I thought I hated jazz until I visited Ma Boyle's
Emily Sleight

When I hear jazz music on the radio, I often moan and turn it off. I guess I’d label myself as a ‘jazz hater’, unlike my boyfriend, who is basically obsessed. I thought it was boring, but my opinion soon changed after visiting Ma Boyle’s in Liverpool on Saturday for the much anticipated return of their “Jazz Saturday’s” after 18 months.

The thing about jazz is that you really do need to give it a chance, and whether it’s entirely your cup of tea or not, you can still appreciate talent and great music. That’s why when I visited Ma Boyle’s at the weekend, I made sure I had an open mind, and to be honest, I was quite looking forward to a nice chilled jazzy night with a few drinks in the end.

As we walked in, there was an immediately cosy vibe, with relaxing dimmed lighting and the smell of pub food wafting throughout the venue. Although calm, the atmosphere had a slight buzz in the air before the jazz night had even started, with many guests eagerly anticipating the return of their favourite jazz night.

We got ourselves a couple of cocktails to kick off the night (French martini and an old fashioned to be precise) and waited for the Blind Monk Duo to get on stage and work their magic.

Honestly? For someone that labelled themselves as a “jazz hater” I was completely wrong.

The sheer talent throughout the performance was actually mind boggling. Described as “Liverpool’s own Blind Monk segueing across Black Sabbath, Stranglers and Coltrane to create hard fast sax and bass” they definitely lived up to their name.

“How does the saxophone player hold his breath for that long?!” was one of the many questions I asked my boyfriend whilst watching the performance, I didn’t realise I wanted to know much about something I supposedly hated. That, combined with the low echoey tones of the cello and the incredibly quick guitar strumming and you’ve got yourself a great combo.

Another thing about watching live jazz that I thought was pretty cool? The fact that you could still have a chat and have a few drinks with the jazz music still playing in the background. I kind of felt like I was in a movie sipping on my pinot grigio, as did my boyfriend with his posh whisky.

The crowd clapped and cheered to show their appreciation for the Blind Monk Duo after every song and the atmosphere was fun and buzzy. I even surprised myself when they stopped playing for a quick break, because I wanted them to continue! Who’d have thought it?

The show went on from 8:30pm until after 11pm, which may sound like a long time to some, but when combined with casual chit chat and drinks - it’s the perfect amount of time.

So, if you label yourselves as a jazz hater like me, prepare to have your mind changed and pop down to Ma Boyle’s on a Saturday night for a chilled cosy evening of drinks, food and jazz. It was the perfect combination of relaxing and fun, which is just what you want on a Saturday night.

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