Justin Hayward, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Justin Hayward at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, September 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

If music doesn’t move you enough to feel the cold truth of tears that run down your face, that if the art doesn’t make your heart feel the kindness, the brutality, the sensation and the despair that makes life such a gift to have in the palm of the hand; then perhaps it could be argued that you just haven’t found it yet, you haven’t found the moment which makes the tears of joy and pain of love mingle and gently swim from your eyes.

Liverpool is a passionate place, it should be always be seen as having a different heart beat when it comes to art, to life in general, than the rest of England, the people who live there, who see the city not just as town that annoys London’s Westminster Village, but as home, see emotion as paramount, as allowing themselves to show the world that they care and are unafraid to do so in the shadow of that tear.

More than many tears flowed, more cheers of appreciation were shown, as once again Justin Hayward made his way to the Liverpool area and gave his voice to the fans. One of the distinguished men of British Rock and Blues, Justin Hayward is always appreciated upon Merseyside when he comes to perform either with the Moody Blues or when he performs solo. It is the voice, the calm but powerful presence on stage that oozes confidence in the heart of the sold out theatres and venues he performs in.

An October day which might be seen in other quarters as being a defining moment, is still a day in which the singer/songwriter can be applauded and have eyes being wiped free of the shadow tears, and it was arguably one of the most powerfully emotional nights to be held at the Philharmonic Hall in some time.

With a career that spans across six decades, the amount of time needed to play fan favourites, much loved songs and a sea of tracks that would make everybody happy is impossible at the best of times; yet in the space of 90 minutes, Justin Hayward took the crowd on a journey through his time at the front of Moody Blues and selected tracks from latest solo album. Songs such as the opener Out and In, Tuesday Afternoon, In Your Eyes, The Western Sky, The Best Is Yet to Come, the exceptional Forever Autumn, Question and Nights In White Satin all left their mark on the crowd and the realisation that Mr. Hayward has been a constant in their lives was one of life affirming passion.

A night in which a voice brought the Philharmonic Hall’s heart pumping again into life, a sense of the dramatic framed and loved; it is hard to imagine a time when this talented man calls it a day.

Ian D. Hall