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.
Rue the day you ever ignore the sound of the angry, of those that a Government decides to dismiss as unworthy or lacking in substance to be anything but a nuisance in their corpulent hides, rue that day you forget what makes a country work, what makes it truly a place in which people look out for each other and not descend into the realms of distance and dispensed with compassion; for in that day the anger, if history has taught us anything is the day when those oppressed, those overlooked and rejected will fight back and see an edifice crumble.
Poetry does not have to be confined, if it ever is, to the written down Bard or the stand up performance in a bustling city café; poetry is everywhere, the feeling of the poetic, the graceful and the profound rhythm can be seen in almost anything; it just requires a certain perceptive, enquiring mind and sensitivity to the issue in which to come out and be applauded.
Nothing is built to last these days, it is the cry of the planners and the urban speculators that is heard that everything that has been erected can be demolished and something even greater can be placed in the empty space; never mind that the building might be beloved, serve more use in the way it is, everything it seems is ripe for building up and knocking down.
The analogy between man-made structures and the personal lives of the everyday and everybody is not lost as Liverpool’s Only Child return to the forefront of musical ambition and outstanding talent with the first song to be taken from their forthcoming new album, the incredible and lyrically blistering Buildings.
John Gibbons, part of Only Child’s live set at The Bluecoat, Liverpool. August 2014. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
If ever there is a time in someone’s life in which you can say to someone, “Wow, I am impressed with the dedication to the cause”, then to come on stage and play magnificently just after the heart, brain and soul have been swamped with the overwhelming emotions of becoming a parent for the first time is probably that time.
It seems an interminable age since Alan O’ Hare put forward the cause. The imposing marriage between the personal thought and the anger that burns within at the way that the world has taken a sudden turn to an extreme position in that all has been made steadily good now comes crashing down amongst the bitterness of memories. Yet there is hope, there should always be the glimmer of optimism that makes each day worthwhile and keeps the anger tucked up inside just that little bit longer. Such is the power of Alan O’ Hare’s writing under the banner of Only Child that the latest album, From Muddy Water To Higher Ground is just that, the anticipation of seeing your loved one smile whilst raging at the past and the future in the same breathe.
They are one of the great young bands and artists that call Liverpool their home. Alongside many others that in the last few years have made the city’s music addicts sit up and take notice of the new and tremendously exciting breed coming through, such as All We Are, Stealing Sheep, Path Unknown, Joe Symes and The Loving Kind, Only Child, Mono L.P.s, Matt Breen, Buckle Tongue, Rob Vincent and Carrianne Hayden, The Hummingbirds name has travelled far and wide, beyond the metaphorical city walls and out into the open world. People outside the city have once more discovered what makes Liverpool tick like no other in the U.K. and perhaps in the world.
On April 26th Only Child, one of the great bands that typify 21st Century music in the city of Liverpool are to be joined by a string quartet as they headline Liverpool Music Award’s Nigh of the Year, Liverpool Acoustic at the View Two Gallery on Mathew Street.
Having supported the likes of Miles Hunt from The Wonder Stuff, Steve Pilgrim, Ian Prowse of Liverpool’s Amsterdam and Gemma Hayes, Alan O’ Hare has taken his place amongst the great musicians of the city and his poetic style of writing is reminiscent of Roger McGough.
One of the great Liverpool singer-songwriters of recent years, Alan O’ Hare and his band Only Child will be performing at The Zanzibar Club on Seel Street on Saturday 19th January as they open their music 2013 account as part of Liverpool’s Songbook Sessions.
Only Child released a self-titled E.P. late last year and launched it with a well-received gig at Leaf on Bold Street. Support slots with Miles Hunt, Amsterdam and Steve Pilgrim followed and the band are looking forward to opening their 2013 account with a slot at ‘The Songbook Sessions’.
Originally published by L.S. Media. September 21st 2012.
L.S. Media Rating ****
No doubt Leaf on Bold Street will host many important night in the years to come, the space above the busy tea drinking den lends itself superbly to the music that has been performed there since it opened. However, the launch of Liverpool musician Alan O’ Hare and string virtuoso, Laura McKinlay’s latest project, the magnificent Only Child and their eponymous debut E.P. will take some beating.