Rocking Liverpool, Louis Berry – A Review
As soon as Louis Berry steps onto the Art Club’s stage he is recognized and welcomed by loud shouts from the crowd.
Berry wastes no time before launching into his first song with an energy that leaves the crowd slightly taken aback for the rest of the song. Following the previous act, an atmospheric electronic band, his no-nonsense attitude is a breath of fresh air. When experiencing him perform, one can certainly see where the frequent comparisons to Johnny Cash originated. His music carries a strong rockabilly country note that could easily have led the audience to assume that the man singing in his somewhat nasal voice shared more with Cash than just his musical style, picking up his twang-y sound while growing up in the US.
But when Berry speaks it is clear that he is a born and bred Liverpudlian. His happiness about being back radiates from him as he tells the crowd he’d discussed Liverpool with the headlining act St. Raymond and asks them to make him proud. He has clearly built a fan base in his hometown as unmistakably Scouse voices shout appreciative encouragements from the crowd whilst he prepares to play his next song. As he engages in a quick conversation with an audience member I can tell that I am not the only one having trouble understanding what they are actually talking, or shouting, about. The title of his next song, however, is something the audience understands perfectly; the announcement of 25 Reasons is met with cheers.
How far Berry has already made it career wise is not only indicated by the cheering and applause but also by the fact that the press presence doubled as soon as he stepped on stage. That, and the fact there is a cameraman following Berry and his band’s every move.
Despite the majority of his songs falling into the category of ‘the kind of rock that makes you expect an audience of jumping people and flaring skirts with a few elderly people glaring disapprovingly over the rim of their glasses from the sidelines’, Louis Berry’s music doesn’t lack diversity. Some of his songs are located on the more country side of the music spectrum and others surprise by having a calm melody. His songs raise associations that range from a being in a barn in southern America to standing in Liverpool’s Cavern Club surrounded by people jumping around in leather jackets. But despite this diversity in style, Louis Berry never lacks emotion or intensity when using his smoky growl to sing any of them.
His songs are not only united by passion and enthusiasm; the tempo and beat that run even in his calmest songs manage to convince the somewhat stereotypically stiff British audience to bop their heads and tap their feet, and, in a few select ones, even move the rest of their bodies. But no matter the audience response, which starts off somewhat restrained, Louis Berry exudes confidence and the pleasure of performing, not only transporting you to different times and places, but mostly bringing you to a performance of a skilled songwriter, who knows what he is doing on stage. He transforms the audience into a group of fans in the making. It is clear they fully enjoy the high energy show he and his band put on and as the guitars stop as abruptly as they began, the audience claps happily. They’ve been introduced to one of Liverpool’s artists to watch.
Featured Image Credit: taken from Louis Berry’s Twitter
Other Images: Minthe Woudstra