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BIRD Academy 2, Liverpool 13 May 2005

It's always difficult for support acts to convey their art in what is a very tight showcase before the main event. Bird was complementary fare for the punters who came to see acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela but their gig never really got going.

Part of the problem is that there were several really strong songs missing from their set, the standouts from the critically-acclaimed debut CD 'The Insides' including 'Runaway', 'Landslide' and 'We Care'.

Playing acoustic is always a bit of a dilemma for artists - what tunes adapt best to a pared down format? Bird (Janie Price) and collaborator Michael Jarvis (guitar) would have been better putting a band together for this support slot, to do most justice to her tunes and make more impact.



Only a couple of tracks 'Love Songs On The Radio' and 'Falling Like Stars' came over as well as on album, but it seemed unforgiveable to make a guessing game of one cover version 'highly appropriate for Friday 13th'. I still haven't got a clue what song they played.

Bird is undoubtedly talented and her cello adds an unusual focal point, both visually and aurally. In a very competitive market, it remains uncertain - on this showing - Bird can make the breakthrough from what is essentially intimate lounge bar to wider arena. The full band may be the answer.

Review: David Randall

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