Altered Images, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Clare Grogan of Altered Images at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. October 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall. 


Anyone who found themselves down in the then recently reopened and lively atmosphere of Eric’s on Matthew Street during 2012 would have hoped to had Clare Grogan and Altered Images on their minds, on their music to do list of bands from the 80s that they may have missed out on seeing live.

The immensely likeable Ms. Grogan, effervescent, bubbly, musically infectious, might not come to Liverpool all that often but when she does she brings a night of great vibes, tremendous feelings of memory and that wonderful Scottish attitude of persuasive tunes wrapped up in a smile that could break hearts. To have Altered Images opening the night for another taste of 80s revival at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, was to take that almost seemingly one off special night in the passion filled rooms of Eric’s and turn it up several notches; the bucket list of bands ticked off for more people but one done with that same smile beaming down from the stage and illuminated with the entertaining sparkle still in evidence.

For many the 80s were a period of the true explosion of pop majesty, the 60s were the defining bands that shaped the decades to come but those that trod the timeline during the sudden increase of awareness, the teenager in the decade family tree, this was the period which has defined them, which has kept their interest and in many cases it is easy to see why.

This defining of one’s musical heritage and stand point is why groups such as Altered Images are still very much adored; the charisma, the infectious riff and the immense positivity shown is the reason why people want the songs played.

From the moment when the lights went totally dark and a small shaft of light appeared at the side of the stage, the herald of the 80s evening was greeted with thanks. I Could Be Happy, a sense of hopeful nostalgia filling the Philharmonic Hall air, the rush of what was to come injected straight into the memory, the sense of reminisce started.

Clare Grogan is still the woman many would have as their best pal, the friend who was everywhere, on stage, in cinema and on television, she remains that exclusive mate who will take you to any party and the evening will be a joyous affair as she weaves tales of cool from the mind. Despite her protests of the terrifying prospect of opening up such an event, as songs such as Don’t Talk To Me About Love, Don’t Give Up Girl, See Those Eyes, Dead Pop Stars, Change of Heart, Bring Me Closer and the ultimate Happy Birthday rang across the aisles and the smiles broadened to capacity; the 80s bounced back with grace and playful intent.

To have Altered Images back in Liverpool is always an event, as part of a great evening of music, it was an outburst of pure pop vividness.

Ian D. Hall