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Dorothy Bird - Jimmy's, Liverpool, 30/6/2022

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 8 / 9 / 2022

Dorothy Bird - Jimmy's, Liverpool, 30/6/2022

What are the signs of ageing that remind you that you are getting a bit long in the tooth? Some examples could be not being able to locate car keys, or perhaps becoming flustered or anxious when you arrive at the check-out till with a week's shopping and finding out the assistant has been replaced by some sort of technology that you haven’t seen before. Or it could be that you begin to fret about if the venue is suitable for the artiste who is about to play there… The artiste in question is Dorothy Bird, a hugely talented singer-songwriter who splits her time between Liverpool and her home country of Germany. Her music is a sublime combination of lyrical sensitivity enveloped in a sonic landscape of trip hop atmospherics which result in an almost ethereal, gossamer-like emotional intensity. The venue, Jimmys, on the other hand is a low ceiling L-shaped room with exposed ventilator piping, air conditioning units and metal girders. It has a Hacienda type feel to it, but with better acoustics, and would probably partner up in a musical speed dating scenario with a rock combo. So what chance would you give an artiste like Dorothy Bird against this dark steel and concrete cellar? People talk about owning the stage, but can the performer actually take ownership of their extended performing environment? The answer to this question, with this performance, was an obvious yes. The strength of her songs, the lyrical emotionality and musical nuances that are entwined within it result in the environment kind of disappearing, leaving your own internal relationship to the music around you. Gigs are usually collective experiences, but Bird’s music has the ability to invite her audience to recollect and connect with long distant memories that her music and lyrics suggest. This is a rare achievement, that results in a cathartic experience for all present. Her set opens with 'Out Of The Dark', which is literally breathtaking and sets the mood for things to come. Her voice can be at one moment remarkably fragile, the next powerfully soaring around the room. So dynamic and tensile, yet so assured. She is ably backed by the nuanced Ryan Mallows on drums and Jon Lawton on guitar, both making vital music contributions, especially Lawton whose skill and artistry is reminiscent of Robert Fripp and the late, great, Derek Bailey. On this live outing it is clear that Dorothy Bird can convey the magic she has fashioned on her debut album 'Belonging'. Her voice shimmers and soars above her music, a music by way of some alchemical process connects to the heart and releases evocations of memory that then confront you. And as if awakening from a dream, her ten song set ends. So powerful, so dignified, so pure. There is no need for the much demanded encore. The statement has been made. Now is the time to reflect. Dorothy Bird is an artiste to cherish through these uncertain times. And for this we must be grateful.

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Dorothy Bird - Jimmy's, Liverpool, 30/6/2022

Dorothy Bird - Jimmy's, Liverpool, 30/6/2022

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Steve Kinrade enjoys an emotionally rewarding and cathartic from German-born singer-songwriter Dorothy Bird at Jimmy's in Liverpool to promote her debut album, 'Belonging'.

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