Live review: Gráinne Duffy @ Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 11/02/18
Live review: GráinneDuffy (supporting Paul Carrack)
Date: Sunday 11th February 2018
Venue: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Reviewer: Ian D Hall, Liverpool Sound and Vision
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
When you witness a musician completely stun an audience with an awe-inspiring, almost transcendent, reading of an Etta James classic, then you know you are in the presence of someone who, if Time decrees, will take the hearts and minds of crowds to come that they might never have thought possible. That in this otherwise night of a sort of second homecoming for the main event of Sheffield’s Paul Carrack to a favourite venue in a city he obviously loves, that Ireland’s Gráinne Duffy would come into the lives of the Liverpool audience and simply blow them away with her charm, depth and voice.
Not that any of that should have been a surprise to the Liverpool Philharmonic audience, but it is too the trust that soon became apparent between older established and statesman like of his profession Mr. Carrack, that the crowd who had made their way into the auditorium in time to hear Ms. Duffy take on the acoustics inside the Philharmonic Hall, that they were witnessing something special, something that would both capture their hearts and insist upon a smile of joy being seen worn on their faces.
It is not impossible to frame a sense of the overpowering honesty that weaves its way from the soul of Gráinne Duffy, it is a promise that is forthcoming from the very start of her set and yet it is one that keeps giving, that is astonishingly pure, even with only the chance to see her perform half a dozen songs or so in her set, there is delight and graft of a talented Blues player seeking out a faithful listener into which whisper smooth gestures and wholesome truths towards.
Whilst it might have been the incredible vocal of Etta James’ I’d Rather GoBlind that set the evening in stone, in songs such as the set opener of Don’t You Want To Know, the cool reading of Bonnie Raitt’s Love Me Like A Man, Open Arms and the sensual images of Home to which the night was built around; the foundations to which Gráinne Duffy will find herself invited back to Liverpool time and time again.
A glowing set of love, memory and crushingly great covers, Gráinne Duffy has immediately become a friend to Liverpool’s music fans.
Ian D. Hall was brought up in Birmingham and spent the vast majority of his teenage years in Bicester, near Oxford. He grew up loving music from a very early years.
In the last ten years Ian has written reviews for the Birmingham Evening Mail, Liverpool Live, Chris High and the University of Liverpool’s L.S. Media web site. For the last year of his graduate degree he was joint Arts Editor for L.S. Media and it has been his privilege to write on many of the arts in Liverpool, Merseyside, the U.K. and the rest of the World, having reviewed gigs as far as away as Poland and Canada.
Liverpool has been his home for the last eight years and is without doubt the most vibrant, most cultural part of the UK. His love of music and theatre has led him to see great bands and plays, not just in Liverpool but the wider artistic community. His dearest music loves are Punk, Progressive Rock, Metal, Rock, folk and pop.
Ian D. Hall graduated from the University of Liverpool in June 2012 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English. He now edits the Liverpool Sound and Vision website.