Home Gigs Gig Review : Maverick – Limelight 2, Belfast

Gig Review : Maverick – Limelight 2, Belfast

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Review & Photography by Paul Verner for MPM

On a busy week of music gigs in Belfast from visiting artists, it was only right and proper that we also support our homegrown artists Maverick as they release their new album Silver Tongue.

Supporting tonight, the charismatic Alpha Sista bringing their unique brand of ‘glamy’ hard rock that would sit well on the Strip in Hollywood, California that is, not Co. Down.

Taking to the stage, they rip through a slew of tunes such as ‘Tales of Woe’, ‘Miss Crimson’ and ‘Carry On’, barely with out a let up. This is a high energy band who give the audience plenty to respond to. It’s all there, catchy guitar hooks, great tunes and a charismatic lead singer in Hayley ‘Storm’ Norton, who has the vocal chops to match her energy.

The only really let up in the set is for the slightly slower tempo’d ‘Darlin’’ which sees guitarist Phil Horner down on the floor & out in the audience during the closing solo. Thankfully the slower tempo is short lived and they’re soon churning out the riff heavy ‘Peace and Chaos’ and ‘Can’t Keep Listening’, which Hayley dedicates to “getting rid of assholes in your life”.

The short set is closed out with ’Til the Very End’. This is a band with plenty of collective experience that really shines through, but what is really refreshing in this post-covid world where people just can’t be bothered, is that they give off a sense of real enthusiasm & genuinely seem to love just getting out there performing their own music.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Maverick, it was definitely well before the 2020 pandemic. Since then, they released Ethereality in 2021 and have now followed up with Silver Tongue. It has been even longer since I last saw this particular line-up play together with the return of Richard Cardwell (guitar, vocals) and Mike Ross (drums). Lead singer David Balfour acknowledged they hadn’t played live as a collective since touring on their 2014 release of Quid Pro Quo.

After a couple of nervous opening tunes the band quickly found their feet and by the opening riff of ‘Sweet Surrender’ they soon settled in to their stride. Other tracks from the new album included cover ‘We All Die Young’, the catchy ‘Bloody Mary’ and perhaps my favourite, ‘Daywalker’.

Other favourites were included in the set including ‘Switchblade Sister’, ‘Angel 6’ & ‘The Last One’.

Throughout the evening the band were on fine form with plenty of interaction with the audience between tunes and in return there were plenty in the crowd who were signing along the their many catchy choruses.

Mike Ross’s wife even made an impromptu appearance stage, bringing the band whisky shots, just before they played ‘Whiskey Lover’ from their 2017 release Big Red.

They drew the night to a close with ‘In Our Blood’ which is now something of a tradition that they finish all their sets with.

Given the performance tonight it is abundantly apparent that the song writing and musical prowess of the collective have matured extremely well.

That’s not to say the music sounds old, the Silver Tongue tracks showcased in the set were catchy and fresh, and did nothing but highlight what a powerhouse of an album it is. If you haven’t pick up a copy yet, its definitely worth the asking price.

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