Liverpool Acoustic

View Two Gallery, Mathew Street
12th June 2015

Reviewed by Lynda-Louise Tomlinson

On a balmy summer's evening, the dark and slightly bleak stairway at the end of the corridor doesn't look all too appealing but as you climb and reach the first floor of the View Two Gallery on Mathew Street you discover an Aladdins Cave of Avante Garde and Andy Warhol inspired art work, from tribal sculptures, PVA glued manikins and paintings of the world's more psychedelic musicians such as David Bowies Ziggy Stardust and the Beatles circa Magical Mystery Tour.

Climbing the second staircase we reach a sun-drenched bar and stage area buzzing with friendly support.

Stuart Todd is tonight's host and also performer, playing later with his band, Three Minute Hero.

Ade Jackson is first up, however not before the very hospitable Todd makes sure everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves, assuring he has the air conditioning at full blast.

After a quick sound check, Jackson is welcomed to the stage, opening with his soft and deep "Crazy Lover", formerly known as "Beautiful Friend" - the reason for the title change being left to the imagination but I'm sure it's not too difficult to figure out. Mid- set we are interrupted by the sound of a phone ringing - the usual disturbance of a live performance - however we are amused to discover that it is in fact Jackson's phone causing the disturbance, and in the informal setting he apologises and answers, His caller being greeted by the laughter and applause of the small yet warm crowd.

Like the majority of singer / songwriter, Jackson is not without his political opinions, which are expressed through his lyrics yet performed with a smooth and breathy vocal - an unlikely combination with his image of a somewhat scruffy Jesus.

Although the gig was running late, Jackson still performed his set without a rush and the audience certainly didn't seem to mind.

The short break is greeted by music at a conversation friendly volume, giving Todd enough time to don his Roy Orbison shades and John Lennon style cap. Were the glasses a shield of security, who knows, but insecurity didn't show in his performance as lead singer and guitarist of Three Minute Hero, who began their set of Bob Dylan and Beatles inspired material with obviously experience and confidence, accompanied by bass and Cajun bringing a full bodied step up in volume and depth.

Their new single, 173 (is just a Number), had the lyrical playfulness of The Rutles rather than The Beatles but their influence was evident as they closed their set with a rockier number echoing the essence of "I Saw Her Standing There".

The headlining act were local boys The Buffalo Riot, who started their set as an acoustic duo - something they admittedly hadn't done for a while - then progressed into a four piece, slowly adding bass and electric guitar.

As a huge fan of duos such as Simon and Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers, I personally, was enjoying the stripped down harmonies of the first few numbers. Closing on a tune by The Faces, which was as the band said "before Rod Stewart and all that", we are introduced to the band members, thanked and encouraged to continue supporting local music and told to stick around for a drink after the show.

In doing so, I embraced the opportunity to find out more about the multi -talented, multi- tasking Stuart Todd and discovered that he not only promotes, plays, books and techs his own gigs but he also knows many a mutual muso about town.

it's a small world, and a very enjoyable one to be spent at View Two Gallery with Liverpool Acoustic.

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