”Wilson’s way with words lead him to calling the audience ‘a trapped fart under the covers’ and urged us to ‘let yourself out’ – if his calling was not so obviously music, he could have given comedy a whirl”
What better way to spend a cold Tuesday night than sat in the fairy-light heaven that is the first floor of LEAF, whilst three individual, yet extremely talented artists provide an intimate night of music?
First up was local talent Emilio Pinchi, a name that you are now bound to recognise from the LSRadio music blog. I could go on to tell you all about how he is in his last year of LIPA and that he was a finalist of the Merseyrail Soundstation Prize, but this has been covered already. Armed with just his guitar, he kicked off his set with his recently recorded, in his kitchen no less, ‘Trying Man’. His moving lyrics fused with his distinctly sombre vocals, yet passionate performance, displayed in ‘Lament (For Now)’ in particular, had everyone on the first floor hooked. A gracious and grateful, not to mention insanely talented Emilio, is one of the best openers I have seen in a long time and is definitely one to keep your eye on.
Emilio Pinchi. Photo by author
Swiftly after, a suited and booted Dan Wilson, equipped with his guitar, graced the stage alongside an array of different instrumentalists. He was accompanied by Siofra Award on the cello, Andy Frizell on the bass guitar and Simon Montague on the ukulele, creating a rich and full tone. His deep vibrato vocals and melancholy lyrics, evident in his opener ‘All Love is Blind’, reminded me somewhat of those old Johnny Cash records my granddad used to play, but with a modern flourish. Wilson’s way with words lead him to calling the audience ‘a trapped fart under the covers’ and urged us to ‘let yourself out’ – if his calling was not so obviously music, he could have given comedy a whirl. Keep a look out for his album, which is due for release next February.
Lastly, Winter Mountain took to the stage for their first headline performance in Liverpool. Joe, from Cornwall and Marty from Donegal, Ireland met (like something out of a movie) on a train, after individually playing pubs and clubs on the opposite sides of America. Both heading to Memphis out of Chicago, they got talking and discovered they both loved similar music. Once back in the UK, they spent some time in both Cornwall and Donegal writing together and recently released their self-titled album Winter Mountain.
Winter Mountain. Photo from band’s Facebook
Their expertise in song writing was evident from the outset as they started with ‘Tell Me’. It is amazing how well their voices complemented each other, creating silky smooth harmonies that you just can’t get enough of. After playing one of the first songs they worked on together – ‘Sorrow’ – they realised they had forgotten their set list, so it became a ‘what d’you wanna play’ kind of evening, adding to their charm.
Their folk-rock influences were ever-present, but especially in ‘Shed a Little Light’, a track loved by Clare Balding on Radio 2 and one that you can’t help but singing along to. Marty explained that they had come from a background of playing pubs where everyone was either watching the football or playing darts, but went on to say that ‘as long as you’re listening I don’t care’ – or words to that effect.
My personal favourite of the evening had to be ‘Stronger When You Hold Me’, which a member of the audience asked Joe and Marty to dedicate this to her husband, because of the charming lyrics and delicate harmonies. All in all they cruised through their first headline show in Liverpool and I think the crowd would agree with me that we can’t wait for them to return.