Another sold out show for UK Americana acts at The Green Note, with the queue once again snaking down the Parkway in anticipation of what was to come.
Remember Monday are something of a force of nature at the moment, like a tornado they suddenly appear, blow everyone away musically and then head off to convert more followers. Somewhat bizarrely introduced as "Remembering Mondays", hastily corrected by chief songwriter Lauren Byrne it was our second chance in five days to see the trio causing quite a stir, viewing them a second time allowed a better chance to observe how the band functions. Charlotte Steele provides the more soulful side of the vocal spectrum, while Holly-Anne Hull in the middle, a veritable blur of hand expressions seems to have the voice most suited for pop country leaving Lauren as the anchor, playing guitar and providing the vocals with the confidence of one who has penned them - as we said last time individually great but together sublime.
The set was another blink and you'll miss it one, opening with "Your Kinda Love" with the verses alternated between each of the members with them coming together for the chorus. This song dates back to their previous incarnation Houston as does "Fake" which has a some classic lines in it, none more so than the brilliant "Get up off your knees cos seeing you down there only reminds me just how small you are!". Another run through of Tom Petty's "Free Falling" led into the only official Remember Monday release to date, the single "Drive". They have a spirit of unbridled enthusiasm with Holly-Anne's hand gestures going into overdrive for this one, and why not for one of the most captivating singles of the year so far. With "Home To Me" and "Jailbreaker" closing the set, the latter seeing the additional instrumentation of tambourine and shaker, they seem set to storm C2C 2019 and the UK scene for some time.
For Liv Austen, this was to prove a valuable warm up for her forthcoming string of dates supporting Sarah Darling, playing the material from "A Moment Of Your Time" in a more stripped back format, with just percussionist Stuart Pringle and guitarist Jon Wright in tow. Dressed in an outfit befitting of the unseasonably warm February weather Liv opened the show with something a little different, a Kacey Musgraves cover of "Slowburn" noting its Grammy success. Liv's version had almost folky guitar strumming, with a delicious vocal running through the notes on the final "Slowburn"'s. For the title track of her album, she took off her guitar and went to holding the microphone.giving the song a late night jazz feel, never more so than in the chorus and pronouncing of "t-i-i-i-i-m-e".
If there is one song that has followed Liv throughout the years it is "Don't Regret A Single One", and tonight with two guitars and a bit of gentle percussion it still sounded as good and fresh as it ever has.
From there it was to "Detour" one of the albums stand out tracks, and even in this reduced format they were still able to gradually build up the sound to give it the epic feel it deserves. One song that has become a firm favourite in her canon almost from its very debut is "The Next Time" with the audience gleefully filling in their part on the chorus without any need for prompting.The bluesy pop cheating song of "Miss Nobody" set us on the road to the end of the evening which was closed off with a bit of "Window Shopping" which I personally prefer in its stripped back format compared to its slightly busy album version.
All in all a good if somewhat brief run through of material likely to feature on the Sarah Darling tour, and time spent watching Liv perform is always something a pleasure