The Shipping Forecast in Liverpool City Centre plays host to a variety of live performances and is often the hub of new and soon to be discovered musical talent, bandying a richly diverse line-up each week. This week saw Juan Zelada take to the stage situated in the bar/restaurants basement. The extremely intimate gig saw Zelada open for headliner Michael Kiwanuka and play a six song set amongst the backdrop of the venues dinginess. The grim setting did not mar the warmth and richness of the performance; if anything it harnessed the back to basics nature of the acoustic gig.
Juan and his two musicians Luke and Oscar played a no frills set, with basic musicianship and a notable understanding of not only their instruments but also their vocals, never afraid of tackling three part harmonies and a capella moments to punctuate the songs. This only served to drive home the brilliance of their performance. Indeed the control Juan and Co have over their voice appears to make easy work of portraying emotions and generating feelings.
Juan Zelada has a natural style, never forced and he seems completely at one with his music. With a mellifluous panache, Zelada’s music desperately screams to be the songs that soundtrack the important moments in your life; never tawdry or distasteful. Rather impressively Zelada managed to take the audience on a journey of emotions from love to regret to unashamed desperation and sadness, all within the time space of 35 minutes.
Zelada ended his set with current single The Blues Remain. The one downside of the gig was that he could not perform this gorgeous piece of music on piano given that venue constraints dictated it be changed from a keys to guitar. Nevertheless it was still pretty spectacular and did not ruin a truly classy performance from Juan Zelada.