After the novel but highly successful “Listening Party” hosted by Culture City at Liverpool’s Ave HQ, it was time for Esme Bridie to bring her debut album “Today It Rains” to her appreciative Liverpool audience. Indeed, the musicians participating in the album launch at Studio 2 Parr Street, reflected well on the quality of Esme’s debut album.

Opening proceedings was Ellie Rose Smith, with a short acoustic set, with only two songs taken from her highly recommended debut album Finding Your Happy Place. She opened with the ear- worm New Zealand, and included the divine Wildflowers, taken from her debut album. To these ears, Ellie’s voice is reminiscent of Liz Fraser, in the way she swoops and soars, with an added Celtic lilt from the sadly missed and recently departed Dolores Riordan. She completed her set with the retrospective and haunting Be Still My Mind, a fitting end to her short acoustic set. I thoroughly recommend you check out her album. Its fabulous, and deserves more recognition and a wider audience.

The meat in this creative sandwich was provided by Elijah James & The Nightmares (minus one), who, looking forward to their own listening party next October, powered through a brisk seven song set. And this was more than enough to demonstrate to those unfamiliar with the majesty of EJ&TN what these musicians are about: fantastic melodies, meaningful lyrics, in short songwriting craftsmanship of a very high order. And when you have a voice as rich and sublime as Elijah James (so well displayed with Man-Made Masquerade) a potential cross-over song such as the majestic That Girl Of Mine, we await his debut album with baited breath. Roll on October 2018.

After having what could be described as an interesting conversation live on air with that Liverpool broadcasting legend Billy Butler, and playing two songs live, Esme Bridie hot-footed it over to Studio 2, and treated us to an eleven song set plus encore of What You Had Yesterday, which encompassed her debut album. Backed by a more than able three-piece, plus another appearance of Ellie Rose Smith (who provided backing vocals on the album), she treated us to slightly different versions of Tower Of Regret and The Queen Bee, which goes to show that a good song can be arranged in different ways. Ultimately, this keeps a composition fresh, and proves interesting to both the artist and their dedicated followers.

So with Today It Rains, the profile of Esme Bridie has been elevated, and more and more people are listening to her songs and discovering what a talent she is. With hard work, commitment and self-confidence, La Bridie’s musical career should be a long and bring forth much richness.

Photo Credit: John Johnson

Richard Joy