Only Child, Gig Review. Thornton Hough, Wirral.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

A poet is a rare thing, especially when they carry a guitar, sing songs of beauty and despair, of anger and peace, in the same set and often in the same tune. A poet doesn’t have to found nervously thumbing their notes behind a curtain waiting for the time honoured introduction, or putting their demands down in a flourished way which is hidden by the obscure and sometimes cryptic.

A poet in the hands of music is a magnificent beast, a flash of lightning that goes on forever, is spectacular to the eyes and senses but wonderfully dangerous to the touch; anger, passion, charming, funny and ready to go into battle at the drop of a hat because the cause is always right. A poet with words and music at their command is to be respected, loved and one that comes with the bounty of new songs in their arsenal almost every time you see them.

Only Child, the group under the stewardship of Liverpool’s Alan O’ Hare is one such storm that you cannot but help enjoying being overawed by the intensity of the lightning and the loud passionate thunder that comes your way when you watch him and his fellow tornado chasers live on stage.

Supporting his friend and fellow musician Vanessa Murray on her launch night for her new single Say, Alan O’ Hare was joined on stage by Crosstown Studio’s Jon Lawton and the ever impressive Denis Parkinson for part of the set and with a couple of new songs ready for inspection and to take on the world, the crowd at Thornton Hough’s were treated to the show of lightning right there in front of them and it was with truth, candour and the devastating smile that the night was viewed for all its sincerity.

Opening with the songs Scouse and Lookin’ for a Song, Mr. O’ Hare took the enthralled audience on a journey through the tracks Buildings, Accidental Englishman, St. Saviour’s Square and North John Street with grace and passion; a sense that this story that started so long ago it seems is now revving up through the gears and is going to come out of the blocks on the next release as one of the recordings to look out for and savour every drop of blood that is willing to be spilt.

Never anything other than consummate, Mr. O’ Hare crossed the Mersey, settled down in one of his favourite venues and delivered the lightning, the thunder and the storm delivered with wonderful affection.

Ian D. Hall