REVIEW: Liverpool Bandstand, Williamson Square 02/08/12

Musical diversity strikes again in Liverpool from the Bandstand in Williamson Square. What a good idea it was by Open Culture and the City Council to have a platform for flourishing Merseyside performers to showcase their talent. We sent along Shaun McCoy for an afternoon of al fresco music and more..

First up on today’s line-up is Lotzie Weaver, a one man and his guitar singer/songwriter of rhyming verse – creating songs about anything and everything. Lotzie’s material is made up of mellow refrains and anarchic acoustic ditties about life, love, relationships, war and even a song based on a traditional Buddhist story.

Some of his songs that stood out for me were The Futility of War, The Worry Song and Me Without You. Lotzie was well received by the early lunchtime crowd gathering around and they left with smiles on their faces.

Unfortunately the blue skies turned to overcast grey during Mick Moon’s admirable performance of classic covers. Mick is a seasoned vocalist and pianist who has been on the scene since the sixties. He turns Williamson Square into one big lounge set by effortlessly delivering standards such as I Hear You Knocking, Always A Woman and a very fine boogie woogie version of Route 66. Mick is even inspired by the drab weather to turn it into a positive by giving us a medley of rain themed songs.

The Dark Figure (aka Aaron Lawrence) is a different kettle of fish all together. He is mostly an instrumental classical guitarist who also adds flashes of Flamenco to his music. Most of the Dark Figure’s set is his own material with some very fine Police and Sting covers thrown in. He has a similar tone of vocal to Sting but is also very influenced by Mr Sumner’s guitarist Dominic Miller, as we hear in Shape Of My Heart and the crowd pleaser – Message In A Bottle. Aaron’s own material is ambient string music that is both heartfelt and atmospheric. Especially in Ominous Skies, that conjures up the sounds of light rainfall before a down pour with clouds moving overhead.

third-age-theatre

From one different act to another – The Collective Encounters: Third Age Theatre, which is made up of women from an over 50s theatre group who give out positive messages to their own generation and spread the word to younger generations. The ladies write their own songs and messages about things that are important to them. First they sing along to Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley & the Wailers and hold up motivational messages such as ‘Get up, get out, and do something all you single ladies.’ They also performed a very poignant self-penned anti-war song called Army Without Weapons. They further tell the younger and future generations to make the most of their lives and make a positive difference in the world around us. It just goes to show you’re never too old to Rock & Roll.

The bandstand will provide a musical accompaniment to shoppers in Williamson Square until 22nd August. For more information visit the Open Culture Website: http://culture.org.uk/

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