John Chatterton, Gig Review. The Casa, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

It is a question of illusion, do you listen to music or do you watch it, do you shut your eyes in the crowd and let each note transport you to another place, another realm, or do somehow diminish the sound you are hearing and take in visually as much as possible, letting your eyes be astonished by the speed, the delicate and the insanely beautiful. It is a question of illusion for in John Chatterton, you have to peel back the ears, let the eyes widen in anticipation and just sit there without an animated bone in the body and let life have its way with you, let it entertain and entrance for John Chatterton does things on a guitar that leave you breathless in their simplicity and amazed in their complex belief.

Performing in the Casa is perhaps to be seen as an honour, the history resplendent on its walls, the brass plaques indicative of the history it seeks to shout, quite rightly, about and in the quiet of a room which had already seen Eleanor Nelly take another stride to her own personal goals, John Chatterton was simply and wonderfully, elegant and the gentleman’s gentleman, one not bogged down with anything upon his broad shoulders or magnificent agile fingers except for entertaining the strong Casa crowd.

Opening with the classic I Heard It Through The Grape Vine, Mr. Chatterton took the audience on a voyage of discovery, a chapter and verse walk through just exactly what a guitar can do when it is given the chance to mesmerise.

Drawing upon the evening, Mr. Chatterton played a track inspired by the poetry of a Liverpool based poet and the chill of the sea, of the indomitable harmony that can exist between human and nature and of the beauty of rusting edifice came to life in Seagull and the Iron Man, it was a moment to behold, no illusion, just honesty in the form of a man letting a sound, a memory hold his heart.

With the fantastic Robin’s Dance and a fabulous working of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid bringing his set to a close, the Casa crowd was left spellbound, overjoyed in their night out and braving the November weather with glee. A prince amongst men, John Chatterton is an unseen hero to whom music is King.

Ian D. Hall