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Edgar Summertyme by Mike Brits

Issue 25 August 2012

Edgar Summertyme Dominoes Jethro Fox Peace Mix Milapfest


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Editorial The recent protests around the council’s proposed new busking legislation have left me with a slight dilemma. We all know that cities are centres of expression, creativity and community, just as much as they are centres of commerce, trade and tourism. We also all know how utterly central to Liverpool’s culture (and therefore also our trade and tourism) music is. It’s what gives us our place in the world. Busking represents that culture at its most primal, as much as it is the musician’s purest form of earning a crust. It is an integral part of our city’s psyche. But, I challenge anyone of a musical persuasion who spends their days in our city centre, to argue that there will not be the occasional busker (and they certainly aren’t the norm) who makes your blood boil: one who plays with such a lack of skill, an utter disregard for phrasing and melody; one who consistently butchers their collection of Beatles hits and Britpop anthems, wringing and contorting them within an inch of their life. This person, more often than not, carries out their abomination with the assistance of a raucous Marshall combo, blasting their butchery straight down windy side streets and across our main thoroughfares. It infuriates me. My personal frustrations aside, I can see an issue. If I run a business in the city centre and every single day, some snotty-nosed, tone deaf ‘artist’ turns up with a guitar and a PA system and proceeds to pedal their racket outside my door, not only causing me to consider gouging out my own eyeballs, but also making my customers walk on down the opposite side of the road, I’ve got a problem. The city centre needs to be a place where people taking part in a range of activities, including both culture and business, can co-exist. And the creative community needs to understand that. However, what this situation doesn’t need is more legislation. Principally, how do you legislate on quality? I tell you what, for a princely sum I’d gladly spend an afternoon in a council chamber, vetting the starry-eyed hopefuls looking to spend their Saturday afternoons screaming out Love Me Do on Mathew Street. But we’d then be left with a Craig G Pennington view of what our city should sound like. Me being asked to do that is incredibly unlikely (and I’d suggest not advisable), but do we want a Councillor Mumby view of what the city should sound like? If we accept that our city needs to be a forum for creativity, then we (begrudgingly) need to take the rough with the smooth - it’s personal taste, after all. Perhaps we should ask a representative from the Biennial to inform the Council’s graffiti removal department on the merits of one tag over another? Yet again we have a situation where Liverpool City Council seeks to cure an issue that is aching for good oldfashioned conversation with a legal framework. Don’t anybody be fooled that the proposed busking licence is designed as a money-making scheme. It’s not. With council bureaucracy, the sums raised probably won’t even cover the time of the civil servant drawing it up. What is needed is communication and dialogue. A conversation between business owners and buskers as and when an issue arises. Old-fashioned common sense. If an agreement cannot be reached between two sides, surely a situation can be mediated. What is most important in all of this is the need for our community to retain the capacity for freedom of expression and creativity in our city centre. We have seen a huge swathe of the city centre privatised with the development of Liverpool ONE. This is an area now beyond the boundaries for buskers and street performers, save for activities regulated by Liverpool ONE. The proposed legislation would effectively spread this situation across the whole of the city centre - a sanitised and centrally-controlled form of expression. Is that what Liverpool stands for? Is that what Liverpool was built on? Is that what we want our Liverpool to become? Still, that dickhead on Church Street could at least turn his amp down. Craig G Pennington Editor

Features

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Bido Lito!

Issue Twenty Five / August 2012 bidolito.co.uk 4th Floor, Mello Mello 40-42 Slater St Liverpool L1 4BX

6 EDGAR SUMMERTYME

8

JETHRO FOX

Editor Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk Assistant Editor Christopher Torpey reviews@bidolito.co.uk Assistant Reviews Editor Naters Philip - live@bidolito.co.uk

10 FESTEVOL

Sub Editor Mo Stewart - subeditor@bidolito.co.uk Online Editor Natalie Williams - online@bidolito.co.uk Designer Luke Avery - info@earthstudios.net

12 DOMINOES

Proofreading Debra Williams debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

14 MILAPFEST

16 PEACE MIX

Regulars 4 NEWS 18 PREVIEWS/SHORTS 20 REVIEWS

Words Craig G Pennington, Christopher Torpey, Naters Philip, Mo Stewart, Jamie Bowman, Richard Lewis, Clarry M, John Still, Charlie Lashmar, Jonny Davis, Si Finnerty, Mick Chrysalid, Matt Healy, Amy Greir, Joshua Nevett, Adam Edwards Photography, Illustration and Layout Luke Avery, Mike Brits, Robin Clewley, Ant Clausen, Keith Ainsworth, Horse, Matthew Thomas, Jonathan Dawe, Darren Aston, John Johnson, Rob Rossington, Adam Edwards Adverts To advertise please ads@bidolito.co.uk

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News

Bido Lito! Dansette

Our pick of this month’s wax wonders…

Esco Williams is the MOBO Unsung Hero ESCO WILLIAMS is well on the path to hogging 2012 all for himself. On the back of nods from MTV and the GIT awards, and ahead of his debut album dropping, he’s the inaugural winner of the MOBO Unsung award. After wowing crowds on the MOBO tour earlier this year, Williams beat off competition from the seven other regional finalists for the prestigious award. He’ll be performing at this year’s MOBO nominations party, and he’s itching to take the show by storm: “Simply attending and passing out some CDs can make a wee impression, but I look forward to dropping a bomb on the stage.” London be warned. escowilliams.bandcamp.com

