Astles, Live At The Nordic. E.P. Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

A certain special venue and a spine tingling, life affirming performance always seem so intrinsically linked, that one special vibe that was captured for all time and has become imbedded into the psyche of the artist. They undoubtedly will always do a finer performance, give the audience an assured thrill but that one brief moment under the watchful heavens, in the closed vicinity of four walls, in front of an appreciative and respectful audience; that is the point, the standing ground for any future engagement.

You only have to think of some of the live albums that have been captured on film or audio over the last 40 or so years to know how special the relationship between venue and performer is, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Queen at Wembley, The Who at Leeds, The Beatles at Shay Stadium, these are the moments people remember because they are part of our shared conscious, a shared community feeling; for Daniel Astles, a moment of sincere beauty has been captured for posterity in his release Live At The Nordic and whilst the young man will continue to rise and become an essence of grace in Liverpool, for those that were there that day, it will be  a moment to treasure.

It is the haunting nature of Daniel Astles’ voice that captures the heart and places it in a well ventilated cage, the desire for release overshadowed by the fact the listener knows only too well they will end up not being able to hear the scope or majesty in such a way again. The first time is always the most crucial, regardless of if it is art or the first gentle spontaneous kiss between future lovers; for Daniel Astles that first time is now something to look back upon and know he is immortalised forever and it is the twin combination of the superb venue and his voice which makes it so.

With the songs No. 12, the sensational Letters To Your Dad, Castles, Seasick and Time Forgot (Joseph’s Song) being included in this recording, the gravitas of the performance is guaranteed and chilling, a moment to keep close and never allow to be anything but distinctive and memorable. The Who may have Leeds, The Beatles the memory of Shay Stadium, however for Astles the Nordic Church in Liverpool will always be a home.

Ian D. Hall