Live Review: Vevo Halloween – Liverpool

Vevo Halloween

29th October 2016, Bramley Moore Dock, Liverpool

Words: Gary Lambert

vevo halloween liverpoolAs Halloween has now departed from being a tradition celebrated on 31 October by sending kids around the streets close to home to menace sweets from pensioners, upon arrival at the warehouse on Bramley Moore Dock I was immediately taken out of my comfort zone. I was part of the minority at the event not wearing some kind of fancy dress which made me feel straight away like I was trapped in some American teen slasher film and I was the out of place English teacher who was about to get killed and thus shock and unite all the exceptionally handsome children into fighting back. Thankfully I survived the attempts on my life (a load of chillies on my Mac n Cheese almost got me by surprise followed by £5 for a pint of Coke) in order to take in some acts I have never seen before and one not-so-old-but-definite-favourite.

 

I was incredibly curious to see Jack Garrett play as for all the hype he has had, I found that the recorded version of his work left me feeling a bit underwhelmed and uncertain as to what circumstance would find me in the mood to listen to his album again. I was wondering how this would pan out at a big warehouse party with people looking to have fun as my associations were more with mellowing out and sitting in the darkness lowering the stress levels after a day in work. I was very surprised to find his set had considerably more energy which come as directly from him as he switched constantly from instrument to instrument. It was great to see a modern artist find a stronger balance between the assistance provided by an Apple Notebook and performance. The only negative on this was that at times Jack is so busy that it feels like he is a brief interlude between costume changes as he focuses on his instruments and swapping them around. It is very difficult for a one-man show such as his though and it is not music which would lend itself to backing dancers or streams of guest vocalists. It will be something that he will need to think about in the future as it seems Jack Garrett is targeted to be a big hitter for the future, but he will not get the lucrative festival slots and big tours without seeing him being more of an event.

 

On the other hand the performance from Zara Larsson definitely was an event. Backing singers, dancers, an outfit that entertained a good proportion of the audience in a different way and a host of pop songs that I would have recognised if I ever listened to commercial radio. I don’t think it will come as any surprise that this was not the highlight of the event for me that said there is room for variety in the world of music and a lot of the people in there loved her performance. Even I was suckered into dancing along though when she performed Tinie Tempah’s “Girls Like” which she is featured on. For an eighteen year old Swede to perform this strongly in a warehouse in Liverpool on a Saturday night shows she has what it takes and more. She is going to be a very, very special pop act. I have a feeling the next few years will contain more than one moment of me surprising someone by saying “I’ve been to see her live”. The Britney one still brings shock to people fifteen years later.

 

My fear beforehand was going to be that the cavernous venue and boisterous, alcohol fuelled crowd might take away something from the beauty presented by the voice of Aurora. I was surprised beyond my expectations and more. By taking myself away from the audience I was able to avoid the general hubbub which could have drowned her out and left the set feeling awkward and out of place. Instead her voice took hold and filled the arena. It felt to me that rather than singing, she was breathing her music into the ether so that it became the oxygen that kept us going. It was spellbinding and magical.

 

With Epic Records’ Izzy Bizu having the exciting task of opening the event, as midnight hit it was left to the lads who have made 2016 The Year of Stockport as Blossoms took to the stage. With Tom Ogden looking splendid in a Michael Jackson in Thriller outfit, he lead the band with the usual style and charm. I will never bore of him asking for a round of applause for each member of his band at their own point in the gig. It is a little touch, but it is why Blossoms are a gang not just a band. The set itself was bang on point and it felt like this mid-sized, impromptu arena was the right venue for them right now. For the first time I’ve seen the future of Blossoms clearly. They are going to be filling the biggest and best arenas around pretty soon (namely as soon as they have more than an hour’s worth of material) and they are going to sound wonderful.

 

VEVO Halloween…. When do next year’s tickets go on sale? And what sort of costume will work with my beard?

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