Live Review: K’s Choice @ Unit 51, 4th Oct 2013

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The great and the good and live acoustic music lovers were out in force on the evening of Friday 4th October for a bonanza K’s Choice bill at Unit 51.  We had so many acts on that K’s Choice host Derek King had trouble fitting them all in before closing time….!

Pics coming soon.

Kicking off early doors was local singer/songwriter Peter Harrison, who, in his words, “writes songs to cure the aches of an over-active mind”.  Those in the audience (some of whom may well have had an over-active mind on a Friday evening after a hard week in work) certainly enjoyed Peter’s enthusiastic and earnest performance, and he made a few new friends I’ve no doubt.

Following Peter were K’s Choice and Liverpool Acoustic favourites Rob Jones & Rob White.  This melodic duo feature friends Rob Jones on acoustic guitar and vocal, accompanied by Rob White on vocal, and their tight and well practised vocal harmonies have a wonderful feel-good quality to them.  The style of their self-penned songs hark back to the 60s and early 70s, with influence from such artists as Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees and the early Beatles, all delivered with smooth professionalism and aplomb.

Next up was a special addition to the bill, special guest 17 year old local student Pete King.  Pete’s song-writing is wonderfully mature for his tender years, and his songs tell insightful stories of the everyday worries and concerns of a teenager.  His guitar work is inventive without being over complicated and his vocals soar. Pete’s set finished with a rousing version of McFly’s “It’s all about you” with his mate Dan joining in for some pretty tight vocal harmonies.

Next we had another special addition to the bill, guitarist Joe and singer Katrine from the folk-rock band Kalandra, who just happened to be passing by and looked in to say hello.  We only had time for two songs, but ooooooh they were good!  We hope to book Kalandra for a full set really soon.

Slowing the mood down and relaxing the pace, next came Blackpool based singer-songwriter Russ Erwin.  With gentle acoustic guitar work and soaring vocals Russ delivered a sublime set of his original material with some finesse. With his arrestingly gentle, soulful, (mournful even) delivery, Russ silenced the place.  It was like honey in the ears, an absolute pleasure to listen to: Blackpool and the surrounding Lancashire areas have a gem in their midst, and one hopes they appreciate it!

Following Russ was another artist who had travelled a distance for the pleasure of gracing a Liverpool stage: a lovely friendly and cheerful young man called Matt, with the stage name Brains for Breakfast.  Matt hails from Walsall and consequently plies his trade a lot around the West Midlands and in Birmingham, and it was something of a special occasion for him to come and play in Liverpool.  His music is somewhat akin to his persona – refreshingly upbeat, inventive and intelligent, though without taking itself too seriously.  A polished and thoroughly enjoyable performance.

And last, but certainly not least, we were treated to a set by the delightful all girl trio, Freda & the High Tides.  They describe themselves as “three girls, a guitar, a melodica, a tambourine and some kazoos”, but put ’em together and they are so much more than that!  The hour was late by now, many of the audience had left to catch last buses and trains, the girls were full of wine and slightly “tired and emotional”, but their performance was nothing less than professional.  It says something about performers when, faced with the disappointment of a diminishing audience due to their set being pushed back late, they perform every bit as professionally and enthusiastically as they would play to a thousand people.  Well done ladies, you are stars!

And that, dear reader, was that.  Live music all the way from 8.30 through to after 12.00.  Thanks to all musicians, and special thanks to Stella the manager of Unit 51 for making it all possible.  Catch K’s Choice at Unit 51 again on 1st November.

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