Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
It is not always about the extravaganza, the mighty venue, the plush carpet and the comfortable seats; it is rarely about that but some seem to believe that the experience of attending a gig is defined by the circumspect, the additions, the price tag or the illusion. It is a shame that the world has gone down the route of seeing things for their glitter and not for their honesty, for the very sense of real that comes over in an performance that capture the imagination and send your brain swimming into overdrive; all that glitters is not even palladium nickel, it is tarnished with that very illusion that makes it in the end cheap and bruising.
Reality is far and away so much easier to deal with, there is no cheapness, no illusion, no pancake, just simplicity, just life in all its glory and possibility and for Nicola Hardman, life is everything and it shows no matter where she performs and the extravaganza that some wait for, well that is all in her voice and the overwhelming way she weaves a tale.
Returning to 24 Kitchen Street, Nicola Hardman took Threshold by the scruff of the neck and soothed down any hearts that were already beating fast for the previous artists on the stage and instead gave the venue, not known for its plush carpet and extravagant seating but instead a place in which the voice is lofted and praised, an encounter that was different, sublime, energetic and yet masterly. In her own way Nicola Hardman at this moment would have reminded many of the young Tori Amos, an honour that is hard to bestow on anybody given the majesty in which that fine lady sits in many hearts, yet somehow is more than fitting now.
The searing vocal, the drama, the sheer scope of the songs make Nicola Hardman’s voice so enchanting, the feel of the musical is not lost, the performance not wasted for a single minute and the commotion of the world seemingly struck down by silence as the words filter across the space that 24 Kitchen Street provides.
It is to Threshold, to Liverpool Acoustic that the afternoon should be thanked but it is to Nicola Hardman that the day will be praised and as songs such as Too Late, the brilliant Unplug Your T.V. Just Human and Little Fish will always reside in the memory of those that took time out of the Threshold schedule to see.
One of the finest performances of any Threshold, a marvel and spine tingling, Nicola Hardman truly goes from strength to strength.
Ian D. Hall