Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
When you witness a musician completely stun an audience with an awe-inspiring, almost transcendent, reading of an Etta James classic, then you know you are in the presence of someone who, if Time decrees, will take the hearts and minds of crowds to come that they might never have thought possible. That in this otherwise night of a sort of second homecoming for the main event of Sheffield’s Paul Carrack to a favourite venue in a city he obviously loves, that Ireland’s Grainne Duffy would come into the lives of the Liverpool audience and simply blow them away with her charm, depth and voice.
Not that any of that should have been a surprise to the Liverpool Philharmonic audience, but it is too the trust that soon became apparent between older established and statesman like of his profession Mr. Carrack, that the crowd who had made their way into the auditorium in time to hear Ms. Duffy take on the acoustics inside the Philharmonic Hall, that they were witnessing something special, something that would both capture their hearts and insist upon a smile of joy being seen worn on their faces.
It is not impossible to frame a sense of the overpowering honesty that weaves its way from the soul of Grainne Duffy, it is a promise that is forthcoming from the very start of her set and yet it is one that keeps giving, that is astonishingly pure, even with only the chance to see her perform half a dozen songs or so in her set, there is delight and graft of a talented Blues player seeking out a faithful listener into which whisper smooth gestures and wholesome truths towards.
Whilst it might have been the incredible vocal of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind that set the evening in stone, in songs such as the set opener of Don’t You Want To Know, the cool reading of Bonnie Raitt’s Love Me Like A Man, Open Arms and the sensual images of Home to which the night was built around; the foundations to which Grainne Duffy will find herself invited back to Liverpool time and time again.
A glowing set of love, memory and crushingly great covers, Grainne Duffy has immediately become a friend to Liverpool’s music fans.
Ian D. Hall