Ian Prowse, Gig Review. Music Rooms, Philharmonic Hall. Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Ian Prowse at the Music Rooms, Liverpool. July 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

High summer and the thought of many moments turn, the dog days of August are imminent, festival season sees the passion of music burning brightly in many a foreign field and all seems warm, all is O.K. with the world; yet the clock and the shadows have already turned, the gap between Summer’s praise and Winter’s embrace is noticeable and alluring and it turns the gig goer’s mind to the pleasure of the indoor gig and the intimacy it provides.

Musical and artistic intimacy is one that is often provided but one that rarely moves you to the point of tears, emotions running deep, the power of a person’s convictions on stage, aided and abetted by the sheer weight of power that the violin and the accordion can generate, a ghost light made haunting and serene, being moved it seems only the beginning, it is just the very start of the anger burning in the stomach, the release of two fingers to those whose very aim at the top of the government is only that of keeping all below downtrodden and subservient and their pockets lined, in the end tears come, tears flow out of memory, out of remembrance to those lost upon the way and to the love that exists and enhanced by a song or a certain line.

The Music Rooms at the Philharmonic Hall is made for the words of a legend and respected musician of the city; for Ian Prowse, joined on the evening by the grace of Helen Maher and Laura McKinlay on accordion and violin respectfully, admiration and the heartiest of smiles was offer from the audience inside the venue but there was feeling of beautiful sadness, that Time, in all its infinite glory had seen fit to remind all present that whilst the summer’s dog days were still to come, that what was behind was 25 years since Pele had released the superb album Fireworks.

Time may play tricks on the mind and memory but for the songs that were captured on that album, Time has held its head and looked directly at them with a sense of pride and with songs from the album and a multitude of others from Mr. Prowse’s long and wonderful career being played, it was no wonder that at quite a few points it was possible to see many a tear flowing in the audience.

With songs such as Fireworks, Mum, We Were Men, a call to arms in the covers of The Jam’s Eton Rifles and Alun Parry’s My Name is Dessie Warren, the emotional pull of Home, Jimmy Mack and the defiant beauty, the unofficial anthem some might say of Liverpool and the of Does This Train Stop on Merseyside, Ian Prowse and the lovingly named Celtic Connection of Ms. McKinlay and Ms. Maher brought the hearts of those inside the Music Room to a stillness, a state of mind of reflection and memory. It was a memory of night that will live long in the mind.

Ian D. Hall