David Barnicle, Gig Review. The Brink, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Let the fates and the gods of irony roll as much dice as they wish, let Liam Neeson or Sir Laurence Olivier roam their fingers through their long, luxuriant beards as if contemplating humanity’s destiny and the fortune of one hero; for when you have talent and musical dogmatic authority on your side, the fates can roll the dice all they want, they can hamper your speech but they will never take away the power of the words or what they mean to the listener.

David Barnicle is no mortal forfeit to the Gods, an intelligent musician, a force of good whose latest musical contribution to the world, Human Sacrifice, was a moment to cherish, and even when there seemed to be an issue on the microphone, it was dealt as if he was brandishing armour and a sword, a weapon of truth and decency and as he took the audience through his section of the Be Lovely Day at Brink, that sense of justice ran through each lyric and note he placed before the crowd and the scrutiny never once phased him.

Like a Greek legend of old, any roll of the dice was met with even greater virtue, the songs kept coming and whilst the set, in keeping with the day, was short, that is not to say each track was not met with a smile of joy and the thought of solving the conundrum placed before the dedicated crowd.

Even the appearance of Corona’s Rhythm of the Night was not unwelcome, this big hit, brash, in many ways a song of its time and one that many would have shied away from, was, in the hands of David Barnicle, lovingly given a place in which it felt harmonious, a cradle in which to rock the desperate shadows away. It was a cover version that might have had no reason to be but armed with single acoustic guitar the song was heard in a way that was both restorative and beautiful.

With the songs Twin Star, Some People Are and the brilliant Human Sacrifice all being performed and despite a technical hitch that would have only been noticed had you had the ears and radar sense of a bat in full flight and with the scent of blood in its flaring nostrils, this was a set to really enjoy, to be glad you were part of the day.

David Barnicle enhanced 2016 with his recorded music, in the early part of this year he has thrilled once again those who take time out to listen to him.

Ian D. Hall