Sunday, December 9

Liverpool Music Week - The Conclusion

I've spent the majority of the last ten days holed up in some of this city's prettiest and ugliest venues, watching some complete and utter genius, as well as some total tat. All things considered, LMW really is our planet's hippest winter festival...

November 29 – Carling Academy
Liverpool Music Week has been hard selling itself all over the city for months now, and tonight local trio The Delta Fiasco get to kick things off. Their powerful blasts of big sounding synths and strings are translating pretty damn well in here, even with the singer’s irritating drowned out shrieks. Not that that stops them from turning ridiculous buzzing noises into huge and shiny pop-sensible electro nuggets. A damn-decent start.

November 30 – Carling Academy
Yet more of the city’s fresh talents are on the cards tonight, though 28 Costumes and their dark, disco rushes come off more cockney than scouse. Even after I decide to get over the guitarist’s shit trilby and the singer’s Topman waistcoat, such twisted blather still manages to border on the annoying.
A much-needed refreshment of fun, jingly pop at its finest comes courtesy of goFASTER>>, and it’s their Liverpudlian cheekiness that’s sweet charming this now pretty full room. They take the string lines of Hot Club and the jerkiness of early Bloc Party, constantly shuffling without a pause in sight. What’s more, ‘Heather’s Loaded’ sees all in here unite against the alleged badness of Heather Mills, and with a little more work they’re be filling out this room on their own in no time.
Hot Club de Paris however have already brainwashed most of this city into their damn knotty twee tales of wit, but tonight they’re shelving out a few sneaks from their second effort. The crowd sure are loving it too, joggling to ace Xmas single ‘Will You Still Be In Love With Me Next Year’ and the classic ‘Sometimesitsbetter…’
But now it’s time for South London’s ultra finest to take over Liverpool, for what leader Rhys states as Good Shoes’ biggest ever show outside the capital. It’s a good thing then that every single heart and mind in here is pleasing themselves at the shear pop-bounciness of set opener ‘The Photos On My Wall’. Not just anybody’s insecure tales of everyday life would work the wonders this lot’s do, and what’s more mind-blowing are the transformations of guitar pop nuggets like ‘Small Town Girl’ and ‘Morden’ into big fat rock anthems. They really were that good.

December 2 - Bumper
Just as I head into Bumper, ridiculously loud and somewhat scary noises are blaring out the back. The Deconstructors are making the racket, which after about ten minutes manages to swagger and stride like Eagles Of Death Metal, fortunately without the novelty. Weirdly enough though such riotous sounds have now suddenly plunged into heavy folk, gusting out in the vein of Johnny Cash doing Nine Inch Nails. Pah, as if that ever happened.
“This is a new song”, asserts one of The Spectres’ guitarists, before plummeting into something so freaking old and tired it’s as if 60s Merseybeat has come back to disturb us. But things don’t get any brighter with The Suzukis, who regardless of their dull, dreary sound, are annoying for the singer’s outdated Liam G impressions alone.
Apart from their funny-for-about-ten-seconds name, luckily The Great Northwestern Hoboes are refreshing the night up a little. The songs may trade typical Scouse beats but each actually comes across as healthy moments of acoustic delight.

December 4 – Bumper
Puzzle may be on first tonight but already the place is heaving. This crowd must already be aware of the clean and tidy twee-total natter currently being played by probably one of the only two-girl two-boy groups in Merseyside. Ace nonetheless.
I am way too quick to join a Slow Club, and definitely need no reason to hop on board some Bombay Bicycle Club (I love em really) either, but Sunset Cinema Club? Oh yes, that is one punk’d up and scary fellowship I am more than happy to sign up to. Like a brave Young Knives trying not to choke only for an evil Hot Club to relentlessly pat their backs, this Brummie trio are forming weirdly lovable user-friendly rock monsters right in front of our very eyes.
A few bands later and suddenly there’s an air of temptation in the room. The masks are on, the weird apparatus is set up, and now Liverpool’s best kept secret are about to be known once more. Wave Machines are their name, the most Wayne Coyne fronted British Sea Power doing Radiohead sounding spectacle you’ll ever hear. Those watching don’t know whether to dance with joy or cry with sorrow, but one thing’s for sure, this lot won’t be much of a mystery for much longer.
Three-piece indie-pop masterminds aren’t exactly hard to come by around here, and Elle S’appelle seem to be next in line to follow in The Wombats’ fun and bouncy footsteps. Current signature tune ‘Little Flame’ even comes with its own drawn out intro these days, and super next single ‘Money Shine’ has all in here “waaaaaing” to the end. Honestly, believe the hype.

December 5 – Alma De Cuba
One of the best things about Liverpool Music Week is that band stages get put up in the most random of settings. But tonight, inside this wickedly pretty, old Greek Church, it just seems way too posh for any potential rock n roll shenanigans. Though it is more than perfect to host the alt.folk invasion that’s decided to hit the town hard this evening. Emmy The Great are first up, mingling big violin, super acoustic picking and one soul-softening voice that happens to be coming straight outta Emmy’s mouth. In a time where the land is rapidly stocking up on new yet timeless female songsters, this one’s most certainly got game.
Aside from the fact they’re equipped with not only a double bass but also a standing girl drummer, Peter and the Wolf seem to be pretty handy when it comes to short, dark pop that vibrates like a sensitive Blood Red Shoes who still nag on about failing livers and euthanasia. Brilliant.
Such sweet strumming bliss is stepped up even further by means of Eugene McGuinness, who’s supplying magical, ageless tuneage like no other.
But still, there just couldn’t be a better man to close the evening than Lightspeed Champion. Serving up naturally self-seeking words after the other, ‘Galaxy of the Lost’ and ‘Midnight Surprise’ are already classics. A rather good albeit ridiculously strange version of The Strokes’ ‘Heart In A Cage’ precedes a few numbers from what he’s marked as his second album, before a first has even hit the shelves. This man’s popularity amongst the present generation will only get bigger, just like this festival’s.

December 8 - Bumper
goFASTER>> convert more of this city tonight to their going-to-be nation conquering pop rock, despite some actual bouncer beating up a fan on the stage cause he wouldn't get off. It was crazy, though I think all are fine now. Oh, and then Remi Nicole came on.

December 9 - Alma De Cuba
I wanted to catch The Kambourines tonight, but due to much school work, and the now very appetising (Arsenal lost) Match of the Day, I didn't manage it. Though from what I hear they aint too shabby, and I'll have a little feature on em in the near future I'm sure.