With a back catalogue of sublime and subtle pop gems, ex Beta Band head boy, Steve Mason is assured of a warm welcome when he returns to our city after he played a blinder at the Static Gallery last year.

This Kopparberg Presents gig looks set to be a Thursday night highlight, so advance warning ahoy: grab your wristbands sharpish.

Live Chops: With his Kappa jacked zipped up to his chin, Mason cuts a stately, if somewhat static image on stage. But he has been known to whip out the tambourine when he feels like gettin jiggy with it. Live, his voice never fails. It’s a thing of honest, genuine beauty. 8/10

Track Record: What can we say? Only some of the most candid, nuanced and pastoral indie pop gems ever crafted north of the border. And, with his solo outing, the excellent, electro-tinged catharsis, Boys Outside, the man has much to smile about at last. 9/10

Venue: Can’t complain at the Masque – they know how to handle their sound. Thankfully, it’s not in Ink – so the man’s not likely to be drowned out by RUDE TOSSERS at the bar. Sorry… 9/10

Supporting Acts: Liverpool’s band-most-likely-to, The Sand Band head up an inspiring roll-call of added value. Add to this LIPA’s Dan Croll, Halewood’s Luke Fenlon (far too talented for one so young), the 60’s tinged Wicked Whispers and Billie Van and that’s about as meaty as a 12 inch meatball Sub. 8/10

Steve Mason, 19 May
The Masque, Seel Street
Liverpool Sound City