February 2012: Threshold preview

Posted by in news and reviews, spotlight


Saturday 11th February 2012 is the date of the Liverpool Acoustic Afternoon @ Threshold.

Hosted by Liverpool Acoustic’s Graham Holland, and local musician Rob Rivieres, this event is taking place at the newly relaunched 
Elevator Bar and Cafe on Parliament Street (next to Giant bikes) and runs from 2pm to 7pm.

Entry is by
Threshold Festival tickets available for the day or weekend from tiny.cc/threshold12tickets

This preview features information about the performers, including links to their websites, plus the
Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight show featuring one track from each of them.

Below is the current lineup and running order, although with a festival on the scale of Threshold this could change at any minute (fingers crossed it won’t). Any changes will be updated on this post and on the facebook
event page.

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Rob Vincent from Liverpool band Night Parade to the lineup. Below are the new timings.

  • 2.00 Dean Elliott [Worcester]
  • 2.30 Rob Rivieres [Liverpool]
  • 2.55 Léon Pearce [Jersey]
  • 3.20 Oxtoby [Australia]
  • 3.45 Rob Vincent [Liverpool]
  • 4.15 The Big I Am [Liverpool]
  • 4.40 Mary McCombs [Liverpool]
  • 5.10 Robert Mulder [Canada]
  • 5.35 Alan O’Hare [Liverpool]
  • 6.00 James Munro [Stockport]
  • 6.30 Hedda Aronssen [Norway]

Tickets for all other Liverpool Acoustic shows are available from
wegottickets.com/liverpoolacoustic – including Liverpool Acoustic eXtra on 8th March featuring Bird, The Sea Kings [London], and Thom Morecroft.

Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight #63

  1. Dean Elliott – The Actress
  2. Rob Rivieres – No Romances
  3. Léon Pearce – Till The End
  4. Oxtoby – How Am I Supposed To Believe (When All That You Do Is Deceive)?
  5. The Big I Am – Dancing
  6. Mary McCombs – Gaia
  7. Robert Mulder – Work and Play
  8. Alan O’Hare – Only Child [Demo]
  9. James Munro – Reply If You Like
  10. Hedda Aronssen – I Will Follow You

Listen online here
(not available for email subscribers)
or download the show  for free
(right-click to download)

Dean Elliott
Dean Elliott
Dean Elliott is an Acoustic, Folk Singer and Songwriter from the West Midlands.

Calling influence from musicians such as Nick Drake, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, Dean began writing in his teens performing his unique blend of heartfelt acoustic folk to the pubs and clubs of his hometown of Worcester.

After fine-tuning his songwriting and performing craft at Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts’ (LIPA) in 2003, Dean shot to fame after being asked to perform as Buddy Holly in London’s West End as the lead role in the Olivier nominated hit musical ‘BUDDY – The Buddy Holly Story’.

In that time he gained a rather large fanbase and exposure whilst working tirelessly on creating a repertoire of songs with which resulted in Dean’s first studio album – ‘Tales from Whittington Tump’. Joining Dean on the record included Accordian, Piano, Cello, Double Bass and Banjo players from across the country and also full strings. The release of the album in December 2009 was recieved with acclaim from many reviewers including the N.M.E. One reviewer quoted that Dean’s lyrics “spoke directly to the heart”.

Since then and since Buddy, Dean has toured around the UK performing his music in venues such as the O2 Academy – London, Liverpool’s ‘Cavern Club’ and The Bedford, London. He has also performed in countries as far reaching as the USA, Canada, Latin America and India whilst also appearing on such shows as TV’s ‘Richard and Judy’, Radio 2’s ‘Jonathan Ross show’ and BBC London Tonight.

Dean has just completed a new 3 track E.P in November 2011 titled ‘When the dust settles down’. 

