MAKING MERRY ACROSS THE MERSEY. Music on the waterfront 8th June 2013
I’m one of those people who when hearing about a free offer or a giveaway is immediately interested and eager to get my nose in the trough so when our fair city Hosts it’s own free musical giveaway it’s a case of ” Right. I’m on my way. See you in a minute.”
Music on the Waterfront returned to the Pier Head once again and having enjoyed last years Smooth Radio concert I was eager to be entertained by this years outing and on my arrival at 5.30pm I could see the sentiment was shared by the already capacity crowd.
Kicking off the event was singer songwriter Thea Gilmore .Playing songs from her album ‘ Regardless ‘ she gave the crowd a few reasons to be cheerful in the hot teatime weather. She was swiftly followed by the gifted Mancunian songstress Josephine who’s album ‘Portraits ‘ has recieved rave reviews from Uncut, Q magazine and a host of daily tabloids and whose sound is not unlike that of Joan Armatrading.We then had another female northerner Heather Peace ( or for those who love their bit of telly,Miss Nikki Boston from Waterloo Road ). Referring to her musical pursuits in her own words as her second job seemed a modest declaration as she looked more at home singing behind a piano than in front of a classroom of deep and brooding teenagers.
The artistes changeover seemed pretty swift and any breaks between acts were filled with presentational finesse by Smooth radios DJ’ Emma B as she continued to charm the appreciative crowd. It was a real mixed bag too. From scousebrows to unabashed European style armpit waving types and infant parents to elderly couples.There were even those who preferred to taste the experience via their i pad. A real cross section of happy smiley people who were about to have the ante well and truly upped by the next artiste.
Jack Savoretti romped through a foot stomping performance getting the crowd off the ground and jumping to a bluesy americana country flavoured party he was having on the stage and it was just what the crowd had been waiting for and furthermore deserved. What followed next was a for me a masterclass in how it should be done.
With an effortless cool that makes fonzie look like a geography teacher the full line up of the Christians took complete possession of their time on stage opening with ‘Born Again’ and showing us that with their trademark slick sound and with vocals that can cure cancer they are a must see at any live event. The self proclaimed ‘token scousers’ had the crowd firmly in their pocket giving us ‘Forgotten town,’ ‘Harvest for the world’ and ‘Ideal world’ as well as an open invitation to hop on their bus to a following concert that night in Southport. If it wasn’t for my blogging commitments I’d have definitely bagsy’d the back seat of the bus.
The artistes that followed like Leddra Chapman, Tunde (Lighthouse family) and K T Tunstall all gave strong and worthy accounts of themselves but after having been treated by our own ‘token scousers’ token full band ( not forgetting Jack Savoretti’s line up ) I felt that not only had there been a missed opportunity by all the stripped down acoustic acts but an element of shortchanging of the crowd ( I know it’s a free concert and I may appear greedy but there was a perfectly good drum kit gathering dust for the most part to a crowd who were on ‘ lets have it standby ‘ )
As if to hear my plea a beautiful angel named Katie Melua sporting an oh so beautiful hat and equally beautiful guitar sauntered onto the centre of the stage with a complete band , exulting the crowd with her faultless performance. ‘ The Flood ‘ being my personal highlight of her set and familiar hits ‘Closest thing to crazy’ and ‘ Nine Million bicycles’ became a recipe for turning the elderly couples into lovestruck teenagers at a school disco.Finishing the night off as he did the previous year Russell Watson yet again brought a touch of poignancy and Majesty ( with the aid of his backing band ” The Firework display”) . His presence on stage is undeniably huge but maybe the greedy pig voice in my head would have liked to have seen a live band behind him . Leaving the Pier Head contented was easy enough to do for at least two reasons. 1)Liverpudlians could claim bragging rights for the best band of the night being the Christians .2) I was asked for my phone number by an actual real female. I’m not saying buy a hat just yet but…………..