Thursday, March 29

Live Review - What happened when The Twang came to town...

The Twang - Liverpool Barfly - March 20

Wow. Barfly’s upstairs’ stage hasn’t been this set since the Monkeys rolled on over to Scouse Town in October of 2005. Outside the touts are haggling, inside the Myspace addicts are jittery, and one footy fan has just asked his fellow footy fan friend if he’s ever heard of The Rakes. Have this Brummie five-piece hit The Mainstream or what?!

Sounds-wise, ‘Cloudy Room’ kicks off kinda similar to an intro equipped to commence a Kings of Leon record, hurling around with dark and moody intensity, prior to transforming mid-song into a very catchy riff you’d half expect Jamie T to natter over.

Prancing around like a pub band who’ve just got very very lucky, lead men Phil and Martin bind together like a much older Carl and Pete without strings to finger-pick.

Recent radio-friendly’s ‘Either Way’ and ‘Wide Awake’ expectedly get high crowd approval, especially from a few from Quinton in Birmingham, potentially aka Twang Town.

Furthermore, ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ is so bagged up, it sounds like The Edge is working his way through a Stone Roses chord book.

Who’d have thought the finest thing to come out this year is ages behind its time?

The Twang on Myspace

Sunday, March 25


Every Saturday teatime right up until last Christmas all over the country millions upon millions of tellies were tuned into what was fronted as reality TV but can only be labelled as Scouse Mortification.

Merseyside was in desperate need for some healthy integrity, and along with this blog, the city's most hippest foursome goFASTER>> are the perfect catalyst to boost a whole lotta credibility back into the city.

First ever single ‘She Starts Monday’ is chopped up strings and witty words – ‘I’ve got a Mach3 they’ve got AK-47’ – flawlessly fitting for the times of now.

Fronted by an Owen Hargreaves look-alike who wears his guitar as high as Alex T, these boys and their nicely layered rhyming guitar-pop are breeding the essence of before-they-were-famous type stuff.

They are indeed supporting fellow talents The Wombats at the Academy on March 31, and heading out through England in April and May.

As the city gets a good clean up, if anybody has the X Factor it’s this lot. And they know it.

Thursday, March 22

The Wombats

Last month The Wombats were the first unsigned act ever to headline Liverpool’s Carling Academy.

Yet with screaming teenage girls and their mums filling the venue, at first it felt more like a Girls Aloud show than the pretty damn delicious set of twee-pop and infectious guitars it very much was.

Nonetheless, this Scouse threesome are already gaining Zane-attention, fully loaded with some fine awesome tuneage.

‘Kill the Director’, action packed with Bloc judders and pretty harmonies, is so damn catchy one can’t help but yell out the chorus, ‘If this is a rom-com, kill the director’, referring to the recent Cameron Diaz/Jude Law flick, ‘The Holiday’.

As well as songs about falling in love with prostitutes and some girl from ‘Die Hard’, next single ‘Backfire at the Disco’ is a radio-gracious few minutes of ultra pop genius.

Live-wise, they're playing on that amazing but-only-for-Bristol MTV2 thang with Biffy Clyro, The Twang and Hadouken!
Then they're off for a nice big fat UK tour through March, April and probably May.

What twang? Pigeons who? Shikari where? 2007 will be the year of the Wombat. One can hope.

Check out their Myspace. Now.

Monday, March 19

Peter and the Wolf

Honesty is the best policy.

Peter and the Wolf may folk up a shpash of double bass beats, merge cow bells with pretty acoustic strings and relentlessly manage to twist minutes of cute indie-pop, yet the real nitty-gritty of suburban existence as we know it in the tales of death, heartache and euthanasia breathe right at the very core.

Like Marilyn Manson covering Bright Eyes whilst being hugged by KT Tunstall, ‘Moon to the Sea’ tells the story of man who’s lost everything only to fall from grace over a splatter of cheery guitars and one sugary melody.

‘What have I done? What if I break down and kill someone?’ hurls through ‘Tommy’ with so much shock factor to distribute the very crammed Zanzibar I was in the middle of a couple of weeks back was flabbergasted. At least they would've been if it wasn't so damn noisy.

This Liverpool threesome is filled with a refreshing urge to depict life’s downfalls, and they didn’t even have to join the Black Parade... ('Coming of Age' is ace!)

Thursday, March 15

Monday Night is Open Mic Night

If you're ever in a pickle over what to do on a Monday night head on down to 3345 Parr Street to catch some very cool musical talent.

An open mic night takes place every Monday under the name Acoustic Slice, featuring actual proper genuine emerging talent. Next door to Parr Street Studios, where Coldplay and New Order have made some material, is 3345, where if you walk up some stairs it is open to the public for this.

I went a few weeks back and caught Tom Western as well as a few others. But he was incredible - - go there for more info and some mind-blowing acoustic folk. (Though a feature on him will happen in the next few weeks.)

But honestly it's a really fun night, and if you fancy yourself on the old six strings then you can probably have a go yourself!

Monday, March 12

Eugene McGuinness

It really wasn't a tough decision to choose who'll be the first band/artist I feature on here.

There are so so many singer songwriters out there right now, and even boys in bands have strolled off into the unknown to make their very own records, such as Thom Yorke, Albert Hammond Jr and, ah-hmm, Kelly Jones.

But Eugene McGuinness is worth dropping the glow sticks for. Signed, sealed and, probably in a few months time, set for delivery under Franz and Monkey fathers Domino, at Korova last month he and his sweet strumming guitar proved exactly why the indie elite should be shaking in their converse.

Singing through what can only be described as a somewhat vintage yet mellow yet shrill kind of voice, like a drunken Sinatra doing karaoke with Willy Mason, check out 'Bird in a Wire' and 'Myrtle Parade' on his Myspace.

He is hopping off to Texas for SXSW but will be back here later this month and through April.

The first blog is the longest...

Hello one and all, and welcome to my blog!

Right, let's get to the point. This blog will feature the current crop of emerging musical talent currently doing the rounds in Liverpool, the third world's greatest city... no wait... I mean the world's third greatest city..., reviewing the latest live sounds, tracks and whatever else is floating the pop culture boat along the River Mersey.

I’m a student here, and thus will try my hardest to find the time to update this thang when I can.

But with some help from Wikipedia, other than The Beatles because this city really never stops baffling on about them, and their respective solo careers, Liverpool has procreated Echo and the Bunnymen, The La’s, The Black Velvets, Cast, The Coral, A Flock of Seagulls (only heard of them in an episode of Friends) and The Zutons.

Not bad but could do better.

This is where the turn of the 21st century, and this blog, really comes into play. Innovative and emerging talent is being showcased throughout the entire city on a monthly basis at Korova, The Cavern, Barfly, 3345 Parr St, Carling Academy, Zanzibar…

Zane Lowe is totally right when he says music right now is in ‘rude health’. There’s so much cool stuff coming out of Liverpool right now, and it doesn't even fit one category.

You may have heard of Hot Club de Paris and The Little Flames, but Alterkicks, Peter and the Wolf, Eugene McGuiness, >>goFASTER, Guild of Defiants, The Wombats, Thomas Western and a good few more are all, in my opinion, genuinely solid bands and artists that are far better than the View Chiefs, or whatever it is, that is currently dominating the music planets, and deserves nothing but decent exposure. Hello this blog.

Thus look out for reviews of this lot and others right here.

John Lennon once labelled The Beatles as more popular than Jesus. As if. But this blog will be…