Category Archives: Live

The Pretenders, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Those of a certain age will remember fondly The Pretenders bursting onto the music scene in 1979 with The Kinks supremo Ray Davies’s song Stop You Sobbing, then quickly following up with many a fan’s favourite Kid and their most well-known song Brass In Pocket. New Wave music at its best!

It was a glorious time to buy music, audiences had another female fronted Rock band, crowds were spoilt, Blondie and The Pretenders recording equally classic Pop songs; the people who went to see the shows were not just spoilt, they were there at the start of a new dawn.

The Rails, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Many would have seen The Rails, the undeniably cool¬† Kami Thompson and James Walbourne, two years ago supporting the legendary Richard Thompson, they would have been impressed with the duo and their folky close harmonies that wouldn’t have been out of place in Kami’s father’s old band Fairport Convention. Arguably all would have left any of the gigs on that particular tour buying their intriguing, almost haunting E.P. release Australia.

Suzi Quatro, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Iconic perhaps doesn’t do Suzi Quatro justice, the word somehow refuses to roll off the tongue properly, it gets caught up in the mesh of images, in the crossfire of youthful explosion of 70s teenage dreams and admiration of the first woman of Rock, through to the status she truly deserves today.

The Osmonds, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

When you’ve never experienced a phenomenon it can be quite easy to scoff, to take a look at the moment from outside the pull of the dedicated fan and believe that no matter what you would be immune to sultry tones of the supposed magic which casts its eye over all who linger too long in the mercurial light.

The phenomenon you shy away from, is a perhaps the one that catches you out the most, you ignore it arguably at your own cost and whilst we embrace many a facet, many a band, artist or individual, some we lose sight of, we openly mock or just plain forget.

The Musical Box, Gig Review. Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Away from a night surrounded by folk musicians and the odd nervous poet in attendance, everybody from the high end diva tagged performer to the watcher in the wings wants nothing more than the spectacular on stage. The crowd may feel as they have got their money’s worth, the fawned over photograph a hit on social media, a certain kind of artist knowing that if the crowd goes wild then the sales of DVD and all its associated regalia projected to be sellers for the Christmas market; the bigger, the better, the brasher; to be talked about for weeks and have the lights be more vivid than a night in Blackpool.

Midge Ure, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Midge Ure at the Philharmonic Hall, October 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

It is arguably impossible to think of the 1980s, musically and socially, without the work of Midge Ure eventually coming up in the conversation. The sense of being all things to all music lovers never far from the mind when looking on the decade with either fond nostalgia or the deep seated anger when the pictures of one of the greatest humanitarian disasters unfolded in Africa during 1984.

The Christians, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. (2017).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Garry Christian at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. October 201Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

Charm, style, grace on stage and all the attributes of a gentleman; it is perhaps hard to see The Christians in any other light, especially in front of a home town crowd, and with the bonus of celebrating 30 years of history placed before an attentive, passionate, 80’s driven nostalgic audience. However all those years have produced one of the most interesting and self effacing front of stage men and with a voice that feels like silk and hammers home the message with all the power of Thor’s hammer at his disposal; it is no wonder that The Christians remain one of the most respected bands of their time.

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.

Belinda Carlisle, Gig Review. Olympia, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

It is not just people that have a history, a story worth remembering, it is the very fabric of a place, a building and even the structure of art and the thoughts that go into it as well.

When history on all fronts collide it can make for an impressive evening of memory, a kaleidoscope of colour and fantasy rolled together; it is a history which dominates and fights like a boxer scrapping for the money in which to build a better life for, a harassed mother to be finding the strength to deliver a child into a world. For between these two states of human emotion comes life and one that can only be tempered by the sound of an artist calling through time and being appreciated with the full extent of both Heaven and Earth.

Kathryn Roberts And Sean Lakeman, Gig Review. Music Rooms, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Photograph by Ian D. Hall

Tomorrow will follow today, to think otherwise is to take the only thing that matters in the world to many people from them, the belief of hope. Hope is the reason why so many of us get up in the morning, hope is the point of talking in vain to the nice girl who smiles, to listen to that song, to relish an evening out when everything about the modern world screams to stay inside; it is in hope that the live performance by an artist is one that will captivate you and keep you alive inside.