Much Ado About Busking The word on the street is that Liverpool City Council is to enforce restrictions on where, when and what street performers can do in Liverpool’s city centre. In response, there was a mass peaceful busking protest on Church St., in an attempt to show that permits need not become mandatory. The protest was done in conjunction with Keep Streets Live who have orchestrated an online petition against the restrictions, now numbering over 1,000 signatures. This has since instigated conversations of quality control over musicians on the street: be a part of the conversation on Twitter by heading to #keepstreetslive, and sign the petition at keepstreetslive.com

Vasco Visit The Humble Market Are you ready for a more Brazilian world? That’s one of the questions being posed by FACT’s current exhibition, THE HUMBLE MARKET: TRADE SECRETS. The immersive experience allows you to take in the hustle and bustle of the Rio de Janeiro carnival from a Brazilian taxi, contemplate the universe, and discover what happens when the impersonal automated voice on the telephone suddenly gets very personal. Bido Lito! and FACT sent Liverpool math rock darlings Vasco Da Gama along to experience the Humble Market and invited local filmmaker Jenny Collins along to document their experience. Make your way over to bidolito.co.uk where you can take in the results. fact.co.uk

#GetInGetOn At Liverpool Community College A whole manner of events, uploads and freebies are all part of Liverpool Community College’s newly launched campaign #GetInGetOn. Culminating in a two-week period of virtual open days - where the college will be answering prospective students’ questions live on Twitter and Facebook. You’ll be able to find out loads about the college’s wealth of creative course opportunities through video updates and interactive guides. Keep an eye out for your chance to win cash prizes, tickets to upcoming events and even an iPad. Bido Lito! have also got in on the act, with The Mighty Mojo kneading together an exclusive #GetInGetOn mixtape for bidolito.co.uk

New Free To Access Music Courses Calling all grassroots musicians in Merseyside! THE ROSCOE FOUNDATION is currently seeking applications for its 2012-13 Music Development Programme which provides free to access music industry opportunities for local artists. The programme is a ground-breaking project, which provides a diverse array of music industry workshops and studio days to talented grassroots musicians in Merseyside. Successful applicants will be required to attend seven, one-hour workshops over a three-month period and will be provided with three free studio days at Parr Street Studios to assist in the development of supporting grassroots musical excellence. roscoefoundation.org.uk

Liverpool Music Awards Nominations Coming To A Close The Liverpool Music Awards are a platform for the entirety of the local music scene, here to honour musicians and all of those working behind the scenes, in production, management and a variety of other crucial roles. The judging panel comprises members of some of the most well respected Liverpool music institutions. The latest additions include: one of the LIPA founders, Mark Featherstone-Witty, Executive Director of the Philharmonic Hall & Events, Simon Glinn, and Programme Director for Music Industry Studies at University Of Liverpool, Dr. Mike Jones. The closing date for entries and nominations is Friday 17th August; for more details head to liverpoolmusicawards.com

COMPETITION!

Screenadelica has gone from strength to strength since its low-key inception in 2010, now pitching up at a variety of international events throughout the year to showcase its ever-increasing array of prints and gig posters. We’re used to seeing the artwork of Screenadelica’s curator Horse adorning the walls of our venues, to the extent that his distinctive style has become a much-loved staple of our live music scene. This month we have teamed up with Horse to offer you a pretty stunning prize: a limited edition, numbered screen print of Horse’s poster commissioned for Flaming Lips’ appearance at this year’s Optimus Primavera Sound festival in Porto. To win this extra special prize all you have to do is answer the following question: Who is Flaming Lips’ lead singer and zorbing frontman? a) Tommy Coyne

b) Wayne Coyne

c) Wayne Rooney

To enter, email your answer to competition@bidolito.co.uk by 16th August. All correct answers will be placed in a big pink zorbing ball, the winner chosen at random and notified by email. Good luck!

Gig Guide and Ticket Shop live at www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk

Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan DOMINO RECORDS David Longstreth’s nostalgic submariners are back, with a new album that sees them flitting from one woozy retro influence to the next in their usual dreamily compelling way. Influences as far and wide as Neil Young and The Beatles are mined and woven subtly into the gear changes, that seemingly only they and Animal Collective can manage without seeming regressive.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Only In My Dreams 4AD A staggering thirteen (official) albums in and ARIEL PINK INK shows no signs of abating. This cut, from upcoming record Mature Themes, finds Mr Rosenberg in usual lo-fi surfy mood, with xylophonic flourishes and Byrdsy melodies providing the chinks of light in the darkness. Hints towards another winner are numerous, and November’s Liverpool show can’t come fast enough.

Tame Impala Apocalypse Dreams MODULAR RECORDINGS The familiar stamp of blissful blues-psych shrouds this taster track from Aussie space cadets TAME IMPALA, which would suggest that their second full length album Lonerism won’t be venturing too far from Innerspeaker’s Innerspeaker winning template. The addition of keys meshes neatly with Kevin Parker’s endless guitar riffs, meaning we’re glad for these clouds of reverb to be descending once more.

Donnie & Joe Emerson Dreamin’ Wild LIGHT IN THE ATTIC RECORDS Rock’n’roll farmers DONNIE AND JOE EMERSON originally recorded this in the late 70s, nearly bankrupting their Dad in the process (he converted a barn for his sons to record in). Fortunately prolific crate diggers Light In The Attic have rescued this from the scrap heap: witness Baby’s Baby country pop balladry and My Heart’s Heart grooving lament if you don’t believe.


