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:: Amy Winehouse ::
10 November 2006 / The Academy (University Guild Building) / Liverpool
By Dave Adair

“I Hate Amy Winehouse”

The £12 a throw t-shirts bearing the above slogan, provide as good an introduction to the mindset of this hardy and veracious soul-rider, as the slow climbing jazz/lounge backdrop combines with the life-bearing vocals of opener, ‘Know You Now’. This gives Amy the perfect chance to sternly stroke the crowd into submission, with her earthy and exposing lyrics.

It's already apparent that the promoters have made a faux paus in fitting so many people into a venue with such a small viewing area. Too many members of the crowd are staring at a brick wall (probably thinking they’re at a Meatloaf gig) or in some cases, the back of someone’s head. Others make full use of the relaxingly rugged sound, turning it into background bar music. The subtle chord changes and tempo waves are largely lost, struggling to make any impact past the large slabs of wall that separate a large chunk of the audience from the main act. The beaming horns and vocals pick up, to drown out the sound problems and the pub style banter of Winehouse, makes everyone feel at home. Cries for the rebelliously defiant ‘Rehab’ punctuate the evening. This number from Amy’s rough edged, rock and roll soul/jazz attitude album ‘Back To Black’, has raised her profile to that of giddy, Jonathan Ross levels.

‘I’m No Good’ boldly makes no excuses for her much reported silly antics and incessant mouthiness, but the feisty songstress does provide a laid-back but slightly arrogant mood, stirring an intrigued crowd into the odd bout of body swaying. The battle against the venue is slowly being turned around in the young Londoner’s favour. A powerful pop jaunt by way of ‘Me And Mr Jones’, emphasises a departure from the jazzed up sound contained in the powerful ‘Frank’ album of a few years ago. ‘Rehab’ provides for a potent RnB, funk/soul ending, to the moody and groove styled main set. Irony seekers head over to the merchandise stall, in order to make a bold statement of their own to the unsuspecting Friday night revellers of Liverpool.

Amy Winehouse

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