Gregory Porter, Kris Berry: Empire Theatre, Liverpool

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Gregory Porter Empire Liverpool TomAdam (2)

Gregory Porter

Liverpool played host to soul’s man of the moment Gregory Porter and Getintothis’ Lauren Wise was there to enjoy his music all its live glory.

Supporting Gregory Porter at the Empire Theatre is Dutch singer-songwriter Kris Berry and her band.
The four-piece are together effortlessly cool and perform songs of the soul that range from the melancholy and heartbreaking to the more upbeat and band-heavy.
This mixture of songs feature a variety of harmonies, funky bass-lines and even some audience participation thrown in for good measure.
The venue suits their sound perfectly with even the purple lighting backdrop a perfect fit for Berry’s rich and silky vocals that slide over the slick instruments, creating a soulful and at times reggae-inspired set.
Some highlights include relaxed and soothing opener Perfect Storm, soulful pop number Rocket Man and finisher Lazy Kisses, which easily gets the audience ready for Gregory Porter himself.
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As soon as he hits his first note, Gregory Porter’s deep vocals immediately fill the Empire with no problem at all, reaching every nook and cranny.
Opener Holding On instantly captivates and has each listener hanging on to every syllable.
He puts the audience at ease with genuine and funny chat, including a skit on Liverpudlians dressing for summer despite the clearly baltic temperatures.
Porter is backed up by a six piece band which features a saxophone, trumpet, organ and cello.
They all have their moment to shine, in which the audience is able to witness such impressive talents.
As well as this, the collective group (unsurprisingly) together create a full sound that drifts over the audience and provides the perfect backing to match Porter’s powerful voice.
There’s both head bopping jazz numbers as well as slower emotional songs throughout the set, which are the ones to really allow Porter’s voice and heartfelt lyrics to shine.
I Wonder Who My Daddy Is is one of those  more emotional ones that has everyone feeling a little raw after it.
And while Porter and his band are able to convey his own experiences in song, he’s also able to bring together universal thoughts and feelings, all while incorporating the music of his influences such as Marvin Gaye, Nat King Cole and Otis Redding.
Just some of the set highlights include Take Me To The Alley, Hey Laura, Liquid Spirit and Water Under Bridges.
While this may not be brand new experimental music it is soulful, genuine and beautifully nostalgic, which sometimes is exactly what you need to hear.

Images by Getintothis’ Tom Adam

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