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Bido Lito! August 2012

7

Edgar SummErtymE Words: Jamie Bowman Photography: Mike Brits

It seems apt that I meet EDGAR SUMMERTYME in a record shop. Surrounded by stacks of vinyl, this most avid of collectors looks at home as he leafs his way through the jazz section, excitedly telling me about his latest discovery, South American band leader Gustav Dudamel. If you wanted to be metaphorical, the image of the music obsessive searching for the perfect tune is a neat summary of this remarkable musician’s career. Through numerous bands, line-ups, and solo records Edgar (who for much of his career has operated under his birth name Jones but - like a Scouse version of Kylie - no surname is required in his home town) has spent the last 25 years seeking out a musical blueprint that has attempted to meld his love of garage rock, soul, R’n’B and jazz. With his new record Sense Of Harmony, Harmony this restless cult hero may finally have come closer than ever before. “As long as I’m setting a good example then I’m happy,” says the man whose playing forms a unique link between Liverpool’s various scenes and successes. From the Bunnymen to the Zutons via The Stairs and Paul Weller, Jones has had a hand in some of the coolest cuts and sharpest sounds to come out of the UK in the past two decades and, thankfully for a man whose first release was called Weed Bus, he’s come out of it with most of his memory intact. “When I started writing I liked things like The Bodines and Echo & The Bunnymen,” says Edgar, lighting the first of countless Silk Cuts. “I was very lucky that I was taken under the wing of that whole 80s Liverpool scene and by the time I was 18 I was playing bass guitar for Ian McCulloch. Bands like The Lotus Eaters and The Wild Swans helped me too but it was weird because back then you seemed to get further on looks rather than ability. I was a teenager who looked cool and they liked me even though I couldn’t play.” Despite his acceptance into the court of Liverpool’s crimson kings, Jones was already forming a world outlook that was singular, psychedelic and obsessed with the 60s, so much so that his first band The Stairs would rival even contemporaries The La’s for dedication to all things garage. “I was blinkered, young and hot-headed,” he says. “I found the 80s pretty disgusting morally, socially and musically. It was a time for new toys and forgetting about your fellow man and when I started listening and buying things like the Nuggets and Pebbles compilations from Probe, I couldn’t help but be drawn into that look.” Flying in the face of fashion, The Stairs ignored the ecstasyfuelled baggy boom that consumed so many other bands from the North West, donning instead the look, sound and spirit of snotty US legends like The Chocolate Watch Band and The Electric Prunes. “Everything was based around the year 1966 rather than that psychedelic Woodstock thing which came later,” explains Jones. “It was like no other music existed apart from songs made in that year but it was much harder work to be into something then. There was a network of cool people and you either got to know them or you didn’t; and you’d try and gather as much information and knowledge as you could from things like record sleeves, but it was those cool people who acted like a quality control, which is something the internet can’t do.” The Stairs released one wonderful album Mexican R ‘n’ B, in mono, in 1992 before collapsing due to what Edgar describes as

“chaos”. “Ged (Lynn, the Stairs guitarist) kept leaving the group and then rejoining and on the first day of our album sessions Jason (Otty, harmonica player) walked out and went on holiday to Europe after I’d shared out the publishing money. That’s what The Stairs was like – it was volatile and has psychologically affected the way I have been in bands ever since because I have this fear people will go just when I need them.” After The Stairs, Edgar followed the well-worn path of many a talented Liverpudlian musician and joined Lee Mavers in The La’s, an experience he describes as being “like National Service”. “Lee would headhunt you, and we all had a go and did our bit for a year,” he laughs. “I didn’t get Lee at his best but then I don’t think many people did after about 1987. There just wasn’t a lot going on and I was disappointed because I was looking forward to getting my teeth into that band, but they didn’t want to get their teeth into the world. You have to go to the world and not expect it to come to you, especially if you’re not putting any records out.” Solace came with a stint in Saint Etienne, an experience which Edgar describes as “happy” because he was able to develop his love of soul playing with a great band. “I didn’t mind being a sideman as I had really started to respect those people,” he remembers. “In Liverpool you had this thing about session musicians which was a dirty word because of all the punk snobbery. People pretended they didn’t own any Led Zep albums, and that lasted about 15 years. Music is still recovering from that and it wasn’t like it was replaced by anything cool and from the streets – punk was more a case of letting the morons have a go.” Paul Weller (“a gent who was very kind to me”) was next on Jones’s list of employers after he joined the Mod hero’s live band, while he also had the time to play with another guitar legend in the form of Johnny Marr. “That was amazing and it was just me, Johnny and Zak Starkey playing in Johnny’s barn. It eventually came out as The Healers but I had been replaced by then by the bloke from Kula Shaker.” Despite a burgeoning reputation as a go-to bass player for anyone keen to recreate a sixties vibe, Jones was still determined to explore his own path in a band of his own. “I never had that idea that I’d be a star, which was maybe my trouble,” he admits. “I’d like to be one now because I think I’d be a good example as I have worked hard over a long period of time and I think people should be inspired by that.” Edgar’s next turn in the spotlight was with the Big Kids, a group that collected a whole new set of Liverpudlian musicians who would all play crucial roles in the city’s next wave of success. “I wanted something that was healthy musically and getting in Sean and Russ [later of The Zutons] and Howie Payne [The Stands] helped me, as I wanted people who were open to a different idea of what Liverpool was used to.” The band gigged incessantly, with a storming residency at The Magnet, and everything seemed in place for Edgar to take his rightful place in a Britpop scene which had come around to his sixties sensibility. But yet again a band would crumble when everything was poised for take-off. “It was great watching Russ and Sean develop as players and I was kind of glad when they formed the Zutons because I had a bit of guilt about stopping them form their own band with a bunch of other youngsters doing their

