The orange and bright white lights of the Academy Two capture the essence of many musicians who pass underneath the black curtain and stand in front of what can be a tightly packed crowd, the thin veil of sweat mixing heavily with the heady perfume and the rippling veins of muscles working a guitar or taking the drums on at full speed adding to the drama of the night; Academy Two offers much in the way of music fulfilment.
There are moments when the world, or at least certain people with decency in their hearts and the courage in their minds, is able to make a huge difference. There are many problems to be discussed, to be addressed and be solved, no matter how far we come as a civilisation, no matter the dizzy heights of industrial might, of reaching out beyond our mortal capability into the stars and the progress of technical know-how, people fall through the gaps. They become unseen, almost invisible, past the point of sight until they blur into their surroundings and whether it is through the actions of someone else or their own misfortune, brought on perhaps by a Government and others that just don’t care, the cracks open up regardless and the streets, the parks and the obscured shadows become the home of the dispossessed and the homeless.
Paul Dunbar at the Bluecoat, Liverpool. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Paul Dunbar doesn’t work that often without his tremendous band, The Midnight Ramble, thundering with exquisite charm beside him and the sound of a thousand instruments all begging for that brief but beautiful solo spot in which to extol the virtues of one of Liverpool’s finest young bands. However, when he does it is with the same resounding belief and great bundles of effort he puts into the group arena and it shows as always, great humility and tremendous authority.
Paul Dunbar greets me with a friendly smile and an outstretched hand as he comes from out of one of the many doors that are part of the rabbit warren of the iconic Unity Theatre. Every band and musician I have come across in Liverpool has something special about them, from Buckle Tongue to Ian McNabb, from Jo Bywater to Stealing Sheep, Paul Dunbar and his band have something about them that makes you want to smile which fits in with the current and lasting view that the city of Liverpool is perhaps arguably the best city in terms of creativity within music to call home.