Rob Rivieres
Rob Rivieres
“I always find it difficult when people ask me to describe my music. I’ve never liked the idea of putting things in a box, putting a label on something. I tend to prefer the question ‘Why do you write?’ I always try to be honest with my music and I strive to create songs that will inspire people. Music is my way of expressing something meaningful, an experience, an idea, something honest that I want to share, something that will make people really think and feel. That instant, when a song brings people together in spite of their differences to share something beautiful; it’s in that instant that music unifies us. It’s that intimacy, that vulnerability, that’s why I write songs.”

Rob Rivieres is a twenty-three year old acoustic singer-songwriter from the north west of England.  Crafting conscious lyrics with soft vocals and simple melodies Rob creates a minimalist yet deeply soulful sound.

His debut EP, Before the Dawn, was released online in May 2011 and offered as a ‘name-your-price’ download. As well as building and managing his own website he regularly posts videos on Youtube and strives to maintain a direct relationship with his fans using several social networking sites.

Drawing on the ‘the delicate moments, dramas, dilemmas and dreams we all find ourselves drifting in and out of’, Rob writes conscious tales to inspire and intrigue. He is currently writing material for a new EP whilst gigging in and around Liverpool.

Léon Pearce

Léon Pearce

Influenced by the great songwriters, Paul Simon, Nick Drake and The Beach Boys, Léon is constantly writing new music and improving his material.
The Jersey-born musician frequently draws on personal experience when it comes to crafting songs about love, friendship and heartache, and the raw intensity of emotion that we all feel in the Spring of our lives. With a single set for release on Valentine’s Day, and plenty of gigs coming up, this emerging artist is one to watch. 



Science by day. Music by night. Neil Oxtoby is a an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist, as well as being a qualified physicist. Oxtoby usually performs as a solo artist, but also invites friends to join him on stage so you never know what to expect from any given show. Currently in the process of recording his first full-length album at Parr Street Studios, Oxtoby will be performing new original songs and a cover song at this year’s Threshold Festival after enjoying last year’s festival from the audience. You can help to write Oxtoby’s Threshold setlist by requesting songs via his Facebook page facebook.com/OxtobyMusic

Rob Vincent (photo by Rebecca Cresta)

Rob Vincent (Night Parade)

If there’s a lot of half-finished, semi-fulfilled, vaguely unsatisfying music around these days – songs that say nothing to you about your life – then maybe it’s because the people who make it haven’t lived much of a life themselves.

Not so in the case of Robert Vincent, the searingly honest Liverpool singer-songwriter whose mix of folk, rock and country is like a Mersey Van Morrison or a Scouse Springsteen.

Born in 1981 into a house that rang to the sounds of Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Robert knew before he was five years old that he wanted to be a musician. When he became a father at 17 he had to balance the hard graft of life in a working band with the responsibility of providing for a family. He’s seen setbacks and false dawns, he’s come near to success only to have it snatched away, but he’s never lost his faith in his music. And now that faith is coming good.

“I’ve done the whole thing of trying to be what people want me to be,” Rob explains in his warm and good-humoured Scouse drawl, “And in the end I just thought I’ve had enough of this. The songs I’ve written now, some of them sound like Johnny Cash and some of them like 50s rock’n’roll – but they’re what *I* wanted to write. And the funny thing is, the more honest I am the better people like it.”

The result is Rob’s debut album ‘Life In Easy Steps’: a set of songs that are alternately as open and empathic as ‘Second Chance’, and as raw and righteous as ‘Riots Cry’ – all held together by a singular lyrical vision and a voice that can soothe, comfort or tear down a wall. In a sea of plastic pop, this is real rock and roll.

“There’s no smoke and mirrors about it,” Rob says with a smile. “It’s like a good old fashioned country record. Sing what you mean – and sing it like you mean it.”

“The record is about trying to be the best person you can possibly be,” he continues, “And I think that’s what most people want from themselves. You want to be a better human being. I write from the point of view of being a dad, and worrying about the world my kid is growing up in. The world focuses so much on the individual – iPhone, iPad, I, I, me, me all the time – and there’s something unhealthy about it. We feel cut off from other people. But if music is good at anything, it’s reconnecting us.”