own thing. It was less hurtful than if they had been poached by someone of my own ilk and it seemed right, but I still wish they had told me!” Another period of soul-searching followed as Edgar began to formulate his idea of creating a group of musicians who would emulate the great sixties session bands like the Wrecking Crew. The plan would manifest itself in the form of The Joneses, a musical collective who began to encompass Edgar’s love of jazz and R’n’B in a glorious fashion, especially on the critical favourite Soothing Music For Stray Cats album, which won fans as diverse as Noel Gallagher and Daniel Radcliffe, as well as being voted by NME as ‘The Best Album You’ve Never Heard’. “We wanted a Dr John and Sly and the Family Stone vibe at first and I also had the idea that we would start to back people outside the group. The problem with that was that the rest of the band didn’t have time for me anymore and when in a week running up to a gig no one returned my calls, I just thought ‘well, fuck you I’m off’. I regret it now because we had a gig lined up that MOJO had organised and everyone who played at that gig went on to play on Jools Holland and get a live following, which would have been nice.” Edgar’s response to The Joneses’ split was to go back to the start and once again convene a three-piece called, err, Free Peace, who played loud garage rock. But despite some blistering live shows and a support slot with Oasis, Edgar was beginning to pay the price for twenty years of stretching his distinctive vocals to the limit. “I was over-confident with Free Peace and I wore my voice into the ground. It was depressing. I couldn’t sing anymore and we had to scrap the first album and work on material that I could actually sing.” To make matters worse Edgar was beginning to suffer from a long-standing stomach complaint which soon became deadly serious. “I became ill and ran out of money to bankroll the band and it was becoming worse and worse. I ended up in hospital for two weeks and lost two stone which, if you know me, I haven’t got two stone to lose.” The illness enabled Edgar to re-prioritise and after a brief spell playing with ex-Zutons singer Dave McCabe, he retreated to his Toxteth pad to record the demos for what was to become the wonderful and rather moving Sense Of Harmony album. “I have been trying to not eat things like sugar and dairy products and now it’s all juice and vegetables,” says Edgar. “It’s my organic calcium album! I had lots of time on my hands but I had to do something lighter as I simply didn’t have the energy. The vocals you hear have got a delicacy to them because I would record two lines and then have to lie down, so there’s a fragility there to the songs which maybe there hasn’t been before.” Sense Of Harmony is indeed a beautiful yet triumphant album that sees Edgar find a new voice for his undoubted talents. He’s a survivor and we’re lucky to have him. “When I was young I was stupid and easily led,” he says at the end of our interview. “If I had had the success that maybe some people thought I deserved, I don’t think I’d be sitting here now.” the-viper-label.co.uk Sense Of Harmony is released 16th August on The Viper Label

Gig Guide and Ticket Shop live at www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Jethro Fox Words: Clarry M Photography: Robin Clewley

A slew of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) born bands have been seeping their way into the hearts and ears of Liverpool’s burgeoning music scene of late. Singer and songwriter JETHRO FOX is the latest LIPA luminary to do so, and with a trickle of tunes being revealed at carefully picked moments, the development of an engaging and expansive new pop sound is unfolding under his expert guidance. LIPA is a popular choice for many a budding young performer and when the Colchester-born Jethro is asked what initially attracted him to Liverpool, he admits that, “It was actually LIPA or nothing. I just had my heart set on it”. Enticed equally by the musical heritage the city exhales, it was an obvious choice, as the close-knit musical community inside and outside of LIPA’s walls has aided Jethro’s development. “It’s very collaborative. It’s not really rivalry, it’s a time where people just help each other and want to make good music together,” he points out, naming grassroots projects and the DIY ethic of Liverpool’s promoters. For a well-schooled musician in such a creative environment, Jethro seems to have found the perfect breeding ground for his musical endeavours in Liverpool. “It’s a pretty young project, but it all started with the song Before, which was about in the Autumn of last year,” Jethro explains. Before, which begins with a tentative arrangement of drumming and clattering hand claps, uses a strong, resounding guitar riff, and lifting harmonies. Peaceful and forceful at the same time, the hand claps and harmonies are certainly the song’s anchor, a heavyweight soulful affair, edgy and perfectly structured. As momentum gathered around the song, the equally awakening Echo and In My Arms followed, and Jethro Fox was born: “I ended up getting a band together, naturally I suppose, and moving things on from there.” Forming a live act to present to the world was the next logical step. “When we started it felt quite ambitious,” claims Jethro,

