Alice Laybourne, Gig Review. The Brink, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

It is a sense of achievement that flows through the veins when you finally realise that the butterfly of hope and musical aspiration lands perfectly on your outstretched hand and you can sit in amazed wonder at just how fragile life can be but how also beautiful and exquisite it can appear when you truly see the wings beat in time with your own breath.

The same sense of glory, of winged procession in flight sits at the heart of Alice Laybourne’s set, the keyboard a place in which the muse is allowed to wander freely and without any issues other than those that are the consequence of expression, the sheer enjoyment of hearing a voice that soars, that rises with precision as the keys play out their dreams and settles on the one note that unlocks a kind of sanctuary, a bolt hole of escapism in which the listener reacts as if being set free.

As part of the Be Lovely Day at Brink, there was no question that Ms. Laybourne could be anything but that description, that demand set out by Jodie Schofield to raise a smile, to raise awareness that one good deed done in one direction can spark of a chain reaction of niceness in another; it takes one person to put a musical arm round a fellow human being to achieve this affect, Ms. Laybourne threw both without impunity and with absolute joy.

As she performed three of her songs and one very enjoyable cover, Learn To Love Again, When You Go, A Song For You and a marvellously performed version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, the words were hammered home, the keyboard almost resonating like a baby grand piano inside Brink, this was one of those moments in which the butterfly looked deep into the owner of the human hands soul and whispered that everything will be really O.K. in the end.

A set of escape, of one happy to create a diversion in the day and one that was greatly appreciated; Alice Laybourne is as graceful as the butterfly as she plays her music.

Ian D. Hall