Liverpool Acoustic LIPA Special

View Two Gallery, Mathew Street
23rd April 2010

Reviewed by Amanda DeAngeles

'Maybe We’ll Fly' is a title from one of the artists who played, and pretty much sums up the feel of an evening’s acoustic, fresh feminine folk.

On Friday 23rd April, a LIPA special was hosted at View Two Gallery.

Well done to Liverpool Acoustic Live organisers, who started the gig at the advertised time of eight-thirty. Doors at 8pm as stated on the ticket meant there wasn’t a spare chair in the house. Quite right too!

Featuring the work of new Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts graduates, an extra special surprise for all was this four act line-up starred young women. The city bars, clubs and backstreets are dominated by male musicians; it’s great to see female musicians are taken seriously.

Lost love or craving love; cathartic lyrics in lullabies was the evening’s overall theme. Silly love songs, Sir Paul might add: “...well, what’s wrong with that?” LIPA's fall-out of fresh faces will undoubtedly find their individual causes and paths. Congratulations to all on your graduation. A professional evening of music doesn’t need credentials, but whatever way viewed, a degree from LIPA is an incredible achievement and adds kudos to a creative C.V.

Tina Refsnes (pronounced Reffs-ness) is a welcome addition to our plethora of adopted Scousewegian singer-songwriters was first up and timely rhythmic.

“I’ve been told...told...told...” Tina gives a straight style vocal and has a clean, fresh demeanour in performance. Her songs are poetic, simple folk, and were well-received by an attentive crowd. Rosie Jones accompanied Tina’s guitar with a small electronic keyboard and joined in vocal harmony.

Tina’s singing drama increases, but her strumming guitar is understated behind the vocal. I like how Tina repeats certain words for effect and builds to a crescendo, such as in 'City City'. Tina gives sleepy, sad, contemplative songs. A new song, as yet untitled, gave a lively picture of Concert Square, Liverpool - a party square of bars likely unsuited to the meek and mild at heart. he has an interesting vocal; if singing loud, her tone is reminiscent of a violin. A feisty finishing track slid away from sweet lullabies. Tina’s new EP can be downloaded at

Top floor, main exhibition space at the gallery is looking fine at the moment thanks to Frank Maudsley; known primarily for music and bad (or cool) hair. Front man for eighties band Flock of Seagulls, Frank’s artistic leanings took him to canvas, and now he’s a bald bloke who sure can paint - in an interesting, surreal style. Exhibition ends 15th May 2010. Go see it.

Following wake-up from regular grand piano tinkling through the changeover-interval, with pianist Roger Edwards' talented and lively instrumental.

Rachael Wright is a city of Liverpool urban beauty (yes, we have plenty). Dressed casually in jeans with a T-shirt, she has cropped brown hair and cool, sophisticated, talent. Rachael has performed throughout the U.K.

Rachael asks questions in her songs and answers herself intelligently. She solves problems presented e.g.: “Do you know what’s right?”... “Do you know what’s best?” Her vocal is clean with occasional, well-placed vibrato. Rachael has well above average guitar skills, her lyrics could speak louder if she brought a range of topics to the mic. This was a hugely-expressive performance from Rachael Wright, and the crowd leaned in.

Female writers are often less eager to be mildly contentious and express political opinions or talk about taboo social injustice for fear of personal judgement. Times have changed. I believe in Rachael Wright, and I noticed I’m not the only one.

After a break, Rosie Jones of Rosie Jones and the Mystery Machine played an acoustic set of some of the songs usually performed by her band. Rosie is a songwriter-soloist this evening, but she has several other projects ongoing. She is a friendly performer.

Master of guitar, mandolin, harmonica and vocals; it is clear this young woman from Devon has been wrapped tight around her enthusiasm for music. Rosie’s voice is as fresh as linen on a line waving through a summer breeze. 'Maybe We’ll Fly” is well-received with foot taps from the audience for its beautiful chorus.

Rosie is unafraid to be expressive and works well in bringing folk acoustic to present day. She swears like a lady on '1996'. She emphasises certain lyrics with drama from her voice, yet keeps controlled physical poise.

Tina Refsnes returns with some long bowing on the violin for accompaniment, but staccato bars may have pricked more life during this capable, going somewhere, just-you-wait-and-see, performance.

Zoe Nicol and the Worry Dolls charmed everybody, and it was her CD launch night.

A young, innovative line-up of six “worry dolls” nicely explained with merchandising and a cute ethos. Headed by a flame-haired Rossetti-in-cotton, Zoe, along with some fabulous, fresh-sounding song-writing, morphed into lyrically quirky and endearing at once. Her band this night is a row of mini-keyboard, banjo, mandolin, guitar and violin, with choral harmony.

'I Am A Boy' and 'Amy Long Socks' deserve to be heard. Please visit her website, see them play-out, or buy her CD 'These Are The Stories'.

This LIPA special proved the ladies of LIPA have got it going on already, and we should listen out for more.

It was a total pleasure to see and to hear all acts presented.

Don’t forget the next Liverpool Acoustic Live will take place at View Two Gallery on Friday 28th May (doors 8pm £5, or £4 in advance). Visit for more info.

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Graham Holland on 22nd May, 2010 at 13:28
Many thanks for the fab review, Amanda. Graham