Gig Guide and Ticket Shop live at www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk

as instilling a wealth of parts written by one person into a live formula is bound to be. “Initially, the idea was very much to imitate the sounds on the recordings as far as possible,” Jethro explains; however “their own elements are shining out, like Fabian [Prynn]’s drums - he’s got a personality in his drums”. Having recorded all the harmonies himself, different voices were required live: “We’ve got a Norwegian guy, Yurgen, who sings half the backing vocals.” Transforming the recordings into a live presence has resulted in different, unexpected elements, with a touch of personality. Jethro’s music exudes a nostalgic quality, with lilting harmonies and generous percussive intricacies. “I don’t quite know where this whole 60s thing came from, but my parents were really into that kind of music and would play stuff in the car.” Quoting the Beach Boys and The Hollies as influences, alongside Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear, there is a clear love of expansive, graceful sounds embedded in Jethro’s music: “That big, life-affirming quality to it is something that really appeals to me.” Belonging to the generation whose parents were so marked by 60s and 70s musical counterculture, Jethro is perhaps an example of a generation’s tendency to indulge in the direct, yet subtle influence of their parents’ record collections. And with the ever advancing and occasionally baffling palette of new musical genres, a nod to our musical forebears often brings us back down to earth. This life-affirming quality also stretches to Jethro Fox’s clean and well-polished production techniques. Working closely with good friend and producer Tarek Musa, Jethro admits, “We can be really honest with each other”. They enter into the recording process with a clear vision, aiming for “the big sound, the close harmonies, the big drums. But also, we wanted the Nordic aspects to shine out and there’s a cleanness to it.” A seemingly rather introverted song-writing process may inevitably lead a musician to favour crafting their songs over performing them, however, when Jethro is asked which he

prefers, he exclaims: “If you asked me before my first gig I would have said the recording; then five minutes into the gig at the Kazimier. . . it was fucking great.” For the brooding songwriter, live performance could be daunting; especially as a front man. But Jethro embraced this new role with a confident and humble stage presence: “There was a good amount of people there and [it was] really obvious to me within a couple of minutes that I massively preferred doing that to recording.” Following their first live outing at The Kazimier, the band played The Great Escape in Brighton, and Liverpool’s Sound City festival. Claiming the latter as his personal favourite, because “there were a few people singing along, which was weird,” he tentatively concludes that “I don’t know when the next time I’m going to be playing in a cathedral is,” making the church venue at The Great Escape a one-off experience. Jethro Fox’s gradual ascent into musical acknowledgement recently escalated when the band performed a live session for Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6music show. The BBC Introducing session was held in the most famous of recording studios, Maida Vale. “Some of my heroes recorded in that studio and it was surreal and amazing.” Talking enthusiastically of Lamacq, Jethro reflects that, “I used to listen to him when I was small. Those people become larger than life, especially when they’re on the radio as well; they’re these kind of mysterious voices.” It seems that Jethro Fox has proven himself well worthy of recognition beyond his LIPA birth, aided by carefully timed releases, a sincere and excited outlook and a bagful of harmonies. With a re-appropriation of all that’s good about 60s pop, in a clean and vital form, Jethro Fox proves the 60s weren’t just for our parents. Jethro Fox releases his debut single Blinding Light on Tough Love records on 20th August. An exclusive Obscenic Sessions video will be streaming at bidolito.co.uk from 1st August. jethrofox.tumblr.com


The Humble Market: Trade Secrets Exhibition Open until 26 August / FREE Entry FACT, 88 Wood Street, L1 4DQ fact.co.uk / 0151 707 4464


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Illustration: Horse

We all love a festive garden party, but once in a while one comes along that makes all others look like sedate village fêtes. On the 4th and 11th of August, over thirty of the best acts the North West currently has to offer will appear across three stages at the Kazimier under the banner of FESTEVOL GARDENS. Utilising the venue’s brand new outdoor garden space as well as the club’s celebrated indoor charms, a host of Liverpool’s finest bands and artists will appear alongside guest DJs and special one-off performances programmed by Evol for a double hit of musical fireworks. With line-ups that are veritably dripping with talent, the two events will mark a high point in August’s live schedule, when our focus is usually trained on getting its sonic kicks in muddy fields. As well as showcasing some of Liverpool’s emerging acts (Death At Sea, The Wicked Whispers, Thunderbird Gerard), the festival will host representatives from Manchester’s current burgeoning crop of hipsters: the scintillating PINS and Folks; and for those looking to things other than music for satisfaction, the MelloMello BBQ will be fired and ready to provide sustenance; with a Screenadelica stall exhibiting a range of posters and prints of previous Evol shows. Looming large over the two events are the FestEvol headliners: CLINIC and OUTFIT, who are among the region’s most inventive musical creators, and will no doubt provide a fitting finale to each of the events. Charlie Lashmar caught up with both of these headliners, as well as FestEvol programmer Revo Ziganda, to talk about the upcoming shows. As a man with many projects on the boil simultaneously, Revo’s bookings diary is rarely less than full. Around finalising a great run of autumn shows and working on Sound City, he has still had the time to plan these two heavyweight FestEvol events, but he admits that it’s an idea that’s been in the can for a while. “We planned one for the Masque but it closed, so when the Kazimier boys started telling me about their plans for their garden it made sense to do it again as the venue is now perfect for it. The indoor stage will stay as we know it, with the smoking area becoming a disco and the garden housing the outdoor stage under a pagoda.” Despite dropping a few hints, the man behind Evol is rather cagey when it comes

