LIVERPOOL SOUND AND VISION | Gig Review: Leaf, Liverpool

Eli Smart - Gig Review. Leaf, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

The ambience, the fizz of bohemian cool never changes inside the upstairs chamber at Leaf, and for that audiences should forever feel grateful, for there is something special about the venue, a sense of tangible distinction which radiates from out of the woodwork, from behind the carefully styled curtains and ideally decorated style that magnifies itself in the musician or act on stage. In that moment a truth opens up before the audience who sit or stand and congratulate with rightful passion and encouragement, that this is how all artists should be treated, with honour, and not with the taste of Saturday night innuendo thrown about like loose confetti at a fourth attempt of marriage.

It is a bohemian cool that captures Eli Smart with genuine appreciation for a song-writer who has travelled and explored the ways across oceans and his own poetic heart and found the relaxed momentum of the avant-garde to be fulfilling and stirring in its possibilities.

The native of the United States most easterly state, Hawaii, took to the stage in support of Dan Owen with a strength of purpose which was illuminating, a giant spark in which the power of this performer was captured and one that found itself at home in the reflected, coloured lights just out reach above the Leaf stage.

It was a rare, perhaps unique moment for the discerning crowd of Leaf, a native of an island so far from home, one that nestles in an ocean so far from its own government, claimed, but in many ways alone, a reminder of the same mirrored place in which Liverpool holds with its elected leaders, taking stock by a different river.

It is in that unique reflection that Eli Smart held court and with musical justice delivered with sincerity and persuasive passion, a remarkable test passed as the midweek crowd defied the evidence of autumn that comes to grip the city each year; and as songs such as Revolve, Lonely Girl, Melanie, the poetic feel of Deep Inside Your Garden, Pretty Words No More WordsMidnight Blue and a rather special cover of Taj Mahal’s Queen Bee strode across the air like a giant learning to fly across oceans, Eli Smart became a new, and firm favourite for the Liverpool music fans to take hold of and call their own.

A marvellous introduction to Liverpool for Eli Smart, a free-thinking musician of warmth and joy.

- Liverpool Sound and Vision | by Ian D. Hall | 10.18.18

ReviewSami LivéLeaf