Liverpool Sound City – The May Birds

This year has flown. It doesn’t feel like it’s been twelve months since I was last in Liverpool praising the vibrancy and charm of the people and the place. I threatened to move there then though I did have a lot to drink. 

Thursday is the 1st of May. Increasingly, spring will give way to summer and we’ll immerse ourselves fully into festival season. How appropriate that on the first day of the month, in the city of the Liver Bird, we’ll be able to watch The May Birds.

An all girl quartet specialising in lush, tender and beautiful folk, it might be hard for some to get beyond the fact that these are probably posh birds of privilege. I don’t know this for a fact but I’d be most surprised if Alice, Eleanore, Camilla and Charlotte struggled to afford their music lessons when they went to school. 

I’d best stop such generalisations though before I make them angry (birds). And actually, I’d rather take the classy sway of The May Birds over the calculated ‘working class’ swagger of the likes of Jake Bugg. 

It’s hard not to smile at the twee friendship that’s on offer during ‘Leah’s Song’. This is a long distance love song, a tune about getting older and wiser. There’s a calm confidence about the way it builds. Beautiful harmonies sing out over acoustic strums before the sound is layered with antique keys, marching drums, burgeoning banjo and commanding cello. It’s a song that makes you want to hug a passer by or to cuddle your enemies. 

It’s feelgood music and just what your Doctor ordered to transition towards warmer, longer days.


 The May Birds are playing at the Moon Museum on Thursday night at 20.15. The Moon Museum is a new Sound City venue but it’s apparently sponsored by Wychwood breweries and doing a fine range of Real Ales. What’s not to like about that? 

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