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to talking about other plans up his sleeve. “We’ve got a couple of surprises on the 4th, and something nice for the 11th, but we’re not telling yet.” The all-day, one-venue format is one that’s popped up in various guises in Liverpool, and it’s a formula that inevitably leads to success, and invariably, iconic moments. One such moment was Outfit’s breakout performance at Fiesta Obscenic last year. Since then they’ve supported Ladytron, raked in a smattering of accolades, and moved down to London for a year. It’s a common move for bands now, and in the case of Outfit, it was done to avoid any stagnation. As frontman Andrew Hunt puts it, “London big, Liverpool small. Liverpool encouraging and fertile, London motivating and competitive.” Any motivation has certainly worked: with a new album in the can, they’ve just moved back to Liverpool to record it. “The album is in pre-fab stage,” says Hunt. “We’re just building all the walls and solid structures; the painting and filling and vinyls etc will be put in over the summer.” Not only that, but they’ll be returning to the Kazimier on the second Saturday of FestEvol (11th August). “We played our first and worst ever gig at the Kazimier. I’m looking forward to proving that we don’t suck.” Fellow FestEvol headliners Clinic (4th August) have been

Fest Evol

perennial undergrounders for over a decade, and with their seventh album out this year, it’s clear where their priorities lie: making good music rather than pursuing “elusive commercial success”. Not that you would ever call them unsuccessful. They’ve toured with Radiohead, Arcade Fire and supported The Shins this year, but they shy away from the spotlight and hide, literally, behind the surgical masks they wear onstage. They possess an unmistakable sound, and like aforementioned touring buddies Radiohead, every album progresses into new territories. So, what gives them the drive to keep making new albums? “Maybe because it’s impossible to perfect your ideas,” explains the band’s vocalist Ade Blackburn. “That aim will always keep you recording. Plus, discovering new types of music just makes you look again at your own methods and ideas. Like The Sonar Project - they’re my favourite band recently. They make quite surreal sound collages.” Clinic return to the Kazimier for FestEvol, where they threw their Mass Freakout Festival in 2009: “It was quite a bizarre mixture of music, which the Kazimier suited. It’s still a bit different and more imaginative than most venues.” Agreeing with the general consensus amongst Liverpool bands that the Kazimier is setting the bar for live music in Liverpool, Ade is also firm in his assertion that “Coopers Pub is still the most out there ‘venue’ in the city for wired sounds!” A city that can nurture such a breadth of venues and live events deserves to get a bit carried away with itself from time to time: FestEvol will give you good reason to get carried away too. FestEvol Gardens takes place at The Kazimier on 4th and 11th August. Full line-up and ticket details can be found over at bidolito.co.uk


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Bido Lito! August 2012

DOMINOES’ THEORY

Adventures in psychedelic exploration Words: Richard Lewis Photography: Keith Ainsworth

‘Made in various locations, on various equipment, at various times throughout 2006-2012, this is DOMINOES’ first album’, goes the unassuming description of the collection of tracks that comprises

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Dominoes’ debut LP The Elemental Suite. The music contained therein amply demonstrates that promotional bluster isn’t required to woo the listener; the album contains a treasure trove of

whimsical Syd Barrett vocal melodies, Basement Tapes-era Dylan instrumentation and frazzled acid folk à la The Flaming Lips. Creator and sole permanent member of Dominoes, Dominic Lewington relocated to Liverpool from West Yorkshire in the mid-1990s and became a stalwart of the city’s music scene, joining a host of bands. After initially starting out as a drummer, Dom moved to rhythm guitar and found a berth in Pop Levi’s fledgling backing band, The Emergencies. Centred around the now defunct music/art space The Kif located on Parr Street, the grass-roots venture was the birthplace of scores of bands and saw the formation of long-lasting musical alliances. As Pop Levi decamped to the States in 2006, Dom and Luke ‘Lucky Beaches’ Muscatelli responded to the call and the group took up residency in Los Angeles’ Echo Park district, along with drummer Marius Simonsen. Both Dom and Levi also featured in


Bido Lito! August 2012

recently re-activated experimental band Zukanican alongside Ged Lynn, formerly of The Stairs. “The first three songs on there were recorded just before I went to LA, I’ve recorded tons of stuff, there’s four or five albums worth,” Dom says of The Elemental Suite’s evolution, while sipping coffee in MelloMello. “I’d never contributed songs to any of the groups I’d been in before, only my own band The Hand Museum. Doing the whole Zukanican, The Kif, Pop Levi thing instigated a massive creative outpouring in me,” Dom explains. “There was a time when I was writing two or three songs a week. Some of them are only just starting to come out now.” Working closely with producer and multi-instrumentalist Rhys Jones, following the project’s lengthy gestation period Dom had to be encouraged by friends and fellow musicians to let the songs see the light of day. “A few friends had been saying ‘get me a copy of that album’. I’ve always assumed nobody would like it,” Dom shrugs modestly. “Johnny (Pop Levi) was saying to me ‘You need to release it one way or another’. I had a plan for everything to be called The Elemental Suite and keep doing different-sounding EPs,” Dom says of the project, released through his own imprint, Brown Shadow Records. Dom has assembled an impressive cast of Liverpool musicians, including the aforementioned Lucky Beaches and Cubical drummer Mark Percy, alongside the core of himself and Rhys; and, despite the protracted recording sessions, the tracks have a remarkably clear stylistic thread running throughout and click together seamlessly as an album. “I’d never really been good with melody,” Dom states, somewhat surprisingly given the fluency of the songs. “It’s quite a

