Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The Romans used to be so dismissive of winter, so trivial was the meaning of the darkness, of what we might think of as the blues without the thought of sunshine and spring to warm our bones, their attitude was to lump January and February together, one big long dull month, one exceedingly long and bitter month with nothing to do but sit and grow listless.
It may be tempting to see the world in such a way, that February to some is not even good or exciting enough to have your birthday in, they believe there is nothing going on, wrap under the covers and wish March would pop its head round the door; that is missing the point of why the moon is full, why the moon has a twinkle in her eye and why she has to be listened to as she rides the sky chasing the sun round the world.
Maddie , the reason perhaps that the stillness of the February air was punctured and allowed to rock after the damnation of another cold winter striking home; time finding its way to hold back the clocks, to make the populace feel under the weather and hold onto the thought of a summer without political condemnation and eternal hell fire. We are not put on this Earth to shuffle papers, to create reasons for politicians to exist, we are here to enjoy if we can the everyday and with Maddie in the offering at Zanzibar, the everyday took on a sparkle, a firework of colour that lasted well into the night and whole new reason to love music for what it gives to both the heart and soul.
Maddie Stenberg has already proved herself time and time again as she plays guitar, her talent is not in doubt, her musical thought a mixture of toughness and sweet eyed looks to the audience, she is a woman to listen to. Yet with a band surrounding her she becomes something new, the toughness is replaced by a sensual backdrop, a fighting spirit wrapped in a delivery of cool and meaning; it is a change and one that is truly fantastic.
With her band, Adrian Caballero, Sam Branch and the equally superb Nicola Hardman, in tow, Zanzibar was given an early demonstration of why February should not be treated with disdain, that to get out in the world and see something rather than close your eyes is an absolute must.
In songs such as Play Safe, Hallucinate, Do You Want To Know Me? Mad Love, Take Me Home and Rock & Roll On A Weekday, Maddie are a signal to the universe that all is a must, that to hide away from the black stuff is to give in; there is a light that burns in Liverpool, it burns with a fever and with a mighty glow and Maddie have joined it.
Ian D. Hall