Monday, 22 October 2012

Music in the City. . .

What a great city this is for music - of all types -  as my excursions last week proved.  This is a picture of the Liverpool Philharmonic - a gorgeous Art Deco building with great acoustics and a lovely cafe in the basement.   

I've been to a few classical concerts already but last Monday I headed there for something completely different.  Last month, the Philharmonic had a promotion, offering £1 tickets for several of their upcoming shows. I was more than happy to line up for three hours, and one of the gigs I jumped at was  the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers - a Scottish group that practices Japanese Taiko drumming.

It was an exhilarating performance and what a workout for the drummers! At one point several were sitting on the floor with their feet wrapped around medium sized drums and basically doing sit-ups while drumming.  You could definitely see the grimaces on their faces.  I loved the energy and the choreography - it was all just fantastic.

Wednesday night I headed off to the Capstone Theatre, part of Liverpool Hope University, for a night with jazz singer Stacey Kent.  I previously wrote about my appreciation for her here and was thrilled when I saw she was coming to Liverpool.

She had a great band and it was a very enjoyable night with a mixture of American songbook classics, a bit of French and Serge Gainsbourg, a little bit of bossa nova, and the premiere of yet more quirky sad songs written for her by her husband Jim Tomlinson and the writer Kazuo Ishiguro.

Then last night it was back to the Philharmonic for a concert I've been so looking forward to.  Listening to this band completely brings me back to my university days and they were just fantastic live.  One of the best concerts I've ever been too - it was impossible to get to sleep last night, I was so wired.

A really nice surprise was the opening act, Blueflint.  I'd never heard of them before but immediately fell in love. They are a five person band from Edinburgh with two female singers and lots of banjos, bass and fiddles.  They made me nostalgic for bands from Nova Scotia and the East Coast - foot stomping music, great lyrics and songs about boats and water.  And with the purchase of their CDs you got a free tea towel!  Now how often does THAT happen at a rock concert?

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