MiC Lowry, Gazelle, Motherhood: 81 Renshaw, Liverpool

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MiC Lowry

MiC Lowry

MiC Lowry performed an Amnesty International / Sofar Sounds secret gig at 81 Renshaw tonight to support refugees worldwide, and Getintothis’ Cath Bore and Peter Goodbody were there for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

MiC Lowry last played a Sofar show in Liverpool in spring 2016, in a side room at The Florrie, where a small but thrilled audience were delighted to songs like Stand Down, delivered simply and with extreme class, acoustic guitar and oh so beautiful harmonies.

MiC Lowry had been shortlisted for the GIT Award 2016 a few weeks earlier, and later that year they supported Justin Bieber on a 37 date European tour, one that spread the male vocal group’s name far wider than Merseyside and their initial fanbase.

Fast forward seventeen months and they’re back for Sofar tonight for part of a very special worldwide festival in conjunction with Amnesty International, Give a Home For Human Rights – A Global Day of Secret Gigs, at 81 Renshaw, in support of refugees worldwide. The tiny, intimate venue makes the space in The Florrie look roomy – it wasn’t! – and is a far cry from the typical venues MiC Lowry comfortably sell out these days.

This was special. MiC Lowry don’t normally play in the back room of a bar these days.

It’s poignant this week marks a year since the single Oh Lord came out, the song which played such a massive role in changing the Ben, Kaine, Akia, Delleile and Michael’s fortunes.

Artists tonight were asked to select a song connected with home.

Jazz-soul singer Gazelle opens the night, chooses Paris, which she wrote after her decision to go to the city, ditch her chemistry degree, and pursue a career in music. A decision which, she says with a laugh, seems to be going okay so far. Gazelle performed at Getintothis’ Deep Cuts night back in June, and goes from strength to strength, tonight performing with a guitarist and percussionist.

These sorts of shows, admits Ben from MiC Lowry, who follow her, are ‘the ones I’m more nervous for’. The five Liverpool lads are singing in front of a tiny room in front of forty people, no more, acoustic guitar and vocals.

It’s ‘in your face’ here, he reckons. And it is. The audience here are a mixture of die-hard fans, yes, but those who’d never heard of them before.

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My word, are those die-hard fans loyal. Sarah and Ally sitting next to us are from Hillingdon, Cambridgeshire. Are you visiting Liverpool, we ask? No, they’d come especially for the MiC Lowry. Both women are driving home tonight, and so so happy to be here.

MiC Lowry’s choice of home theme is a Beatles medley, with some good natured joshing and laughter at a couple of shaky bits. But the harmonies on their very own Oh Lord are perfect. The audience call and response participation an absolute joy, and ‘When the rhythm hits, I’m not afraid to die’ is a killer. They flow effortlessly, into Michael Jackson’s Rock With You, and we’re all sad when Ben tells us it’s time for the last song.

However, much to the joy of the long-time fans sitting by us, it’s a new one – Don’t Tempt Me from new EP Mood, the slightly spicy lyrics raise a titter or two. It’s a more grown up MiC Lowry we see and hear before us tonight, and they’re all the better for it.

MiC Lowry are quite simply, the best vocal harmony group in the UK. End of.

Outside afterwards, we bump into Sarah again. She’s is talking to another young woman. Maria is from Brussels. She’s a huge MiC Lowry fan. And yep, you guessed it, she came all the way just for the gig. MiC Lowry may have only played a handful of songs, but it was worth the journey, we can see by their faces.

MiC Lowry fans. Maria from Brussels (left) and Sarah from Cambridge (right)

MiC Lowry fans. Maria from Brussels (left) and Sarah from Cambridge (right)

Four piece LIPA founded Motherhood closed proceedings. They managed to squeeze two guitars, a bass and a drum onto the non-existent stage. Kicking off with a song about Tinder, they had the audience singing ‘swipe left swipe left never right’ before anyone quite realised what they were doing.

There’s no mics at this gig and nowhere to hide. The band confessed they couldn’t match the MiC Lowry vocal talents, but they needn’t have been so coy, with such enjoyable indie-pop.

Penultimate track Summer Never Comes, ‘the sad one, we call it‘ was a highlight as was set closer and new single Save Me. ‘Less depressing than the other one. It’s a pop song’ they said. We knew that. Good stuff.

Images by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody

 

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