Vanessa Murray, Gig Review. Thornton Hough. Wirral.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

A new year brings new opportunities, the chance it seems to shed old skin, to find a way to look at the world and say in a loud, clear and utterly devastatingly luxurious voice, “You’re mine“.

The complicated relationship we have with time is such that those we come to believe are special, somehow slip further from our sight, we find that it is impossible to keep up with their star, with their purpose and drive, and that in turn becomes a kind of sadness when we realise just how much they have gone through in between one day and the next.

In art it is somehow magnified, the sense that Time is playing tricks upon you because of the amount of incredibly good work starts to stack up and taunt you for not being always around; thankfully in Vanessa Murray, kindness of spirit, as well as that drive and sound, is always abound and it is not long before the night that unfolds is one of glorious entertainment, of music that you remember of being beguiling and passionate. In Vanessa Murray, that New Year rush for goals is whatever you Say it is and there can be finer start to the year of music than by being at Thornton Hough and watching Ms. Murray, her band and her special guests on a night in which the cold was forced to retreat and the warmth of the spectacle overflowed.

A lot has changed for Ms. Murray in the last year, yet as the Saturday evening drew on, one thing was for certain, what was on stage, was a woman growing into herself, responsibility of a band making her sound flourish, the enticing dawn of a new single making her thrive; but all the time that ferocity of spirit finding a way to surface and with a smile that could stop an army.

In support of the release of her new single, Say, Vanessa Murray and her band, the incomparable Jon Lawton, Alex Davies and Chris Jones, gave the Thornton Hough Village Club crowd a set to talk about in the greatest of conversations with their friends and neighbours. Songs such as I Don’t Want To Lose You Like This, Fire That Burns Within, Do You Remember, Life’s Too Short, her rather tremendous reading of Brittany Spears Toxic, the aforementioned Say and Waiting On The Other Side, all gathered pace, momentum and radiated in the blush of the New Year attitude which so many of us reach out for, but soon have to give way to the inevitability of just enjoying an artist ready to hold the world close.

A wonderful night of music, Vanessa Murray has found the New Year to be a starting point and not waited for the B of the Bang, up and running and deeply enjoyable.

Ian D. Hall