melodic album for me in parts. It was a burst of a lot of melodies coming out. Somebody said to me it’s quite a daring album and I suppose it is. I could have got it perfect, done it all to a click track for everything. I pretty much insisted on using one guitar for all of it,” Dom notes of the rickety nylonstrung guitar present on all the tracks. A notable facet of the LP is Dom’s voice, able to adapt whenever needed, sounding at times almost like additional singers are present. The seen-it-all bluesman of Til My Day Is Done is thrown into sharp relief by the light-headed vocal on Trouble, which staggers along in a delightedly drunken haze like The Flaming Lips having blown all of their money on booze only to stumble out of the bar and find a $100 dollar bill on the sidewalk. The collective of musicians who comprised The Elephant 6 Recording Company that went on to produce some of the best music in the US independent sector in the 1990s is cited by Dom as a model for how he likes to work. “With Elephant 6, guys like Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel were all in each other’s bands. What I really liked about it was there was never any sort of supergroup, everybody in the band contributed to this one thing.” Relating this to how he works Dom explains, “There’ll be people coming to a gig and I know they’ll be coming along so I’ll just say ‘Why don’t you play?’ They can practice with us for the two days before, ‘cos I know they’ll learn the songs easily. I want it to be as flexible as possible.” Of his current listening habits Dom notes, “I’m still predominantly searching for psychedelia.” The presence of a reprise on the LP of a key track, the

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desolate world-weary blues of Love Exists, is directly influenced by a practice common to the genre. “I’d buy these 1960s psychedelic albums and most of them seem to have some sort of reprise, where it’ll be ten songs mixed together backwards on the album,” Dom explains. Elsewhere, revered US solo artist Bill Callahan is highlighted as a prime influence, from the singer-songwriter’s celebrated Apocalypse LP last year back to his murkily compelling early 90s output as Smog, which largely defined what came to be known as ‘lo-fi’. With acclaimed local film maker Chiz Turnross working on the first official Dominoes video, recently filmed out in the wilds of Parkgate, and the band’s first gig scheduled for an ominous Friday 13th (“It’ll be fine,” Dom smiles) activity has increased exponentially for the songwriter of late. “There are demos that I’d be happy releasing, they’re almost as good as The Elemental Suite,” Dom says of his next move. “Bandcamp’s ideal for me; I don’t really want to sign to a record label, I’m happy doing it for myself, it’s so simple now. With the band getting good, I’m hoping to keep this going as long as possible and get as many albums out of it as I can.” Frankly, a hope shared by anyone who’s been touched by The Elemental Suite. dominoes.bandcamp.com

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Bido Lito! August 2012 Words: John Still Graphic: Luke Avery

Despite the weather pointing to the contrary, summer has indeed arrived, bringing with it the traditional slew of festivals across the country. Alongside the usual proponents of summer frivolities, one of the major contributors to the festival line-up in the city will be the events held by MILAPFEST, the UK’s largest Indian arts development trust. The company will be holding a series of events, the largest celebration of Indian music, dance and entertainment of its kind in the country, and has built a reputation as one of the cornerstones of culture and entertainment in the city. Now in its 27th year, Milapfest works to promote Indian arts throughout the UK, providing not only entertainment, but education on the diversity of Indian culture. The trust complements its work on education and professional development in the Indian arts with performances, commissions and exhibitions demonstrating the richness of the continent. This summer will be no exception, with a wide array of events being held in and around Hope University. With a diverse line-up that includes lectures and dance performances, naturally the eye of Bido Lito! turned to the musical events, which will see some of the biggest names in the Indian scene making appearances at performances and workshops in Liverpool. One aspect of this will be the MUSIC INDIA SUMMER SCHOOL at Hope’s Creative Campus. Combining lectures and workshops, the idea is to offer insights (to both the experienced and the uninitiated) into the world of Indian music. At the heart of the summer school will be the Discovering Indian Music sessions, an in-depth study of the composition and structure of Indian music, starting with the fundamentals and exploring the complexities of the diverse styles involved. The residential course offers a fully immersive experience in Indian music, complete with evening sessions from highly regarded Indian performers. One of these performers is Anil Srinivasan, a classically trained pianist famed for his synthesis of Western modes with traditional Indian vocals in the Carnatic style. Having been involved with Milapfest for the past three years, he explains the importance of the trust to the dissemination of Indian music in the UK: “Milapfest has created a multi-layered platform to showcase the talent of the subcontinent. They’ve painstakingly cultivated a dedicated following for Indian music – both through their educational outreach and work with

youngsters as well as their consistent, high-quality programmes and events. They’ve blended the best that India has to offer with a format of presentation that is more consistent with the sensibility of music audiences in the UK.” It’s the synthesis between the traditions of India with Western formatting that has been central to the success and longevity of Milapfest. The name itself is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Milap’ meaning ‘to meet each other in friendship’, which provides

INDIKA FESTIVAL, a cornucopia of Indian entertainment, held at the Capstone Theatre. The festival will open with an extravaganza featuring two of the UK’s finest Indian youth orchestras, Samyo and Tarang, and will consist of workshops, lectures and a variety of dance and music performances. Conducting the Samyo orchestra will be Guarav Mazumdar, renowned sitar player, who learned his art under the tutelage of Ravi Shankar. While unfamiliar instruments and differing scales and modes may be daunting to some considering visiting Indika, Guarav believes in the innate accessibility of the music. “Indian music has a meditative and entertaining quality both at the same time, which is unique. All one needs to do is to come with an open mind and let music do the rest. Indian music in all forms and styles attracts people from all walks of life and once they are in it, they are there for life.” Indika starts its eleven-day run on 12th August, with the Music India Summer School opening its doors on the 13th. Bido Lito! have no intention to be left out, and taking part in the sessions and experiencing the insights on behalf of the magazine will be Emily Lansley of local favourites Stealing Sheep. We’ll be following her progress and reporting on the sessions through bidolito.co.uk.

