Epics come and epics go, some will stand the test of time and others fall into the trap of becoming side-lined, browning with age, bleached in part by the weather streaming against the frames and forgotten, a dusty reminder of what they once stood for in the pantheon of music.
In the world of art, in whatever shape or form it should take, the brave, the courageous and those that dare stare into the face of the oncoming light are always those that should be highly prized. For some, just playing a guitar, penning an verse or putting a half made bed together and throwing a little bit of rubbish into the sleeping arena is enough to constitute a day well spent, that is fine, each to their own but it is like comparing The Orient Express to the coach pulled monstrosities that inhabit the tracks of Britain today, anything can be a train but it takes class and passion to be in a special group of Trains.
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.
Vanessa Murray, Studio2, Liverpool. November 2015. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Time is such a precious commodity that to waste it, to allow the night to fall away into the arms of Morpheus without having seen something remarkable, something thrilling, something cool and loved without exception, could almost feel like a crime has taken place. To allow the night to just wander into obscurity, to fade away without falling in love, artistically or humanly seems a sad state of affairs to be in and in the words of the eternal prophet, something must be done; for it’sAbout Time.
Vanessa Murray has been quietly biding her time on the Liverpool music scene, just out of the spot-lights glare, intriguing enough people and entertaining many more with her ability to support many a musician, notably the great Alan O’ Hare as part of the Only Child project or fellow aspiring musicians from L.I.P.A. It is a spotlight that has dazzled and impressed and now finally, a set of songs that have been carefully knitted together are to be set forth on the world.
St. Andrew’s Day falls with the appearance of a widow placing her mourning garments around her as she prepares to bury her late and possibly foolish husband. Unlike the party atmosphere that surrounds St. Patrick’s Day or the feel of stirring independence in the Welsh national day or even the somewhat mixed feeling that surrounds the flag of St. George, passionate, inspiring and rousing in the right hands, a force for undisguised hatred, intolerance and shame in others, the Saltire anywhere outside its natural borders, seems to usher in the thoughts of the cold blast of air that comes with the dying days of the year that December holds fast to its bosom.
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.
The humble compilation album can take many forms. In now what seems at times the dim and distant past, as distant to the younger generation coming through now as Sir Edmund Hilary’s and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Everest to those growing up in the 1970s, the past when to have your say in music meant taking the pick of the songs you may have proudly bought or even embarrassingly hidden away due to the absurdity of the song and placed onto a C90 tape and perhaps even then handed over with much ceremony to the person you perhaps fancied, the compilation stood for something pure.
The first single from Operation Lightfoot is available from 18th August and features Vanessa Murray as the first of twelve guest performers to feature on an exciting new recording project.
The debut single Eighteen was co-written by Vanessa and Operation Lightfoot founder Luke Moore and recorded with Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios in Liverpool. The song is the story of a young musician that is on the road to success and the sacrifices she may have to make along the way.
“I feel very lucky to have worked with a group of people I get along with and that are so passionate about making something great” says Vanessa. “Eighteen has been a great experience”.
Isobel Lim from The Indecisives. Studio 2, Parr Street. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision rating 7/10
To sit in a venue and watch any number of bands or seasoned solo musicians ply their trade, thrill a crowd and look pristine throughout is something that any of us can take for granted. Sometimes though we forget where the musicians start out from, the nerves of debut or even 50th gig still thundering round their instruments and still fresh as the hour after a storm abates.