Justin Hayward, Gig Review. Floral Pavilions, New Brighton.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
The very best of men are those that have the mystique of being legendary about them, the glow that the audience sees on stage and who revel in the mystery but also appreciate the man, the very human, the down to Earth persona of the artist who is extremely talented but immensely humble about their contribution to the world, the music and souls they have touched.
The audience at the New Brighton Floral Pavilion may have spent the Sunday going the motions, the Sunday dinner with the in-laws, no doubt a treat but one that was secondary on their mind, the afternoon cutting the grass, ironing, looking after children, grandchildren, pets, relatives, the odd stroll along the front and watching the developments on the other side of the narrow divide of The Mersey with keen interest. All of the usual Sunday rituals fading into insignificance as The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward came on stage and proceeded to give a beautiful, gentle and life affirming display of music prowess, the legend and the humble going hand in hand.
There is no doubting the presence of Justin Hayward, the voice of The Moody Blues, the man behind songs such as the phenomenal Forever Autumn from War Of The Worlds and Nights In White Satin, it is though watching a master at work that really brings home the extraordinary in the modest shell.
Content to letting the gentle breeze of September carry the words and music along rather the full blast of a summer rage and the whirlwind of a full production, Mr. Hayward, joined by the superb Julie Ragins and the wonderfully talented Mike Dawes, proceeded to play a set that made much of his delicate touch and lightness of spirit, a set that was impressive for its simplicity and its straightforward unfussy stance.
In songs such as Tuesday Afternoon, In Your Blue Eyes, The Western Sky, The Eastern Song and The Wind Of Heaven, Justin Hayward stood as cool as a reflection in a still lake, the hidden depths perhaps out of sight to the naked eye but one in which the tiniest ripples sent out waves that swept the emotions of the Floral Pavilion crowd churning and bubbling upwards, emotions that were audible and thrilling to hear.
A fantastic night by a legend of British music history, a crowd pleaser, yet one who is as remarkable as the audience who have rightly elevated him highly in their hearts.
Ian D. Hall