Wednesday 24 August 2022

Liam Frost - Stockport Bask - 21st August 2022

As part of the celebration of the first vinyl issue of his second and third albums We Ain't Got No Money Honey But We Got Rain and The Latchkey Kid, Liam Frost held an intimate in conversation evening at Stockport's Bask in front of a respectful attentive audience, mixing interview questions from XS Manchester's Jim Salveson, a long-term fan of Liam, with chronological acoustic performances from across his career.

At the end of the night we were stood outside talking to Clint Boon, another long-term fan and champion of Liam, mulling over the mystery of why he hadn't been as successful as those who've fallen under his musical spell believe he should have been. We don't have answers, because there isn't one that really makes sense. The questions that Jim poses provide some pointers - the industry telling him that when he released Show Me How The Spectres Dance that he needed to lose weight and change his image as if the music wasn't enough, the record label going bust and him being thrust into the arms of a major where he was never going to be the main focus, their insistence on using songwriters to co-write the second album that led to acts of self-sabotage. None of it actually related to the music itself.

It's something Liam then goes on to demonstrate across the course of ten songs that show both the enduring and consistent quality across the sixteen years since his debut through to the more recent The Latchkey Kid and the few new songs he's revealed at recent shows. It's a little strange to hear The Mourners Of St Paul's, a song we will champion to our grave as one of the greatest ever to be written by a Mancunian, open the evening and even in this bright Stockport bar with the sun almost blinding Liam at points as he stares out at the audience, it still has that impact of sending chills right up the spine. It's followed by another single from the album that should have troubled the chart scorers The City Is At Standstill and the album's closing track Try Try Try.

Jim asks whether Liam has an issue with those who focus solely on Spectres and neglect his later work which Liam responds to with telling how people relate to those stories on that record because they relate to experiences that most have gone through in one form or other. He then goes on to tell the story of his label going under and then being sold off to the major label Columbia and the pressure then on writing a hit album before being written off and allowed to self-release We Ain't Got No Money Honey But We Got Rain.

There are three songs played from that album too - one of the singles Held Tightly In Your Fist, crowd favourite Skylark Avenue and the album's key track Your Hand In Mine, with the audience taking over part of Martha Wainwright's vocal parts before Jim tells us we have to redo the end section louder than we'd sung it while Liam was playing. 

There was a long period between We Ain't Got No Money Honey But We Got Rain and The Latchkey Kid and what many won't have realised is that Liam then joined a band called Tokolosh who released an excellent album called Stay Strong in 2014. Liam talks about how that made him strive to improve his songwriting as he was working with a high calibre of musicians and they spurred him on. He plays one beautiful song The Quivering Pine from that record and hopefully it will have sent people away to discover more about it.

We finish with three tracks from Liam's latest album The Latchkey Kid - Hall Of Mirrors, Rope Of Sand, The Slow Knife and Smoke - each of which show that development in his songwriting that he'd talked about but without losing the ability to make connections or any of the intensity, particularly when performed solo with nowhere to hide. Liam quickly disappears into the night out of the side door leaving everyone wanting more and asking ourselves that very question about why he hasn't got the recognition that far lesser songwriters have achieved. 

Liam Frost played The Mourners Of St Paul's, The City Is At Standstill, Try Try Try, Held Tightly In Your Fist, Skylark Avenue, Your Hand In Mine, The Quivering Pine, Hall Of Mirrors Rope Of Sand, The Slow Knife and Smoke.

Liam Frost can be found on FacebookSoundcloudYoutube and Twitter. His website can be found here.

Follow Even The Stars on Twitter at @eventhestarsuk and like our Facebook page for all the latest updates

No comments:

Post a Comment