Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Mello Mello may have been threatened with senseless closure earlier in the summer, thankfully this den of good music in the heart of the city centre, tucked neatly in amongst the bawdy and forlorn is still operating and still putting on nights of interesting and well crafted music. It is a good job really as those who watched Widnes musician Natalie McCool play her set with oodles of style may have wondered where else they could have caught this essential music maker if not for Mello Mello.
Joined on stage by part of her own band, the very cool Joe Danher and the equally vibrant Lucy Styles, Natalie performed a set that was intimate, playful but beautifully thoughtful and she should be seen as one of those added to the new breed of female musicians that play in the city that can give the men a run for the money and take them on at their own game.
Natalie opened her portion of the evening with the excellent America and the creepy and stunning Your Hero. Each song was delivered in such a way that she confirmed the reasons why she is so well thought of and more than good enough to open for the likes of Joan Armatrading in Manchester in the last few weeks. This pedigree will go before her in the future and quite rightly so but for now all those who catch her in one form or another will relish the opportunity of having caught her in a comfortable and informal setting.
With Lucy Styles providing excellent work on the congas and Joe Danher being quietly magnificent on the adjoining guitar, Natalie proved to be resilient and played like a dream on the reminder of her set. These included the songs Fortune, Night Call and the latest single Thin Air.
It was a set that ended all too soon, brief and concise but a real pleasure to have witnessed. Natalie McCool will be playing at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool on Saturday 17th November; it would be a shame to miss this musician whilst she is in town.
Ian D. Hall