Howie Payne Mountain Acoustic Tour with Special Guests Marvin Powell & Zuzu
Tuesday 20th February 2018
@ Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, Liverpool
For some reason Howie Payne has managed to slip under my radar until recently. At the start of the year I was looking for interesting shows to photograph and when I saw the eFlyer for this show I noticed that it was put together by Evol and Harvest Sun – always a sign of a quality show, so I listened to his current album “Mountain” and I was blown away. Genuinely not a duff track on it, I’ve been playing it every day for the best part of a couple of months and still it sounds as fresh as ever, and no tracks I want to skip.
Tonight he played to a nearly-full house for just over an hour, with a mix of material from the current album and older songs. Sometimes singer-songwriters with acoustic guitars can get a bit boring after a while, but not Howie, I could have sat there for another couple of hours quite happily!
The guy next to me kept shouting things like “F**king Mint!”, Howie says he comes to all his shows! He certainly has a point, Howie’s set was a thing of beauty, mesmerising and more than a bit special.
Marvin Powell is another act that I wasn’t previously familiar with (though as it turns out, we’re friends on Facebook, presumably because we have 165 mutual friends). After checking them out on spotify this morning I was suitably impressed, particularly with “Wind Before the Train” which they finished their set with tonight.
I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for future gigs based on tonight’s high quality performance.
It’s always a good sign when an artist starts their set with their strongest single, as you can assume that the rest of the set must be pretty special, and it was!
I’ve seen Zuzu before with the full band and really enjoyed their set, but with a solo stripped-back performance, you realise just how good Zuzu’s voice is, and what a great song writer, it’s no wonder that Virgin Records have recently snapped them up.
All in all, a superb night of musical entertainment!
Words + Pictures by John W. King