A diverse range of artists came together at The Cavern on Wednesday night, with local artist, Cal Ruddy headlining in the iconic venue.
For many artists, it’s a dream to be able to perform on the same stage that was once graced by the presence of The Beatles. Last night, Cal Ruddy and three other up-and-coming bands got that opportunity.
First up was local jazz-infused-rock trio, Red Giant. Throughout the set, you were always left guessing just what direction their songs would go in. At one moment they’d have snazzy drum beats and led with smooth bass lines, before changing completely and suddenly the song’s headed in a different direction.
All the songs performed were instrumental and sometimes this can be a bad thing, if not done right, the listener can wander off and not pay attention. However, Red Giant’s approach to this was to always keep the crowd on their toes with their unpredictability. In the short time they were on stage, it was nice to see The Cavern convert from iconic rock bar to a jazz club.
Hailing from Manchester, Blank Cheque mixed things up as they brought their high spirits and pure fun to Liverpool. The band were filled with energy and were in great form as they swayed between reggae and ska throughout their performance.
During their time in the spotlight, Blank Cheque treated us to various covers as well as their own songs creating sing alongs and getting the crowd on their feet to dance early in the night. It wasn’t hard to see how lead singer and saxophone player, Josh Phillips had his own fan club holding up their phones to spell out his name. The set came to an end with a rousing rendition of reggae classic, ‘Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright‘, with the crowd out singing the band as the venue came together for the iconic song.
Novustory were at the other end of the spectrum in comparison to earlier acts. We had gone from jazz, to ska and now to rock. The trio’s sound was driven by hard hitting drums and searing guitars, rounded out with the powerful vocals of Imogen Storey.
We were treated to songs from across the band’s two EPs as they engulfed The Cavern with crashing waves of fast paced rock. Those in attendance were treated to a new song by the Bury band, called ‘Damaged‘, an intense track that was like a whirlwind of emotion, filled with angst and sorrow.
Topping the bill was Wirral native, Cal Ruddy, who we caught previously when he supported Bryde in Studio 2 at the end of April. Back then it was just Ruddy and his acoustic guitar in a stripped back performance. Last night Cal brought more than just his acoustic guitar, as he was supported by a full band and a packed Cavern Club.
The amount of positive energy and confidence from Ruddy lit up the former stomping ground of The Beatles. The lively performance was contagious as the excitement on stage reflected on to the crowd who were swept up by his performance.
In the midst of all the fun of the set, for a brief moment it was all brought to a halt. Ruddy requested a moment of silence to be held in memory of those lost in the Manchester bombing, that resulted in the death of 22 people.
Afterwards, he dedicated the next song to the victims and their families, ‘Little Town Anywhere‘. It was a poignant tribute, in a rare moment during his performance where a song wasn’t filled with the high energy that was found throughout his set. With a gentle combination of electric and acoustic guitars and a delicate beat, it was a well composed song, capping off a lovely tribute to the tragedy.
Clearly headlining at The Cavern for the first time was something that the New Brighton singer was relishing and he made every second of it count. The set was littered with fun and energetic tracks and his ragged-style vocals made for a thrilling combination, like a better and improved version of Jake Bugg.