Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Studio 2 in Liverpool has had the distinction of hosting bands that were to be seen as encapsulating a moment, of living in and outside of the framework of what was perhaps expected, and finally going beyond the call of duty; that a group can do this is to be seen as proof just how vibrant, how exciting the music is and even when the forces of destruction invariably start sinking their teeth into anything that is seen as not part of the high finance image they wish to portray, there is still the energy of those not willing to be pushed aside which carries the day into one of total groove and spirited beauty.
To misquote Meatloaf, on a hot summer’s night you can either give your neck to the wolf with red roses or more succinctly you can leave your heart, your mind and roses should you wish, at the door of Abichan.
It is always with heavy heart when a band decides to call it a day, and for fans of The Zutons that heart was almost a burden to be seen weighing down the soul and the HMV carrier bags, for their popularity was such that each member was quite rightly revered and lauded for their drive and dedication to the cause.
All things must end eventually though, however there really is no sense of finish, of finale, when it comes to music, old footballer’s might depart and never be seen again but for the musician, there is always so much time still in which to blaze brightly and be seen thrilling a crowd.
Abichan, the phoenix that lives in the perpetual beating heart of Abi Harding, not only graced the stage of Studio 2 but took it on and beat it so fairly that the wood that lined it would not have been blamed had it had thrown up a signal of surrender, a shout of a yield as the band, including the superb Riley Broudie and Shannen Bamford on guitar and keyboards respectively, played songs such as Bathtub, Buttercups, Whispers, Let’s Stay Together and Dripping In Gold to an audience that was enthralled by the sheer passion in Abi Harding’s presence.
Bands may come and go but the resolute, those whose voice will be and must be heard will always carry on in any form possible and in Abichan, the form is uplifting and positively encouraging.
Ian D. Hall