Live review: Marc Vormawah @ Folk on the Dock 26/08/17
Live review: Marc Vormawah
Date: Saturday 26th August 2017
Venue: Folk on the Dock, Albert Dock
Reviewer: Denis Parkinson
Liverpool’s Albert Dock was the picturesque location for the second Folk on the Dock festival over this late August Bank Holiday weekend. Multiple stages, multiple artists and two days of excellent music to be enjoyed. The weather was glorious, the setting was stunning and there were many highlights.
Marc Vormawah was such a highlight. He has recently returned to music and has been impressing audiences in Liverpool recently with his polished, soulful and intelligent approach to songwriting and performing. Marc is not new to music though. In the 1980s, as frontman for Liverpool band Personal Column, there was critical acclaim, record releases and John Peel and other BBC Radio One sessions aplenty. Culminating with a spell signed to Elektra Records in America Marc has an impressive pedigree and wealth of experience to draw upon.
As tangible as Marc’s previous musical life is though, it is not what makes Marc Vormawah someone you should listen to now. He deserves your time because of the strength of the songs and the enticing delivery he employs today. He stands out from the crowd of singer songwriters in Liverpool and that is a huge compliment considering the current wealth of talent in our city.
Taking to the stage in the summer sunshine Marc delivered a set of well crafted, well written and melodic songs that drew the audience in from the start. It can be difficult to engage a daytime, outdoor audience but this was not an issue here. In addition to the wonderful songs, Marc’s warmth and wit shone through in the anecdotes and comments he shared during his performance. As well as singing like an angel this man is genuinely funny.
Musically this is classic songwriting. Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Paul Simon with a touch of Steely Dan. The songs are about personal relationships, wider political observations and Liverpool itself. The Lime Street Song elegantly celebrates our mainline station while cheekily assassinating the rest of the UK rail network. Typical Scouse wit that insults you but makes you laugh along. The Good Old Days takes you back to a golden age that never existed whilst The Statue Song highlights the dangers of editing history on the fly. Thought provoking and emotionally warm.
Marc has a lovely voice and his guitar playing is varied both in style and pace to make the most of the sparse instrumentation. He finished his set with the classic Wonderful World by Sam Cooke and it is a testimony to Marc’s talent that this fitted seamlessly into the set. Enjoying the sunshine listening to Marc Vormawah I had to agree – it is a wonderful world.
Denis Parkinson is a singer songwriter based in Liverpool. He performed at Liverpool Acoustic Festival 2016 and Threshold Festival 2016. He performed at the Liverpool Acoustic Kazimier Garden afternoon as part of LIMF 2015 and played at the Lantern Theatre, Liverpool, for We Shall Overcome 2015. He was a finalist in the Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge 2014 and 2015. He plays regularly in and around Liverpool and has a longstanding enthusiasm for music of all kinds. In 2015 he released an album titled “Liverpool Skyline”. In real life he works as a lecturer at University of Liverpool.