This was the first time I had ever been to the Live Lounge and I must say I was very surprised as it is the sort of venue that should house a lot more big gigs like this one as it really is a great venue. In the North West we are blessed with a lot of great music venues and the Live Lounge is definitely up.
The first act of the night was open mic finalist Caroline Eve who I have only recently become aware of through word of mouth actually; glad to see this mode of transport is still truly active.
Caroline seemed a bit nervous, but quickly settled into her rhythm and warmed the crowd up superbly. The performance highlight was her new track ‘crossed the line’ I look forward to more from her in the future.
With the crowd impressed and wanting to see who would take to the stage next it was none other then Tom Metcalfe. I first became aware of this artist when he was in Moral Panic. Tom Metcalfe has been making his name by doing the open mic circuit and getting some great support gigs, his style has developed sharply and quickly.
For someone so young you hear his voice and it oozes maturity as he discusses the world war, Lancashire life, there is such truth in the way he tells his stories you would believe he was actually there.
Tom shows with tracks such as ‘Just Lads,’ he commands so much respect and attention from the audience. I think this could be a massive year for him as his EP comes out this year also so keep your ears and eyes peeled for the launch, it’s going to be one to be a part of.
With time moving on usually you would think people may be getting restless, but this was not the case as there was an extremely relaxed and professional vibe to the venue as well as the crowd of people. It was one of the friendliest atmospheres I have been a part for a long time. On that note JP Copper also signed to Crisis Management took to the stage.
I have seen JP Cooper on the Manchester scene here and there, but nothing like this and it was definitely worth the wait all of his tracks seem to bewitch the audience, this does not get talked about enough as this is a special quality to have as a musician.
All of the artists tracks are lyrically deep and promote thought from the crowd, I found myself dwelling on past deeds and what was next then manage to pull myself back out of my head then into the room again.
With his debut EP out now I am certainly a believer especially with tracks like ‘oh brother’ and ‘Little house we built,’ in short another one to watch for this year.
The night truly possessed an embarrassment of riches musically and I wish it got even my publicity as it deserves to be shouted about too many people see folk as boring I would challenge them to say such a thing after a gig like this.
The night was already on a high, but as the headline act for this Showcase of Lancashire talent Rae Morris took to the stage everything came to a head.
There is a lot of great music coming out of Lancashire at present and Crisis Management are doing a great job of getting it out there to the masses so they deserve praise for this themselves.
I first met Rae at the Mad Ferret in Preston and found her quite pleasant and humble for someone with that amount of talent as well as zeal. It was all quite refreshing and then she played for Quenched Music at a showcase in Gullivers Manchester.
Even then I felt we were on the eve of something memorable and now seeing her in The Live Lounge show far she has come. This was another crowd that was held by every breath, every note that Rae gently gave out.
All Rae Morris’ material has grown in stature, yet the track that strikes the biggest chord with myself is ‘wait a while,’ purely for selfish reasons as we got that track on radio when the artist allowed us a copy.
This was a great gig and I look forward to more from the artists as well as The Live Lounge in Blackburn.
Words by Ray Whitworth