Louis Berry

Louis Berry


This naughty boy from another planet (although it is said he comes from Kirkby, Liverpool) causes a real mess here at The Castle Hotel. Judging by his appearance, it seems he has never hurt a fly, but his look inevitably betrays him. “Yes, it was me and I’d do it again”, his beady little eyes speaking.

Along with his equally boisterous band, they stomp up the stage and for a moment it feels like the floor has started to crumble. Fast and loud, Berry’s opening song for this gig -the cryptic ‘GMWYW’ according to the brief setlist, warmly welcomes the passionate crowd. “We love you, Louis!”, shrieks a joker back from the crowd, with a girly-like voice. Minutes later, an enthusiastic female adds: “Sexy little bastard!”

By the time Berry performs the second song, the killer hit ‘25 Reasons’, the room is quite stuffy and this hugely talented young blackguard sweats pure rock ‘n’ roll. It might not be anything particularly ‘new’, but it has an original flavour, indeed.

The scouse rising star just needed a couple of songs and two gigs to have both critic and music business people right in his pocket. Last year he was awarded with the One To Watch Prize for emerging stars at Liverpool’s GIT Award. He has just published his second EP .45, under the label of Ministry of Sound. Future looks sparkling then, and he has no humble plans on his mind: “I want to be the biggest male artist on the planet”, he has claimed in a recent interview with Nottingham Post, where we can also read about his troubled upbringing.

Not to mention, he’s in his early twenties.

Silent witness feels damn old.

After this thunderous and promising opening, Louis Berry blesses us with a calming, gorgeous tune called ‘Cocaine Baby’, a likely nod to his beloved Johnny Cash. In fact, there is plenty of Cash in Berry’s music, although the latter’s is much more frenzy-infused. ‘Jolie’ brings us more fuel, more sweat, more vicious looks. Berry manages to sing aloud as he shows his (also cheeky) tongue every now and again.

Gritty, gutty, rowdy rock ‘n’ roll.

Silent witness feels relieved.

The rocking joy is now unstoppable as he performs ‘(She says) She Wants Me’ (“La-la-laaa!!). Louis Berry treats the audience with extremely catchy –and yet not sticky songs to fight the boredom and the poor weather. An energising shot of Vitamin D from the sun that barely appears in this neck of the woods. At some point he confesses that this Mancunian venue is the smallest he’s ever played in, with this prematurely rough voice that doesn’t seem to match his baby face either.

There’s a few more songs left yet and one of them is the superb ‘Restless’, a mainly Berry’s guitar driven ballad that certainly leaves you both disarmed and speechless. By fair contrast, ‘Nicole’ is sexy and explosive. Girls shake their long hair recklessly; boys stand still, staring (suspiciously?) at Louis Berry. The lead single of his namesake new EP .45 arrives as a makeshift soundtrack for a Spaghetti Western film, just to discover afterwards a deep, hidden message within. A honest ‘last call’ to your soul, perhaps.

It’s a rather short but without a doubt brilliant performance (barely 45 minutes, maybe in honour of his EP), which ends with the blazing ‘Rebel’. This song has everything to knock you down: great vocals over a powerful bed of raucous guitars, enhanced by a chorus that you’ll hardly ignore in your head the next few hours (or days, in some severe cases).

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Calan Mai

Calan Mai

Encore’s corner: Calan Mai

“Sad music” for chatty people. We could sum up that way the performance that goes before Louis Berry’s hurricane. A smooth, intimate bunch of delicate songs by Australian born singer/songwriter Calan Mai.

With the only company of his two guitars, he almost whispers lyrics about his family, mother and dog. Sweet. He also laughs while he sings now and then.

Personally, the immaculate white shirt he wears shines too much light for me… But wait, I’m just a twisted silent witness, so who am I to judge any of this? Behind that apparent tenderness, he definitely must have some guts to stand in front of all us, holding the whispers, the awkward silence gaps between one song and the other.

Speaking of respect… At some points the chit-chat from the crowd is louder than his singing and gentle guitar. He even asks for some silence for the last song, but the chatterboxes won’t take the hint.

“Maybe it’s time to get away for a while…”, he sighs/sings at some point.

Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!