Wednesday, January 16

The Capital Of Culture And It's Very Own Music Scene

As far as The Rascals are concerned, "People in Liverpool haven't moved on from The La's. There's still this idea that Lee Mavers can do no wrong, and I'm bored with it."

Now, I've revealed my dislike of them, their label and the group that preceded them, on a good few occasions on here. But to claim that Liverpool, a city which is in possession of one genuinely thriving new music scene right now, "hasn't moved on from The La's," is complete and utter rubbish. Though they make good music, The Coral and The Zutons have sent this city in the wrong direction in recent years, both under the Deltasonic umbrella, which for the record also keeps hold of The Rascals, squeezing out the city's expired Mersey Beat juice as much as they can. Also, there's no way they'd be getting the attention they don't deserve if the lead singer wasn't best friends with Yorkshire's finest. And the songs? Honestly, after seeing them live a couple times, one or two have this great energy and magic to them, but the rest sound as dauntingly shit as The Little Flames did.

This is what's really going on in Liverpool right now -

Liverpool is back. After a good few years twittering away in the background of one relentless musical fuss cycle, suddenly a whole load of fresh and inventive Scouse talents are melting hearts and blowing minds the city over. This time though there aint a hint of elderly Mersey beating psychedelic jabber or curly-mop fronted tinges of ska. Well, sort of. In its place stands a scene choc-full of straight-up indie power-popping nuggets stretching as far as the sweetest sounds of pure and pretty alt.folk. What with this year’s ‘Capital of Culture’ label stamped upon the city as well, there just couldn’t be a finer time for such healthy pop music to scurry itself back to where it all started…

It’s kind of ironic that The Wombats not only formed but also planned their planet dominating cheeky-pop inside the talent school that the already planet dominated Sir Paul McCartney actually set up. Though even if it wasn’t for Liverpool’s Institute for Performing Arts, there’s no way our charts and minds would be starved of such joyous indie-pop. Lead singer/guitarist Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy and drummer Dan Haggis, along with Norwegian bass player Tord Overland Knudsen, would have found each other one way or another. They went touring both dirty little and Academy-sized venues all the way through last year, which, radio and TV sessions counted, totalled in two hundred and seventy gigs. Spreading their love for Bridget Jones, ironically dancing to Joy Division and falling in love with a stripper named Patricia may dip into the dungeon of expiry-date stamped novelty that’ll disappear within the year. But there’s something sincere about this lot that via genuinely fun and cheerful pop, can’t help but tingle you all inside. Debut album ‘A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation’ is jam-packed with nothing but radio-gracious singles and big field-ready anthems. Fortunately for us all, The Wombats bright and shiny jangle will be around for many moons to come, and now the city has the finest of rock bands to front its shiny new music spectacle.

Master of all-things alt.folk, Eugene McGuinness studied at LIPA along with The Wombats, and will be releasing his first full-length album early this year.

I can’t remember what the world was like before Elle S’appelle came along. Without such bright, guitar-lacking indie pop anthems that steer in the outline of Talking Heads on a mission to mess up the theme tune to Rainbow, just how did the planet persevere? Luckily for us, you and the countless bloggers, pluggers and fellow music-makers that were raving about this lot the second they heard them, right now Elle S’appelle are very much on the road to somewhere. Recent single ‘Little Flame’, as well as ‘Mariappa’ and ‘She Sells Sea Shells’ are everything fun and joyous syrupy rock should be, guided by co-singer/bass player Andy, co-singer/keyboardist Lucy and Owen on drums. Fronted by those loveable marsupials, Liverpool is in possession of one dead exciting music scene at the moment. With a highly anticipating EP in the wings and a ‘Bosspop Tour’ with goFASTER>> scheduled, Elle S’appelle will put a smile upon your face before you know it.

Elle S’appelle practice room-sharers goFASTER>> are every bit worth a peep, by means of witty, bouncy indie akin to Bloc Party pre-Kele’s trip to East London fused with that ever-so quirky Scouse sensibility.

There’s only so much noise two chaps and their MacBook can make, but To My Boy create strange, forceful blasts that still manage to glimmer in loud, almost pop spectacles.

You don’t see enough double bass within the narrow-minded kingdom of indie rock, let alone girls who play drums. So it’s for those reasons alone why Peter and the Wolf should be camped up in all our hearts and minds.

Wave Machines make raw and pretty soothing experiments that will one day take over the world. Or at least soundtrack Grey’s Anatomy.

Married to the Sea stumble around like a less stressed Death Cab, crafting slightly bigger than lo-fi indie that’s hilarious all the same.

The complete and utter burst of guitar-disco anthem and recent single ‘Electrical Fever’ is total evidence that 28 Costumes’ time is yet to come.

If you think the amount of guitar/synth mishmashes out there is over mounting, first take a look at The Delta Fiasco. They throw up a brisk and daunting encounter like no other.

Puzzle piece together snappy slices of feel-good indie pop but in total DIY fashion, and released their first and homemade CD late last year. Ace.