ICYMI LIVE REVIEW // Maverick Sabre at Arts Club, Liverpool

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

Words by Tilly Louise

📸 Magnus Dahlstrøm


Standing inside the Arts Club Theatre listening to the silky smooth voice of Jordan Max, Sabre’s support act, he is stood tall on stage with his DJ just behind him playing the soulful R&B backing track that Max added his melody to. Jordan Max’s music had a lo-fi rap feel to it, his gritty tone and passionate voice added a gospel vibe to his set. The drum grooves brought out the rap side of his style, showing how diverse his sound can be. I got the impression that he felt extremely comfortable on stage and seemed really laid back, which added to his soulful R&B persona. I wasn’t too familiar with Jordan Max’s music but he really opened my eyes and many other people’s eyes in the room with his chilled lo-fi style music.

At around 9pm Maverick’s band walk on to the stage and begin to play a funk style beat, about 2 minutes into the band’s jam Maverick walked on with such confidence and swagger. You were instantly drawn to his ‘at-home’ energy, he walked around the stage and hyped up the audience by throwing his arms in the air and shouting ‘come on’. He had this confidence that didn’t make him seem cocky, it made him seem incredible cool and compelling to watch unfold on stage. He has every right to show off his confidence on stage with the immense talent he possesses, holding his fans at bay with the captivating voice he has!

After he’d played his first few songs he started to address the audience, explaining to them how grateful he is for the support, he introduced his band and then began to sing ‘Her Grace’ followed by ‘I Can Never Be’. Maverick’s set so far filled the room with pure soul and joy, most of the time you could only ever hear him singing with the crowd, all his fans were singing so loudly the band just dropped out to listen it was a surreal experience seeing how much everyone was enthralled in his music.

His songs had every person in the room young and old bopping, dancing, grooving and swaying, it was hard to keep still. He got people to raise one hand in the air and wave to the beat, he’s connection with the audience was instant, this was especially evident during his song ‘Let Me Go’. Moving from one edge of the stage to the other, he stopped to look audience members in the eye. Maverick didn’t have his earplugs in so he could hear the audience singing along with him which added to his love for his fans and music and how everyone was brought together because of his music.

When Maverick performs he uses his arms to gesture and release the emotion within his songs. It also felt like his arm and hand gestures had an impact on his voice, almost like when he moved his hand higher in the air his pitch got higher, showing how amazing his voice control is. In Sabre’s more fast tempo songs the audience were jumping around and dancing with him, the more mellow tunes gave a feeling of being content, chilled and soulful. He kept thanking the audience after every song. His set was filled with his old songs, his new songs and some covers he said influences his music. After which was followed by ‘Slow Down’, this song is from his brand new album, ‘When I Wake Up’, ‘Slow Down’ features English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith. This song certainly took the roof off Arts Club with everyone singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs, you can’t help but move to this song the beat just grabs a hold of you and makes you dance.

Towards the end of the evening, Maverick and his band leave the stage and the audience begins to chant his name until he comes back on to have an intimate segment with the audience, Maverick just singing with an acoustic guitar. He played songs from his first album ‘I Need’ and ‘Sometimes’, these stripped back versions of these songs highlighted his voice more. He has a very unique tone added with the warm tone from the acoustic guitar they two sounds complimented each other in so many beautiful ways. To close off the evening the rest of the band enter the stage and end with his song ‘Glory’, this song had a very cinematic feel to it like it could have been the backing track to a picturesque independent movie.

This was the first Maverick Sabre concert I’d been to and as a new fan who wasn’t too familiar with all of his music, I walked out of the venue afterwards with a beaming smile and wanted to watch the whole show again. I got to speak to the DJ from Jordan Max’s set and he was extremely kind and gave me the set list to the show, which I’ve now got on my wall as a little souvenir from a really lovely evening. If you ever get a chance to see Maverick Sabre live you’re in for a surreal experience, what an incredible artist.

Be sure to listen to his latest album, When I Wake Up below 👇

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