Lewis & Leigh, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

It always with an interested eye on the crowd that you take in a new band appearing anywhere in the city of Liverpool, the occasional glance around at the faces, the small ticks and upturned smiles or the corresponding withering looks or confused, abandoned stares that places your trust in the gut feeling you have formed a belief in. It is with an acute ear though that makes up your mind and allows you to know that in many cases the music you hear is sincere, played with panache, a certain style and whilst it could be lost in the big wide space, it most certainly would go down a bomb and be applauded with great honour in avenue size down.

None of that mattered when Lewis & Leigh took to the stage, their delicate but incredibly strong willed sound catching the audience slightly unawares, catching them with an ardour they perhaps weren’t ready to fall into, that they were not expecting to enjoy, they after all had come to expend the last of November’s energy, the pot of the body’s oomph, in the realm of headliners Deacon Blue and yet Lewis & Leigh made sure they left with a new duo to remember with a burgeoning smile the next time they heard their music.

The Nashville sound glowed like the mountain tops of North Wales with the first throws of winter adorning its peaks, the Echo Arena under a kind of hybrid spell of North American charm and subtle Welsh determination and drive and it was one that could not be faulted for its outrageous beauty.

As songs such as Piece of Gold, the exceptional Rubble, What Is There To Do, Only 15, an inspired and well performed version of Deacon Blue’s Real Gone Kid, Heart Don’t Want and the superb Ghosts all laying down an impressive marker, the crowd would not have been wrong in their assertion of how much they enjoyed the set and that they deserved to play in a venue perhaps slightly more snug, more acoustically lively, in the city of Liverpool. It would be one of those rare honours that would really set their sound on fire.

Lewis & Leigh are a great support act for Deacon Blue, a pleasure that may have been unexpected but was nonetheless appreciated and enjoyed.

Ian D. Hall