The Grande, Ben Sherwen and Melissa Parker: View Two Gallery, Mathew Street, Liverpool

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The Grande opt not to live up to their name, instead preferring an understated approach – Getintothis’ Al O’Hare is left wanting just that little bit more.


Mathew Street‘s View Two Gallery is an oasis of calm above the choppy waters of Liverpool’s most famous street.
While you can bump into Superman or a slutty nurse down below, above the party crowds is a place where acoustic musicians gather every month to play for an appreciative audience at the regular Liverpool Acoustic nights in the cosy gallery.
They’re popular. And very often great. But something just didn’t sit right with The Grande‘s performance last week.
Perhaps they’re a band who cut loose with drums, electric guitars and a beer and whiskey -soaked atmosphere, as, don’t get me wrong, the music was well-structured, played beautifully and iced off on top with some delightful boy-girl harmonies from singers Ben Sherwen and Melissa Parker.
But the gig hovered rather than soared.
While the venue and audience offered their undivided attention to a country and Northern-tinged set, you felt the band were ready to take off but felt restricted by the environment. It was a sedated affair until the very last couple of tunes.
Showcasing the majority of new album Bleaker Street, The Grande delivered their alt-country tinged tunes with a minimum of fuss and lots of finesse.
There were lovely electric guitar flourishes on a big old Gretsch White Falcon and added colour from the sultry tones of Melissa Parker. The songs meandered around well-worn melodies and took little left turns into interesting territory as the gig threatened to take off.
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But all the while we were waiting for the back beat.
No matter, as we’re sure The Grande‘s next full band affair will realise the potential of a bit of drive and take these songs where they deserve to go.
As a wise man once said: if less is more, then just think how much more, more will be…
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Cherry Colby
Pictures Graeme Lamb.

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