Leon Rosselson has a rich history – as is the want of his 82 years – of songwriting, children’s authorship, interweaved with so-called socialist radical politics, and it is with eager enthusiasm the audience anticipated his two-part set, split with support act Esme Bridie, who served as an interesting counterpoint to Rosselson’s artistic manifesto.
Esme Bridie at the Music Room
Ms Bridie offered to the night’s appreciative audience songs of subtle and lyrical beauty dealing with sadness, loss and the general complexity of relationships, such as ‘Big Brown Boots’ and the sublime ‘What You Had Yesterday’. She possessed an intriguing stillness on stage which belies her youth but signifies an inner steel of confidence that will serve her well in the future.
Leon Rosseleson played tonight a set that embraced the zeitgeist – addressing political and feminist issues he has been grappling with all his long creative life, but that are just as pertinent today as when they were first written. ‘Palaces of Gold’ themes the obvious hypocrisy of class and privilege. The line “invisible fingers will mould Palaces of Gold” was a telling reminder that power and self- interest always loads the dice in the Establishment’s favour; ‘Don’t Get Married Girls’ is a funny, acerbic and many times very accurate commentary – depending on your viewpoint – of the social construct of this hallowed institution. ‘Talking Democracy Blues’ is a brilliant post Brexit commentary, with not so much as a side-swipe but a full on forearm smash to Blair’s political legacy. ‘Where Are The Barricades’ pretty much sums up these austerity years. Rosselson’s call to arms is completely irresistible.
Music Room fills up ahead of Leon Rosselson’s concert
This was an evening of intelligent music that spoke to the Philharmonic assembly intuitively and made the assembly consider the political and emotional worlds we all now inhabit. As the Maestro quipped, this was a night of the old and the new. But it was also a welcome reminder that wise observations borne out of experience should always be heeded. And needed.
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.