Review: The Songbook Sessions Monthly Showcase – 24/03/12
The New Caldera| The Restless Venture | The Edwardian Picnic | The Big I Am - @ The Zanzibar – 24/03/12
(Image: The Big I Am)
This is the second Songbook Sessions night I have been to. The first being a thoroughly enjoyable experience and opened my eyes to a few of the more popular bands doing the rounds right now before they had gained their well deserved popularity (The Grande and Ratty Little Fingers being the two that spring to mind). This monthly event is a showcase for singer/songwriters, local and from further afield. Not strictly folk, but there is a certain ‘folkiness’ to the night and an undercurrent present in every one of the bands playing tonight…
Lazy Genius - “It’s the end of an era… but these things happen”
Interview: Tom Johnson of Lazy Genius
(Everyone’s favourite G. Lazy Genius)
Live music at Mojo. It just sounds right doesn’t it? Well not according to the big boys at the top of the chain. For years Mojo was the place were unsigned bands and artists got to play on the same stage as many big touring artists. Artists such as Miles Kane, Frankie and the Heartstrings and Three Trapped Tigers and only a few months back it was practically the home of the hugely successful Liverpool Music Week! But now Mojo’s decision to scrap live music has left us all (most of us) in tears. Plus, the music scene down on a night that played an important part on the circuit. A night that filled a gap. That night was Club Lazy Genius…
City hard hitters, Ninetails have been fingering (in the musical sense) their way up the local food chain of recent to become one of the city’s finest. With spots on good quality line ups and a recent label deal there’s no knowing where these guys will be finding themselves next year…
Prestigious Merseyside Music Awards For Our Grassroots Talent
Despicable rival and good for nothing Liverpool music blog, Get In To This, (Ooo how I hate those guys) are doing what someone in this city should have done a long time ago. Serenading this city’s musical talent with a prestigious award. Best thing? It could be you taking it home…
LMW Closing Party (Part 2) - Bird/Man Without Country
11.11.11 @ CUC - Aaron Rose
It was billed as one of the biggest nights of the year, Liverpool Music Week intended to go out with a bang, and I have to tell you, it did not disappoint. The CUC played host, a multi-tiered tower of wonder containing 10 staging areas, spread across 4 floors. Parading a seemingly endless array of musical talent whilst an eclectic mix of photographers, writers, promoters, managers and just plain old fashioned music lovers filled its corridors and gaping rooms, drinks raised high to salute the end of what had been a fantastic week for Liverpool and it’s musical society. Yes there was a few scheduling issues, yes you could often lose yourself between floors searching for your next venue of choice/bar or indeed bathroom but with such a vast amount of bands playing what do you expect? And more to the point who really cares? It was a night to celebrate everything that our city has to offer for musicians and fans alike, a night to bask in the glow of vibrant up and coming artists a night to dance and revel and lose yourself in a world of sound, LMW may now be over but damn, it didn’t half go out with a bang!
LMW Closing Party (Part 1) - Outfit/Muto Leo/Ellen & The Escapades
11.11.11 @ CUC - Joe ManGone
My oh my, oh my, oh my…. What a night! First off congratulations to Mike Deane and everyone involved in the LMW closing party. You nailed it! I’ve got to be honest, when I saw the poster I hoped with my heart the line up was all one show but my reviewing mind hoped with every ounce of noodle that Ghost Poet was the only cool cat playing with Phantom band and co as support. I had my fingers crossed the rest were playing throughout the weeks leading up. Alas, my heart was satisfied but work had well and truly been cut out for me. Myself and contributor, Aaron Rose, thought we’d double team it. For obvious reasons we didn’t get to cover every band playing as there were 9 stages and 90 plus bands all under one roof but hell God we tried. Welcome to part one of four. Here we go…
Liverpool Music Week: Summer Camp/Stealing Sheep/Dog is Dead/Barbieshop/Yes Lord Sugar
10/11/11 @ Mojo - Phil Oskoui
I’m going to be honest straight from the start, when I was asked to cover this particular gig; I didn’t exactly jump at the chance. Call me a musical snob, my single minded, inexorable attitude can sometimes get in the way when I am trying to branch out and sample new delights. Having done a bit of research into the various acts that were on the bill, nothing really sent the old excitement-ometer crashing through the roof. There was even a band WITHOUT guitars playing! I was worried; it was a first for me. Someone hold my hand please…
If Tom Vek’s brand of sugary, advert-friendly synth-pop didn’t betray a vague sense of the American, the fact that he opted to name his new album Leisure Seizure probably would have. But when Vek addresses the crowd, it’s with an unmistakable London accent – the kind that’s impossible to imagine ending a sentence without the word “yeah?” – and album-namer Seizemic concludes with apparently endless repetition of the words “Leh-sure See-zure”…
