Sam Amidon, Sea Witches, Elinor Alicia Gray and The Merry Pranksters: The Kazimier Garden, Liverpool, Seel Street

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Bon Iver’s tour support Sam Amidon delights and frustrates in equal measure, but it’s the rude outbursts elsewhere which really get Getintothis’ Liam Fay‘s goat.


For only the third time this summer it’s been hot and sunny.
So what better way to spend a balmy July evening than taking in a show at The Kazimier’s Garden. On the menu for tonight Sam Amidon.
With an easy delivery reminiscent of James Taylor, Amidon enraptures the crowd and makes them his own, but only for a little while. His set has so much promise as he weaves between beatific song and witty story.
However, just as the meat of the night comes, everything melds into one recognisable yet unremarkable sound. It gets a touch samey.
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His 40-odd minute set drags unfortunately, and feels as though it lasted for a couple of hours.
The man does know how to work an audience though, even if his style is a tad sleep-inducing. Indulging in some call and response with the audience who replicate his easy delivery, the early promise begins to fade.
That is until he whips out his fiddle and the impromptu riffing with his instrument reenergises the crowd as they slap along mawkishly. A man does a mock Irish jig, annoyingly. You can tell he’s never had a lesson in dance.
The how-down yelps that Amidon elicits are the biggest of the night which is disappointing as his music does deserve more attention than the crowd will give.
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The outdoor, garden venue created by The Kazimier is a beautiful addition to this summer’s music scene.
However, in the corner of the courtyard by the bar is a mock-birdhouse which continues to chirp, chatter, babble and squeak throughout the night. It has been said that it doesn’t take much to get my goat but this seriously does my cake in as it cuts through the tenderness in the air.
If I come back and this happens again I’m going to take the box apart with my hands and stamp up and down upon it as if I were Basil Fawlty.
Probably Amidon’s finest number comes with a rendition of R Kelly‘s Relief which is sweet and outrageously easy to get along with before he once again punctuates the riff with comic squawing. An unnecessary extension, dragging things out once more when things looked to be ending on a high.
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Earlier in the evening we came an indifferent performance from Elinor Alicia Gray and The Merry Pranksters.
Gray continues to be an interesting performer to watch; both intense and mosquito-like. Eschewing the normal introduction she steps into the mire of conversation and slices through it with a folky roar.
As more people arrive her ability to sing sans amplification is compromised and you can tell she is irked as the crowd’s lack of focus on the stage grows.
Her quirky and fragile persona spills over into her interaction with the crowd in apologising for the content of her material. A touch more confidence wouldn’t go amiss but she grapples sagely with a crowd intent on doing little than soaking up the early sounds.
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Sea Witches then subjected us to half an hour of sheer annoyance.
The rhythm was delightful, almost befitting of the shoe gaze label but the vocals smothered all over the top of it were truly horrendous.
It seems as if the lead vocalist was only taught vowels at school. Then there were some faux orgasmic noises as the set drew to a close.
Like a cheap When Harry Met Sally without the grace and charm of Meg Ryan, they scuttled off smirking like school girls who’ve just heard an anatomical profanity.
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Pictures by John Johnson.

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