Caro Emerald, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

The last time Caro Emerald came to Liverpool in 2015 she was magnificent, two years on from that fateful night, she, and the finely attuned band, were simply stunning.  A night of 21st Century Jazz with so much swing attached, so much creativity grabbing every ounce of emotion on the stage that for those fortunate enough to be in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on what was to turn, weather wise, into the worst type of spring deluge possible at the end of the show, at least were comforted by the absolute brilliance on show during the night.

The moody cool that Ms. Emerald had brought forth to Liverpool a couple of years ago was to continue, it was the sparkle and the surge, the cloudburst of elegance wrapped in the shell of finger clicking and foot tapping inundated Jazz, a powerful reminder of what exactly the genre can provide when it is allowed to grow and flourish beyond its 20th Century outlook. This after all was the night when the Emerald Island came to life, when the exotic and the strikingly colourful met, conjoined in a rare sense of musical paradise and throughout the time on stage was steeped in glamour and the far from ordinary.

Caro Emerald certainly knows how to take an audience all the way, there is not much left to do once the crowd surrenders willingly to the beat, infectious, timely and overpoweringly charming, all they can do is let their hearts and minds dictate the dance and the tempo and Ms. Emerald and the outrageously seductive band do the rest. It is one of those rare moment s in life where the visual and the aural take combined pleasure of what is happening, unfolding, before them.

To constantly consent to allowing the ears have the pleasure is a misgiving when it comes to a Caro Emerald gig, there is so much going on around her that whilst a three ring circus analogy would not be quite fitting, the feeling of completeness, of loose beautiful personalities striding the stage around her, of the many instruments having their own flavour and traits whilst never straying from the timing of the song; that is surely a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.

In songs such as Back It Up, The Maestro, Tahitian Skies, Never Ever, the thrilling instrumental of Caravan, You Don’t Love Me and the genre defining Liquid Lunch, one does not just enjoy a Caro Emerald gig, one truly lives it, one has no other option to allow the fingers to click and the heart to race just that little bit stronger. A smile is the best defence against the rain, a night with Caro Emerald and her band is the passion on the sultry and dynamic island we all should experience at least once.

Ian D. Hall