22 August 2014

Boy George at St Georges Hall Liverpool Steve Levine sessions review

Boy George St Georges Hall Liverpool Steve Levine sessions review

Boy George at St Georges Hall Liverpool Steve Levine sessions review

Last night at St Georges Hall Liverpool saw the Steve Levine sessions as part of the Liverpool International Music Festival.

Joining Steve for the night were Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Mark King (Level 42), Bernard Butler (Suede), tropical popstress Hollie Cook, singer/songwriter Mary Epworth, and Merseyside's own Natalie McCool and of course Boy George all in the surroundings of one of the great halls draped out like a garden fate complete with a grass lawn and a white picket fence.

A two stage set up saw the attention switch from the main stage over to the side stage were Steve Levine was recording LIVE a new version of Gerry Marsdens "Ferry across the Mersey" using artists and indeed the audience itself on the recording which was available to download later for free.

Mark King kicked off the sessions with a brilliant rendition of "Sunshine of my love" which suitably showed Marks world famous bass playing off to a tee. 

Mark stayed on stage throughout the sets from Natalie McCool, Mary Epworth and Hollie Cook and Tim Burgess and Bernard Butler joined the ensemble whilst Boy George had a cameo appearance during Hollie Cooks set much to the joy of the audience. 

Speaking of the the headliner it was soon his chance to shine and shine he did. Backed with a full live band and dress in a camouflage outfit, George was ready to go to war and simply destroyed the night. 

With songs like Knocking on Heavens door, for which he was joined on stage by Eve Gallagher and a set encompassing a mixture of blues, jazz and reggae tracks alongside his own hits such as Church of the Poisoned Mind, Karma Chameleon and Everything I own to name a few, Boy George shows he is not only a unique talent but comes across on stage as a warm, happy and friendly person and this reflects outwards into the audience. And I have admiration for any artist who can comment on the audience chatting through their set by blatantly commenting "I fucking hate it", which more artists should address as it definitely pisses me off too. 

Finishing on Hara Krishna which built up into a crescendo of music and singing and bringing the house down George came on to his encore to introduce the band and to bring all the artists involved in the night, onto the stage for their final curtain call also.

The night was brilliantly thought out and the unique use of a mock up studio from Steve Levine in between was not only entertaining but a small insight into the working of making a record and what goes on to do so. LIMF have really outdone themselves this year with this event and with the Sefton park free gigs coming up over the bank holiday weekend and the Ella Eyre gig at camp and furnace a week earlier ,  I can safely say they have achieved something unique and that the memory of the old Matthew street festival days have long been forgotten.

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