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Tom Moriarty Tom Moriarty
Album: The Shore
Label: Driftwood
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.tommoriarty.co.uk/

There's something undeniably intimate and genuinely touching about an artist sharing the first live performance of a new song with an audience - it shows a degree of trust and understanding that demonstrates some level of sympatico between the entertainer and the entertained.

So to debut a full album's worth of new material and to record it for release as a live set is quite a step. And so it is with The Shore, Tom Moriarty's follow up to The Road his second album long delayed by personal injury. There's nothing hidden here, the edits are obvious, the errors remain, he even retains the not-as-awkward-as-it-could-have been breakdown/participatory clap 'n' stomp in The Promise, a eulogy to the miracles of Mother Nature.

It adds up to a delight-full collection inspired by all the things that make up a life - from heartfelt love on Love You Till I Die, through righteous anger and indignation in When Tomorrow Comes, to the lonesome ache of longing and regret in Our Time and the defiance to transcend trying times that is Keep Walking.

To learn that The Shore was recorded in a wood-vaulted chapel in the small hill top village in the south of France where Moriarty has lived since leaving London last summer after a life-changing accident is to somehow be drawn into its world… and it's a long, long, long way from the brutal commercial imperatives of the metropolitan sprawl.

Transported by his gently expressive guitar exposition and that gruff warrior's voice marked by experience (it really comes into its own by the way during the album's denouement - the stirring Not Strong Enough and its anthemic closer Us Against the World) there's real energy in this performance and it comes from a fervent belief that love will prevail.

That'll do me.

Nick Churchill
www.nickchurchill.org.uk