The Big I Am

The Big I Am

Liverpool duo The Big I Am are Colin Heaney and Peter McPartland..  These fine musicians have created a glorious blend of acoustic folk-pop.  At its core the tenor ukulele and cuatro. They have become favorites of Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music who describes them as being “…subtle, melodic and mysterious…sounds like Peter Gabriel and Steve Reich having an acoustic jam.”  The BIA will feature on an album curated by Tom Robinson and will release another two albums this year. Collecting Skies can be bought from Rash Records.

Mary McCombs

Mary McCombs

Mary McCombs formed an Indie band in the early 1990s, writing and performing their own material which was influenced mainly by Cocteau Twins and The Sundays. McCombs was the lead vocalist of the band which performed at many Liverpool venues and several in London and various University campuses nationally.
She is a regular performer with the ‘Sense of Sound’ singers, and performs as a solo artist on the local acoustic/folk circuit which includes the 2012 Threshold Festival where I also played in 2011.
Mary is currently hosting a folk night at The Cornmarket in Liverpool city centre and will be performing at the Wirral ‘Folk On The Coast’ Festival in June 2012. She is also a member of Dave Jackson and the Cathedral Mountaineers as a backing vocalist; who will also be appearing at Threshold 2012. She has recorded a CD called ‘Selling Flowers’; 10 self-penned songs available at ‘News from Nowhere’ in Bold Street. There’s another CD coming soon.

Robert Mulder

Robert Mulder

Robert Mulder is a 20 year old Singer/Songwriter from Canada, currently studying songwriting at LIPA.

He has been performing as a solo artist for over 5 years and recently assembled an eclectic international ensemble from Singapore, South Africa, Jersey, and Norway to add a special touch to his catchy indie/folk tunes. They are currently working on an EP entitled “Across the Plastic Pond” scheduled for release in September 2012. His music is simple, yet powerful; a clear and unique voice with poetic lyrics that reflect a resounding wisdom of everyday life.

Alan O’Hare

Alan O’Hare

Alan O’Hare is a singer-songwriter, and lead singer of The Trestles. Only Child is a demo recording for a future project. youtube.com/watch?v=I0VGSM8L-eM

James Munro

James Munro

James Munro is a Stockport based Singer/Songwriter whose influences include artists such as Bob Dylan, David Gray and Morrissey. He began to share his songs when moving to Liverpool – the city where his family are from – in 2006 and since then has immersed himself in both the Liverpool and Manchester music scenes. Along the way, James has supported Ocean Colour Scene on their 2011 UK acoustic tour and later that year earned himself a mention in the NME magazine when playing as part of the NME Sunday Sessions with the Morrissey approved, The Heartbreaks. 2009 saw him record a demo CD entitled The Impression On Me which was followed by the 2011 home recordings, The One Take Shake. Now back in Stockport, Munro performs regularly in Manchester and Liverpool and looks to record and release his first EP very soon. Stay tuned for news on recordings and forthcoming gigs.

Hedda Aronssen

Hedda Aronssen

Hedda Aronssen writes pop-music with memorable melodies, honest lyrics and dynamical arrangements. The Norwegian artist has together with her 4 piece band made their unique sound, with a a variation of influences. After 2 years of gigging in Norway and the UK, she is now in the progress of recording her first EP, Unread Letters, to be released in June 2012.

Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight #63 – February 2012 (Threshold)
If you get the chance, please support your local artists by emailing them, joining their mailing lists, leaving them comments, going to their gigs, and buying their music direct from them where possible. The Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight is produced and presented by Graham Holland on behalf of the Liverpool Acoustic website. It is also available on the Internet courtesy of Art In Liverpool FM (Defnet Media), and is a proud member of the Association of Music Podcasting. The theme music is King of the Faeries by Andrew Ellis from his CD Midnight On The Water.

Graham Holland

About Graham Holland

Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s an Apple Education Trainer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.