‘we’re all in the same boat/we all walk together’. Closing their set was staple protest song Gypsy Girl, which bought a memorable end to a welcoming and honest performance.
The first thing evident in STE HEDLEY’s music is his innate humanity and we discover later in the set just why his songs are so emotionally honest and easily related to. Less than statuesque he adjusted the mic accordingly, announcing “there’s a fair few weepies tonight.” True to his word, there were indeed some weepies, including opener Don’t Try So Hard, and the most touching piece Nine Months, where he writes about meeting his birth mother for the first time since he was adopted. There isn’t really much to say except that it was a genuine, very human set of songs that the small crowd appreciated.
Moving the show up a level was THE PROPERTY OF NADYA SHANAB, fronted by – you guessed it – Nadya Shanab and the band she jokingly described as her “property”. Coming from Egypt, she dedicated the set to the people of Egypt and performed a mixture of Arabic and English songs that were uniformly perfect listening, making a nice change from the expected English lyrics. That’s not to say the English songs were unworthy however, as JustSo Tired, the shockingly beautiful Cairo’s Minarets (written on missing “a certain somebody,” with its evocative lyric ‘as the sun sets on Cairo’s Minarets/I’ll be thinking of you’), and others were also perfect listening.
Finally, American singer ZOE MULFORD introduced herself with a teasing “You may have guessed I’m not from around here…I came all the way from Manchester!” Ms Mulford then promptly launched into a succession of old school folk songs: a cheeky cover of Blackbird; The Coffee Song, written for all those who have ever worked shifts; Open Water, written from the perspective of a the last (dead) crew member of the Franklin exploration; and the song Welcome in Another Year, about how it is possible to celebrate New Year all round if you really want to as it isn’t always at the same time in the world depending on your culture.
Phew, what a great night of music, Happy New Year everyone! Sorry, couldn’t resist it…
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.