It felt rather like a homecoming gig for Seun Kuti. The EGYPT ’80 bandleader spent three years living in Liverpool while studying at LIPA, and there was a twinkle in his eye and a definitive Scouse lilt to his English accent when he shared his joy at being back here. Seun’s love for Liverpool is perhaps why we were privileged to have such great musicians perform at all in a city so often overlooked by international acts in favour of Manchester…
Review: Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six @ Kazimier
Box Social Presents: Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six | We the Undersigned |The Science of the Lamps | Lou Lu & the Boy |Burnitov
The Kazimier, Liverpool. Friday 4th November 2011
Every once in a while there’s a show that manages to take everyone who witnesses it by surprise and fills everyone who missed it with regret. Last night The Kazimier played host to one of them shows, thankfully I was there and I have to say, it’s nice to be surprised…
Liverpool Music Week: Tribes / All Mankind / The Liberty Vessels / The City Walls /
Mojo 30/10/11 - Phil oskoui
Liverpool Music Week. Or ‘Christmas has come early week’ for all of us musical junkie whores out there. Now I’m what some of you might refer to as a ‘dino rocker’, I like my old school rock and roll. So I see LMW as being an opportunity for people like me to sample some of the delights of the new and hopefully groundbreaking music that is being made at the present time…
Whiplash Promotions presents: Saturnus, Esoteric, The Prophecy
The Masque, Seel Street, Liverpool | Friday 21st October 2011
Doom metal is probably the most ‘niche’ of all metal sub-genres. In other words, it is the least liked, the most hated, the most misunderstood. Very often, even among metalheads, it’s met with a look of bewilderment, or worse, plain disinterest. In a sense, this is understandable; doom is slow, dirge-like, depressive and often emotionally draining. It’s not catchy, you can’t dance to it and you can’t get away with pretending to be a pirate or a viking whilst attending a doom gig. Yet, for me, it represents many of the best qualities to be found in all of music; it has depth, it has soul and, due to the general apathy in much of the metal fraternity, you can be fairly sure that the musicians involved are not just in it for money or pussy, but in fact have a genuine love for what they do…
Liverpool and doom metal are certainly not mutually exclusive, but aside from Anathema - considered pioneers in the genre - none of the city’s other doom progeny have ever really gone beyond cult status. Whiplash brought doom to Liverpool’s metal masses for the first time in six years. The Prophecy played at that show, and it seemed somewhat fitting that they should open the show this time. Hailing from Halifax in Yorkshire, the quartet lived up to their home county’s reputation as the UK’s home of all things doom and gloom. Vocalist Matt Lawson boasts a soulful singing voice along with his guttural growl, and guitarist Greg O’Shea plays with enough feeling for the whole band. Along with John Bennett on drums, O’Shea lends the band a jazz tinge in their cleaner, more restrained moments. The Prophecy definitely deserve to be more widely known and appreciated than they are, especially with three full length albums to their name.
Active for nearly twenty years, Birmingham’s Esoteric have had a long time now to hone their sound, which happens to be extremely captivating. With an extremely rare level of atmospheric, snail-paced intensity mixed in with death and doom metal elements, this is the kind of music which has the power to take you to another place, as long as you are prepared to allow it. Give in to Esoteric, and they will work their way into your system and set up camp in parts of you you didn’t know existed. One factor in the band’s killer sound was the fact that all three guitarists had an excessive array of FX pedals. I’m not sure if they even used all of them, or if some were there for merely for show, but either way, the band were certainly engaging visually as well as sonically. Vocalist Greg Chandler even made use of a Madonna-style headset, although with all the pedals, there was no room on the stage for dancing. Extraordinary.
Headlining the night were Danes Saturnus. Unfortunately they had to cut their set drastically due to a delayed flight, and frontman Thomas made sure to thank easyJet for this during their performance. Undeterred, they pulled off an excellent set which brought the night to a close in a suitably engrossing fashion. Defined both by sublime, melancholic moments and strident, bitter death metal interludes, the band’s live set is thoroughly engaging and occasionaly unpredictable. While their sound is certainly more traditional than that of Esoteric, Saturnus have the songwriting skills and dynamic flexibility to keep an audience guessing. Brimming with melody and an authoratative command of the crowd, the band ensured that the punters left the happy…if ‘happy’ is the right word for a doom gig.
So, much as expected, this was a fairly stunning gig. As heavy as the majority of Whiplash gigs end up being, this, for me, has had the biggest impact so far. To these ears, doom is as powerful and hard-hitting as metal gets. But that’s just me, and perhaps I’m biased. If you think I am and you are unfamiliar with doom, discard this review and check out these - and other doom bands - for yourself. You may just be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.