Liverpool Acoustic Live has been around for some time now as a spin off from the Liverpool Acoustic website, launched in 2008 as a central resource for the thriving acoustic music scene in and around Liverpool, and to say it’s been a success to date is something of an understatement, having only last week won the accolade for the Live Music Event of the Year (at the newly launched Liverpool Music Awards). Each evening usually features three or four acts from the local scene alongside artists who’ve travelled further afield, but tonight was a little different. For the second year in a row, a selection of artists selected from a longlist were whittled down to a final ten to take part in a “sing off” – or more accurately a “song off,” since what was being judged tonight wasn’t so much the performances of those attending but the songs themselves.
The Southbound Attic Band perform San Vito 1970, written by Barry Jones
For a start, to go to a night of acoustic music without hearing a single obligatory cover was refreshing in itself, but the quality of the songwriting (each one inspired by a picture within the setting of the evening, Matthew Street’s warmly inviting View Two Art Gallery) ranged from the competent to the unforgettable. Particular highlights included Kevin Critchley’s ‘Your Dance‘ with its gorgeous folk arrangement, to the fixating story and beautiful harmonics of the Southbound Attic Band’s Barry Jones penned number ‘San Vito 1970.’
Vanessa Murray sings her Judges’ Award wining song I Don’t Wanna Lose You Like This
The audience vote went to opener Steve Swinnerton and Dave Johnston (and man tapping on speaker – the band as a whole being the Midnight Waltz) piece ‘Face to Face‘ which was impressive but perhaps not so clearly as the Judges’ Award winner ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose You Like This‘ performed by 17 year old Vanessa Murray and inspired by a picture of a wall in a field. If you can write a song inspired by that which bowls the audience over, you’re on to a good thing, and Murray fully deserved the award she walked away with.
An encouraging and affirming evening then for songwriters everywhere, and an event which further cements Liverpool Acoustic Live’s position as the best evening of its kind in the area.