Last Sunday people of all ages filed into Liverpool Central Library – the children’s library to be exact – for an all-together different library experience…
The lights went down. Thin LED chains dotted the room and people started to come in to see The Magnetic North, a British band consisting of Simon Tong [formerly of The Verve, Blur], Hannah Peel and Gawain Erland Cooper, light up the library. In keeping with the space, instead of a support band, writer and long-time inspiration for the band, Frank Cottrell-Boyce took to the stage, enthralling the audience with a poetry reading and anecdotes. Everyone in the room was standing and listening, all eyes glued to the stage, all ears following his words. An extraordinary opening, to an extraordinary night.
At 9 the first notes could be heard, the first words were sung. Melody spread around the room, filling it up with kind of Scandinavian melancholy and mystery. Music was accompanied by interactive audio-visual black and white slideshow of old photographs and videos, leaving you with the feeling of nostalgia. Gawain Cooper is a great crowd entertainer, talking and making the audience laugh, lightening up the space with a cheeky offer of whiskey to audience(!!!!) and his interactions with Hannah seemed natural, just like the whole show.
The Magnetic North were flawless and captured the audience with their intriguing melodies when crossing through their discography. The trio was accompanied by a quartet composed of drums, violin, cello and bass clarinet, which added a more depth to their sound. The set was not only a perfect demonstration of how their music ties to geographical spaces, but also their mastery of many different musical genres. Mysterious dark rock tunes were then replaced symphony-like sound coming from Hanna's composing background, which moved into a lullaby-like closing.
At times the gig felt cinematic… like you were the lead role in the show of your life and thoughts. Definitely an experience for the books!
Blogger: Lucia, Young Digital Producer