Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
No matter how hard you try, you cannot achieve the goal of seeing all the great bands to come your way in your life time. To try would perhaps be folly, the madness of a person bereft of the need to do anything else and who finds sleep just an irrational pastime.
However even those that chase, even enjoy reckless folly would have to concede that some bands should never be left too long before you visit and fall in love with them. For those making their way out of the crowded streets, the march of revellers enjoying the first big party of the year easily visible, and into Zanzibar the sight of one of the bands taken very much to the hearts of Liverpool’s music listeners, beating the drum to a wonderful beat would have been akin to seeing a heaven appear and the angels on guard learning that Rock and Roll is far more enjoyable to play.
Watching Emma Thorbinson on stage is to be reminded of witnessing a re-run of history as she plays to the crowd in a similar way to that of the late great Janis Joplin. Through the skilled lighting that the Zanzibar Club affords the artists on stage, the sound and look is unconsciously that of the woman who took music by storm and whose presence still resonates across the ages. The sound that the vocalist of Jessicas Ghost produces is enough to understand that music, perhaps above all other art forms, has the power to influence far more than we sometimes care to admit.
The music itself was as always top rate, the carefully laid out drums, Dave Thorbinson at his very best, keep the rhythm in the noblest and indeed most worthy way possible. Whilst it is always fun to see to any drummer worth their salt play with flair and exuberance, sometimes the best percussionists are those that you know are there, you can hear the enthusiasm come across but its direct and aimed, it is there to add to the overall music and not to detract above all else. For that, Mr Thorbinson should be praised and admired greatly!
The set was one that just resonated through the Zanzibar Club and into the streets; perhaps the odd note of tracks such as 1989, the song off the new album Bad Joke, the apt Big City Lights and New Shoes filled the ears of revellers enjoying an early St. Patricks Day celebration enough to make sure that this great band continues to garner support from the roots up, with their tight rock and rhythm soul, the beautiful guitar work and excellent keyboards weaved into the proceedings, it is no less than they deserve.
Ian D. Hall