The Mavericks, Gig Review. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

The one thing other than death and taxes which is assured in life is that when The Mavericks, the Americana country band with a smile and the ability to make anyone’s foot tap along with their infectious beat come to town, there is a party atmosphere both in the audience and on stage.

Promoting their new album, In Time, and making sure that the huge crowd inside the Philharmonic Hall got their money’s worth with a set that was overwhelming and jam-packed to the brim, The Mavericks, led by the indefatigable and unflagging Raul Malo took the audience on a trip to the days when their music was played almost non-stop on the radio and music television; both in Europe and in their home land.

The stage looked packed, bursting both with the weight of expectation that surrounded this much loved band’s return to these shores but also with the array of instrumentation and musical ability that found its way to Liverpool. Any doubts that some in the audience may have had on what the band may sound like after 10 years between the latest release and 2003’s self-titled album were soon quickly dispelled before even a note had sounded from any of the various members as the gentle but catchy refrain of the music commonly referred to as Zorba’s Dance from the 1964 film Zorba the Greek by Mikis Theodorakis filled the auditorium. As the band made their way to take their places, the hand clapping and the sound of a thousand pairs of feet tapping away in time to the ever increasing music dismissed any small and ill-formed doubts.

From that moment on, it seemed as if not only was the party atmosphere being upped on the stage but in the aisles, the crowd were itching to get up on their feet and join in the fun. It took a while for that to happen as some who were visibly stirred by the sound, seemed too moved by the experience. Songs such as the opener Back In Your Arms Again, the knock-out Born To Be Blue, Pretend, There Goes My Heart, That’s Not My Name and of course the one the majority of the spectators had come to see Dance The Night Away, echoed round the Philharmonic with such ease and passion that what the over-riding impression of the ensemble of musicians on stage was, was not so much a group but a single living functioning being, so adept at making their music seem so alive that no matter what, it would be impossible to leave the Philharmonic Hall without a smile on the face and slightly exhausted by the whole event.

Americana may not be everybody’s cup of tea but when done well, when so highly polished and performed with fun and a dash of vigour, it seems as if it is impossible to do anything but go with the flow and The Mavericks certainly know how to deliver the tidal wave of music.

A great night for all those who attended the show and got into the spirit of the evening’s entertainment!

Ian D. Hall