Photo taken from artist’s Facebook, taken by Alex Lloyd
”I have to admit, I was initially drawn to Janet’s gig just to see how she fared after her stint on The X Factor, but after leaving I can say that her sweet demeanour and singing have made a new fan out of me”
Thursday night saw my return to the East Village Arts Club (which is slowly becoming one of my favourite venues in Liverpool) and Janet Devlin’s return to Liverpool, the city where she tells us “it all started”.
The evening began with support first from Robbie Cavanagh, who’s idyllic, yet sometimes melancholy, lyrics and soft voice could be compared to the ever-popular Ed Sheeran but still managed to retain his own sense of individuality: humble despite his obvious talent. His acoustic guitar was joined on stage by a cello, which set up the ambience for the rest of the evening. His set was followed by Luke Cusato, who apologised for his sore throat, something which I thought just added to the nice raspy tone of his singing. He closed his set with a great cover of ‘Naïve’ (The Kooks) which got the majority of the audience involved and singing along.
At last it was time for the main event, the return of Janet Devlin. After finishing fifth in The X Factor 2011, it was nice to see that the commercial aspects of the music industry hadn’t deterred her love of song writing and music making, having recently released her debut album Running With Scissors. She kicked off her session with ‘Creatures of the Night’, an upbeat folk enthused number which had every audience member banging their feet to the ground. Janet then addressed the audience, telling us “if you came here hoping to hear songs about my ex-boyfriend… then you’ve come to the right place”. If this was implicit that the audience would be made up of teenage girls who could relate, it couldn’t be more wrong – it surprised me just how many adults were in attendance.
The majority of the set was made up of covers, as Janet was promoting her upcoming release Duvet Days, a collection of cover songs. Amongst her covers were ‘Friday, I’m In Love’ (The Cure), ‘I’m Not In Love’ (10cc), and my personal favourite, ‘Royals’ (Lorde), a song that really suited Janet’s ethereal image and sound.
I have to admit, I was initially drawn to Janet’s gig just to see how she fared after her stint on The X Factor, but after leaving I can say that her sweet demeanour and singing have made a new fan out of me. Her debut album is available for £7.99 on iTunes, and her covers album is available for pre order now – which I would highly recommend if her live performances were anything to go by.
Words: Alex Gregson