Kevin Critchley Outfit

Carling Academy
26th September 2008

Reviewed by Amanda DeAngeles

I hope you saw a great gig last Friday at Carling Academy, Liverpool. If not, I’ll tell you I enjoyed the performance until I dropped! It was ace to see Kevin Critchley Outfit tried on for size away from the usual, tight changing-room space found in bars. KCO belongs on show! Kevin is incessantly energetic and he shows his excellence of delivery by hitching up to rock-vox on some of the tracks. I must add that musical arrangements for this live performance are impressive and melodically dressed-up with skilful bowing from Josie (violin) and Luke (cello). Luke Moore also switches to keyboard for a few tracks; he’s a talented musician when playing either instrument.

I really liked the repeated riff you can’t help but listen-out for in Sunshine. Louise and Desire are also big songs for this band. Extra strings from cello add smooth bass tones when required to KC’s guitar dramatics, and there’s an allegro edge on violin which is smile-inducing. Well-received by the audience – it’s my guess KCO’s fans are increasing and the hard work of gigging has begun to pay-off.

Josie Pearce on violin - though musically amazing - seems to be stood still stage right (this has to be an optical illusion) while lucky Luke is charmed to sit with cello or keyboard. I would hazard a guess that Josie is a classically-trained violinist or else understandably terrified of Kevin flying around and crashing into her. I’d like to see her next to cello on the big stage in future - she and Luke were wonderfully synchronised.

Back to the star: it’s unlikely you will find many guitarists who keep their vocal 'right' while so adept on the move. Legs are free to race, roam, crouch or creep about because Kevin holds his guitar unusually high; across his chest (rather than the more typical position - in front of the nether region)!

This is the most visually and vocally versatile trio in Liverpool, and what is more, they have songs. If Mr McNabb (as headliner) recognises their talent by offering a support slot, it’s a sin to knock the man’s wisdom.

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