The second Klee Music Acoustic Night took place at what is generally becoming thought of as the
best small venue in Liverpool – 81 Renshaw Street. The healthy turn out were treated to three
fantastic sets by the maestro’s that are Turley, Layhe and McCaldon, before the artists gathered
for the final quarter of the evening – the performances as a trio. As is the nature of the evening,
apparently lot’s are drawn for order of performance. This reinforces the philosophy of the evening,
in that all the artistes have equal musical merit to the others – so it rejects any notion of billing or
“support”. But it also ensures that there are no late comers, and that creates an attentive and
So Lady Luck designated that Chris Layhe opened the proceedings with a jaunty five song set,
which highlighted his compositional and arrangement skills that were evident in his past work in
the Icicle Works. Highlights for the author were Love Can Get You High and the rousing Well
Alright, and the set was perfectly presented and balanced, which proved the perfect opening for
the evening’s proceedings.
Tony McCaldon was next up, and his set started with the musical gem that is Save Me, and
proceeded to move through his individual set with panache and assurance which again
showcased his compositional abilities. Again stock still, his voice could be described as dylan –
esque, but has a clarity of timbre that is makes it quite unique. It was a hell of a performance, but
his best was yet to come.
And on the subject of great voices, Karen Turley closed the “traditional” part of the evening with a
great selection of her Folk / Americana compositions, that she has released on her e.p.s. Laugh
Hard opened her set up, with the amazing new single New Strings midway, closing with the
beautiful Like We Used To…If you haven’t caught her live, you need to – urgently.
The real strength of these evenings is when three artistes come together at the end to perform a
couple of songs as a trio, but also to cover one of their fellow performers compositions. And this
is quite possibly the first time they have heard someone else perform a song they have written.
The trio opened up with a beautiful rendition of Crowded House’s Weather With You, with Layhe
reprising his bass duties and Turley deftly playing that evocative killer guitar line….However, a
singular standout moment was when Tony performed Karen’s composition Not You, with such
emotive power that spell-bound not only the audience, but the writer herself. Quite breathtaking;
and after that Karen had to follow with an exquisite rendition of Chris Layhe’s My Wish For You. A
joyous and energetic performance of The Man In Black’s Folsom Prison Blues, was set to bring
the evening to a close, however, the @81 audience would not let the trio go. So after some
confusion and negotiation this new “super group” of TLM – Turley, Layhe & McCaldon – launched
into a scratch performance of Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, which finally closed the evening
with a collective roar of delight. The first encore for this acoustic night programme.
The final 2018 night I scheduled for the 13th October 2018, and it is set to be a cracker as Nick
Ellis, Steve Roberts and Thom Morecroft share the stage. But going on tonight’s performance, the
bar has been set very, very high. October will arrive, eventually. See you there.
Photo Credit: Tim Sheard