The question of the evening: what makes a better performer - being a more talented musician or being able to write a catchier tune?
We had toyed with the idea of seeing Pete Murray and Lior for a few weeks leading up to this show. On the plus side was part patriotism, part curiosity and part actual interest in the music. But on the down side the past couple of albums haven't exactly set the world alight and I had heard mixed reports on his live show. But the day finally arrived and when the ticket prices came up on the half price website it was too good to say no.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the discounted tickets, there was still a pretty good size crowd at the main stage Paradiso. It filled slowly though and you had to feel a little sorry for Lior as there was a lot of chatter during his opening set. But he tried not to notice and pushed through a decent set with just him and a backing guitarist on several of the songs. He showed some moments of real brilliance with his voice and some nice guitar play, finishing with a really nice acoustic version of This Old Love, which he assured us had had some radio play in the Netherlands. But I guess it wasn’t on a station anyone there had listened to as the chatter continued.
Before Pete came on stage I was asked if I was glad he was touring with a band rather than just playing solo. It took about half a song to justify my answer of yes – the band Rocked. The drummer in particular was going nuts on most songs and the guitarist was getting making some great sounds, as well as some great facial expressions.
Pete on the other hand was…. well…. as expected really. He has a cool, laid back voice, sounding just like it does on the album (always a good starting point). His guitar playing is simple but effective rhythm guitar. And his stage presence wasn’t bad as he told some stories and looked like he was enjoying himself. He comes across as the kind of guy who is pretty good at everything and he knows it, which you can pull off if you go for the big rock star image. But it is a little harder to swallow when you are going for the Average Jo/guy next door image.
That being said, the man knows how to write a pretty catchy tune. Tracks from the Feeler album are clearly the crowd favorite and they get plenty of people singing along. He does a great version of Opportunity, with Lior joining him for the second half of the song.
Looking back on the show I can’t help but feel Lior is the more talented of two – he plays some great guitar and his voice is stronger, with much more range. But Pete has the look, a more distinct voice and he can pen a catchy tune. After all was said and done it was his songs I was humming for the next few days – so who am I to say talent is all that counts for anything.
Pete and band
Encore: So Beautiful