Katy McGrath, Gig Review. Sound Food And Drink, Liverpool. We Shall Overcome 2016.

There should be a general arrangement, an agreement that not one single world leader could dare deny without fear of ridicule or the sound of derision coming from their vocal cynics, that Liverpool really is the home to the female musicians and female rock gods to who could also do a damn sight better job of running the ideologies of all countries. You can find them in every bar, venue and stage sending the guitar into long periods of apoplectic rage and long sequences of beauty that even the masters of the arched pessimist warmonger would have to concede, that they are more powerful, more engaging than all of the rank and file suits put together.

Thinking of this might be odd in the face of the We Shall Overcome afternoon at Sound Food and Drink, hosted with delicate deftness by Liverpool Acoustic. However, when you see Katy McGrath perform on stage, no matter where and no matter what the situation or band, your mind starts to wonder why the likes of Eleanor Nelly, Me and Deboe, Vicky Mutch, Satin Beige, Mersey Wylie and all the other tremendous female musicians in the city are not in positions of power. For they truly get what it means to make music passionate and get their point across without resorting to the insanity and the spectre of war, of the doubt that lingers too long in many minds that we are as a society responsible for each other, not someone else political dogma and rhetoric in which to keep people down.

Katy McGrath played like a demon as part of her contribution to We Shall Overcome, the walls almost bulging, bursting at the seams as they dared to try and contain the enormity of the guitar’s ache and howl, its heat and blood. That demon, the smile of an angel and the guitar playing, lyrical busting demeanour of a mischievous god, is captivating, the charm entrancing and the playing dedicated and wholesome, is not lost upon the Sound crowd and as the set raged and pulsed, that bursting seam, that housing of bricks, mortar and wishful property planning was in serious danger of being demolished in a wave of guitar aspiration and the screams of a fulfilled instrument.

With the songs New One, Mute, Deaf Ears, Smoke, Van Gough and Mantra being performed, on any other night in the city of music, this would have been the talk of the town, one woman, one guitar, an attentive audience; this was Heaven for the blessed.

Katy McGrath is a powerhouse, a woman of substance and one to whom crosses the acoustic and electric full band with absolute ease.

Ian D. Hall