Mica Millar “Not the First” single launch
Wednesday 12th September 2017
@ Buyers Club, Liverpool
I very nearly didn’t make it to this gig. I’d had a stressful day at work, looking out the window the heavy rain was a reminder that Summer is over for another year, I was feeling lethargic and very tempted to stay in with a pizza and netflix.
But when you’re feeling lethargic, that’s exactly when you should make the effort to go to a gig – there’s nothing quite like live music, and catching up with your Facebook chums out there in the real world to end the day on a high.
And when the bands are as good as tonight, well that’s an another level!
This was my first time in Buyers Club, and I have to say it’s a great venue!
When the opening act is this good, you know you are in for a treat of a night! Great voice, and songs. Neil was shortlisted for Glastonbury Emerging Talent in 2016 and been featured by the BBC.
Little Grace are a trio from Liverpool who combine soulful vocals with electronic beats, they have supported UK Chart topper Raleigh Richie and seem destined for great things in their own right based on tonight’s performance.
When someone’s voice sounds as good as Mica’s does on Spotify/Youtube, you naturally wonder whether it’s studio trickery. Will they be a disappointment live?
Well, her cover of Aretha Franklin’s “(You may me feel like) a natural woman” (a song which is the same age as me, but has stood the test of time much better!) blew any such doubts clean away – she has a fantastic voice, and has put together an incredible band.
The obvious contemporary point of reference to her music is Amy Winehouse and Adele. Funny thing is, I loved Amy Winehouse, I first heard her on a Mercury Awards CD compilation or something like that, and I liked her so much I went out and bought her debut album that very lunchtime. Adele on the other hand I’ve never really gotten into. I’m a big fan of the XL Recordings label and their parent group Beggars Banquet/4AD. It may seem strange being a fan of a label, but unlike the big labels like EMI who would put out everything from Robbie Williams to the Sex Pistols, smaller labels often have a small A&R department, and Beggars/XL have consistently signed some of my favourite acts over the years – so when they signed Adele I did want to like her, mind she’s doing ok regardless 😉
Anyway thanks to my teenage daughter who loves Adele, I’ve seen her live at Glastonbury, and I saw Amy Winehouse a few times too, and I honestly believe that Mica is at that level. She’s got the voice, she seems like a natural performer, never trying to be Amy or Adele or Aretha but with a personality all of her own. She’s even got the songs – although this is the launch of only her second solo single (wittily titled “Not the first”) she performed songs from her previous collaborations which were equally strong. I particularly liked a track she did which was reminiscent of Portishead, which I didn’t catch the title of.
I believe all she needs is a lucky break – the media spotlight to fall on her and bring her to a mass audience, and she’ll be huge. I’ve not been this confident in a performers potential since I saw Clean Bandit play to a dozen people in a beer tent at a festival several years ago!
Despite being a Wednesday night, there was a good turnout and a real buzz in the room after the gig that we’d witnessed something special.
If you get a chance to catch her live then make sure you take it. If you miss the opportunity to catch her at an intimate venue then don’t come crying to me when she’s only playing massive venues!
Seriously, check her out!
Originally published in Urbanista Magazine UK
Words + Pictures by John W. King