Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Confidence is an amazing thing, it can tear down mountains, raise the seas, and give you something that doesn’t come naturally, it gives you the ability to understand just how far you can push yourself. To hear it being sung with such exuberance and in its demurest form is to know that the musician on stage doesn’t just want to succeed themselves, they want you to feel that you also can take on the world and at least play it at its own game and with a level playing field.
To hear the inspiration come from the stage, to feel its warmth and polish emanate from the performer down through the crowd, is to take stock and realise that in many ways we, as a society, have denigrated the generation that has come through the ranks of having so much potential and possibility snatched from them by the two or three before them. Tet they still find a way to amaze, that they may blame us for many of the modern ills and certainly the more recent political climate shift, but they still want to grab us by the shoulders and lean in close and whisper down our hardened ears, they still want to help, to give us the confidence to make a difference.
In Maddie Stenberg, that bright shining light is there for all to see and hold closely, a product of Liverpool and its surrounding areas, a woman to whom good fortune has graced the city with, is still in practical terms, cutting her teeth on the musical merry-go-round and yet she is wise beyond her years and especially in the way she writes lyrically. It is a passion to be in the company of such people, those that see across the limits imposed by society and to watch Maddie Stenberg perform is part of that rich tapestry of hope.
The harmony between Nicola Hardman and Elly Grice on backing vocals is to be relished, to take a particular delight in; placed against the ever impressive Maddie Stenberg’s own voice and the balance of Ms. Hardman’s additional keyboards into the evening and what comes across is a realisation that Ms. Stenberg’s own ever growing confidence and forthright determination is one of the reasons to adore the music coming through from this generation of Liverpool musicians.
In songs such as Lost Within, Mad Love, Hallucinate, Change Is On Its Way and Take Me Home, Maddie Stenberg, Nicola Hardman and Elly Grice gave the Thornton Hough crowd a great start to the Saturday night and certainly made fellow performer Vanessa Murray, ahead of her single launch, a very proud observer.
Confidence is half the battle, Maddie Stenberg gives you that confidence with gentleness and ferocity of spirit combined.
Ian D. Hall