HTC host Maverick Sabre in The Workmans on the 24th of October 2012

PR junket type events that consist of a short notice gig in the hippest of venues, a splattering of  competition winners, a blatant promotion of some product or other and the inclusion of the most hyped act around usually result in one of the most awkwardly awful nights out on the music/social calendar one could attend. However, HTC hit the nail on the head with all facets of this nights outing as they opted for a quality act and not some hyped up nonsense. The night proved to be quality over hype as the night progressed as Maverick Sabre dazzled the nights attendees with a masterful session.

The Wexford born, London raised and Jamaican influenced Sabre took to the stage with only his guitarist Charlie in-toe. What would ensue would be one of the most delicate live performances that Maverick Sabre has completed in a long time. He has been non-stop touring for just under two years at this stage, most likely playing to huge fields and crowds at festivals and headline shows. What a pleasure it turned out to be, to see Maverick ignite the Workman’s stage with a truly captivating performance of songs like I Can Never Be and No One. These songs are very rarely played as laid-back and as delicately as they were on this night.

Used To Have It All soars above the mixture of a crowd, somewhat consisting of Jedward type fans waiting for the DJ’s after to come on and the genuinely interested Maverick fans. The faint murmur of talking resigns into the haze as the chorus takes off and everyone joins together in full voice. The nights highlight comes in the form of Sometimes, a song written by Maverick about leaving Ireland and being misunderstood in his new place of dwelling, London. For any of the fans in attendance, one particular lyric was met with vigor and sang with clear emotion as Maverick declared “I hate that history, I hate that Union Jack, I’ll never speak for any man or any flag”.

Let Me Go shines bright as They Found Him a Gun harks back to the earlier Maverick material. The Wonderwall cover came next in what proved to be a poor decision as the whole crowd went wild for a song they quite obviously knew quite a bit more than any of Maverick’s originals. It also didn’t help that with the choral chanting of the Oasis track, that any Maverick’isms and his interpretation of the track were drowned out and lost.

The night was concluded with Shootin’ The Stars and a rousing rendition of  I Need. I Need has become and will remain his most popular song to date and with renditions like this, it’s very little wonder why. While other artists may have come (for the money), played a few songs and then shagged off, Maverick committed everything to this performance and performed like he would have previous to the last two years of headline shows.

As a nation, we tend to cling to any sort of Irish connection within a family tree; our football players, Barrack Obama and any actor under the sun. Michael Stafford, otherwise known as Maverick Sabre, will remain right up the top of my best Irish export list, and on the evidence of tonight – rightly so.

Maverick Sabre Photo Gallery

Photos: Sean Smyth