Alan O’ Hare was one of the members of one of the finest bands to come out of Liverpool in the last ten years. As part of The Trestles, they didn’t just make good music, the exemplified a growing disaffection with the world and their debut album was one of the most important made by a Merseyside band in years.
When The Trestles went their separate ways, to those that loved the music, it felt as though a voice was being lost to the high pitch babble that is force fed on occasion from reality television programmes.
However thankfully you can’t keep a good musician down for long and you certainly cannot undermine the power of a good songwriter. Alan O’ Hare has come back as part of Only Child, fresh from the ordeal, he has retuned, refined and re-mastered his life and still thankfully sees a lot to comment on that is wrong and displaced in the world.
Like Alun Parry, Ian Prowse and a host of other Liverpool musicians, Alan is never shy of pointing out the unfairness and displacing quality of life, he may not offer a solution but sometimes the voice just needs to be heard to start the process. Only Child’s debut E.P. is full of heartache, belief and just the right amount of questioning and it’s alongside some of the most stunning fiddle and guitar work imaginable. In Laura McKinlay, not only he has a found a muse, he has found someone who adds that subtle creativity that Tom Carroll gave him. The result is poignant, uplifting and just that little bit heart-wrenching as Alan’s superb lyrics fill the vacuum that’s been felt for a while.
The jaw dropping self-imposed look at his life in the title track, Only Child is dramatic and emotionally moving. It is a good job that this passion is at the start of the E.P. for it sets the standard very high for the four songs that follow. Before and After, The Grave are classics in waiting and Second Chance is simply rapture. The weaving of narrative is one that Roger McGough would have been proud of as he reminisced of Lime Street and Liverpool.
There are many important bands to come from Liverpool, there are also those that capture the grim reality of a city that is apart from England in all but name. Only Child summarise a feeling felt by many and with a pure Celtic heart.
Only Child’s debut E.P., Only Child will be on sale at the launch gig at Leaf on Bold Street on the 20th September. – buy your tickets online here: http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Liverpool/Leaf-On-Bold-St/Only-Child-/11687956/
Ian D. Hall