Dan Croll makes his long-awaited homecoming with a packed-show at the Arts Club Loft for Liverpool Music Week.
The last time Dan Croll played Liverpool, he debuted a few future album tunes at an intimate Buyers Club opening in 2015. Tonight for Liverpool Music Week, he returns with his very long-awaited album Emerging Adulthood in-toe.
However beforehand, Jalen N’Gonda brings his tight soul-radiant rock n’ roll sounds to the table as the only support. Jalen is a blooming talent who only gets better each time we see him.
The Maryland-born songwriter blows away the room with his bluesy arrangements and sincere soulful voice. The highlight of his set would be his wind-down in the middle, where N’Gonda performs two solo songs without his band that just beams with talent. It’s his final number, “I Need You” that gets the room moving, and shows that he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Next up, the excitement builds as Dan Croll and his band make their return. It’s very clear from their opening songs, debut album standout “Compliment Your Soul” and two Emerging Adulthood tracks “Away From Today” and “One of Us“, that Dan always has and always will bring his main-event feel to every show.
With his new material, Croll attempts to bring his best big-stage lights and band, with the lights perfectly connected to each song. However, there’s something off. It’s more noticeable with “One of Us“, maybe small stage jitters? Sadly, the show was moved from the big Theatre downstairs to the much-smaller Loft upstairs, very likely due to tickets.
Croll takes a quick-break to say hello, guitar-down he leads swiftly into “Can You Hear Me“, he visibly becomes more at home, the band visibly becomes tighter.
Croll moves his way through his set, showing off highlights like “Bad Boy“, “Wanna Know” and “Swim“, in which afterwards he gives a shout-out to Stealing Sheep‘s Rebecca Hawley who features on the studio track, he also playfully jokes that he wrote “Swim” while “swimming at the uni of Gin, don’t go there, it’s quite pissy. That’s not my best” he laughs before telling his band “I’m chatting shit, let’s play more songs” before popping into “Educate“.
It’s notably coming to an end, you can feel it. Especially with the appearance of well-waited for track “From Nowhere“. It’s Croll‘s best-known track, and likely the song he plays best. “Tokyo” follows-up, and steals the show.
Their extended outro, with very well versed Floydian-reprise bursts live back into the room. It’s brilliant and leaves a room at the end for a well-deserved applause. Dan breathes before heading slowly into his always-ender “Home“. We’ve heard it numerous times but somehow feels much warmer here tonight.
There’s no encore and that’s alright, Dan Croll made his mark once again. The rocky start is a thing of the past when it comes to the end. Let’s just hope he doesn’t leave it so long until the next outing in the city.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, Photography by Jess Sharpe.