As part of the Regional Mersey Head & Neck Cancer Centre charity evening event at the award winning Everyman Theatre, the audience, who had danced and partied to Crowded Scouse as if was the end of the year and were just awaiting the signal to start counting down the seconds to bring in 2015, were given the irresistible sound of one of Liverpool’s finest musicians to further send them into orbit. Who really needs the chimes of Big Ben hammering through the speakers and the often false gaiety that comes with cheering a large alarm clock when the audience inside the Everyman Theatre can have the delicious voice of Robert Vincent soothing their passage towards daybreak?
Following Crowded Scouse is at times a tricky proposition, least of all when it their chosen charity night. However Robert Vincent and his erstwhile musical companion Etienne Girrad are made of game stuff and produced a towering performance worthy of the occasion, without overshadowing the event. It is in the nature of the man to be humble and that is why so many flock to his shows.
To get Robert Vincent ahead of his tour supporting Paul Carrack to be part of the evening just shows exactly the type of response Head-On gets. In amongst the heaving throng and pulsating mass that took over the streets of Liverpool determined to party in celebration of Halloween, the differently dressed and differently acting, but no less heaving or pulsating mass that took over the two floors of the Everyman Theatre street café and bar, recognised this fact and the appreciation was gratifying.
With the forthcoming tour in mind, nobody would have blamed Mr. Vincent if he had hung back a bit, if he had tempered down his performance slightly, this though is an abhorrence to many a great artist and to Robert you get the impression as he would rather give up playing the guitar altogether than not give his absolute all.
Tracks such as the opener Lady, the beautifully written Blue, the thrill of hearing a new track in Holy, fan favourite Burns, This Bomb and the outrageously good Demons were played with the tenderness of thought and the generosity of spirit befitting the night and throughout it all it was possible to see the enraptured faces around the building, up on the balcony the sight of aural delight was noted and on the ground floor, in amongst the tables and chairs of a busy working theatre, the audience were obviously moved by the appearance and sound of Rob Vincent.
No matter the evening, Robert Vincent never gives a bad performance and as the night wore on, as the ghoulish cries and cackling murmurs of a populace fuelled by the Americanism of Halloween and general party spirit that abounded, Robert Vincent played out the natural end to the Autumn period and ushered in the start of the Winter festivities in only the way that an emerging great can, with style and presence.
Ian D. Hall