“Indian music has a meditative and entertaining quality both at the same time. All one needs to do is to come with an open mind and let music do the rest.” - Guarav Mazumdar

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a succinct summary of the core aims of the trust. In bridging the cultural boundaries, the importance of knowledge can’t be understated. In promoting a greater understanding of a culture that, while still a minority, can count large communities throughout Great Britain, Milapfest provides more than just entertainment. The trust encourages not only enjoyment of the music on offer but participation and understanding of the complexities and cultural nuances which combine in the creation of Indian music, a welcome insight into what constitutes a growing genre in the Western world. Anil believes that the popularity of Indian music has yet to reach its zenith: “I think Indian music has already come a long way. From the heady 60s infusion of Pandit Ravi Shankar’s sitar to the profusion of Bollywood/Indian film and film-inspired music, I believe that there has been a coming of age. Music from India has also come of age – there is a huge pool of talent in India that is now more global in its outlook and yet in touch with their traditions. They are not afraid to stretch the boundaries of their musical expression and are happy to adopt a more eclectic and experimental attitude towards music making. I sincerely believe the best is yet to come.” Running alongside the Discover Indian Music programme, and highlighting some of the aspects Anil speaks of, will be the

milapfest.com


Bido Lito Quarter Page_Layout 1 17/07/2012 16:59 Page 1

AFTER 8: EMILY PORTMAN AFTER 8: TOM PALEY Wednesday 19 September £12

Classic Old-Time tunes from the man who toured with Woody Guthrie.

MARC ALMOND Saturday 22 September £24.50, £30.50 Cult 80s pop troubadour plays his hits and more.

Thursday 20 September £12 ‘One of the new British folk scene’s most beguiling presences’ Uncut Magazine.

STEWART FRANCIS Friday 28 September £18.50, £24.50 ‘A brilliant comic brain... this stand-up cracks some of the best one liners I've ever heard.’ The Guardian.

AFTER 8: THE SHEE Wednesday 10 October £12

JOHN COOPER CLARKE

Astonishing instrumental prowess from the all-girl folk band unafraid to explore new territory.

Wednesday 10 October £14.50-£23.50 Sparse, rapid-fire prose from the punk-poet known as The Bard of Salford.

Box Office 0151 709 3789 liverpoolphil.com


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Words: Mo Stewart Photography: Ant Clausen

Peace Mix Beats to to clean clean U UP P tthe he Wreckage

9th August 2011 brings back vivid memories. Horrified yet transfixed, I watched as London began to tear itself apart. After a quick call to my sister in Catford to check she was OK, I set off for work. When my phone rang three hours later, dread turned to confusion as my sister asked me: “Are YOU OK?” Minutes later I peered through Heebie Jeebies’ window to see streams of people running with TVs under their arms and scarves over their faces. Suddenly the usual late night soundtrack of breaking glass and raised voices carried considerably more venom than I’d experienced in my previous seven years in the city. As I made my way home, dodging bricks and burning cars, I feared for what the aftermath would bring. The aftermath in fact proved once again why I love Liverpool, as anger turned into action and hundreds of volunteers grabbed their brooms and set about repairing their communities. A year on, and PEACE MIX are helping to turn that positive memory into a legacy. The brainchild of Birkenhead-born Sandra Bhatia, the Peace Mix Mic Relay will visit eleven cities across Britain affected by the riots, and host musical showcases; aiming to promote not only local talent and facilities, but the power of music to break down the barriers of anger and mistrust between Britain and its youth. More than a mere talent show, all of those involved get the chance to record their own songs based around the theme of peace, with the overall winner earning a support slot for the finale at London’s Roundhouse Theatre on 28th August. The venue for the Liverpool leg was Liverpool Lighthouse a church-led community centre based in Anfield. Lighthouse volunteer Emily Howells believes they were the logical choice: “Sandra Bhatia was looking for studio spaces accessible to young people in areas of high social deprivation and disenfranchised youth, and that’s exactly what Liverpool Lighthouse is all about”. Liverpool Lighthouse have a long history of engaging disadvantaged kids in the Arts as a positive instrument for change. Their Youth Connect programme offers classes from freestyling to freerunning, and the Harmonize Academy provides an entire Urban Arts curriculum to re-engage young people aged 13-18 who

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have fallen out of the mainstream educational system. “For a lot of these kids, mainstream academia isn’t for them,” explains Emily. “Music is what they relate to, how they express themselves - it’s where they can see a viable and credible future.” However, Emily leaves the kids in no doubt that it’s a future filled with hard work. “We have to help them understand what it takes to make it in the music industry. Both Sandra and ourselves were keen to dismiss the idea of the X Factor generation that fame happens overnight.” For those involved with Peace Mix, the reward for all this work was the opportunity to go into a recording studio with the likes of newly crowned MOBO Unsigned Artist 2012 and Peace Mix judge Esco Williams to create a peace-themed, crowd-sourced collaboration track, along with young people from across the UK. The track will be premiered at the Roundhouse, and released on 21st September, the International Day of Peace. For Williams, getting involved was an easy decision. “During the riots I was standing in my living room, thinking about how life is going to get harder from here on out. The riots were undoing a lot of the work my parents’ generation did to make things better for us as a community. I come from a youth work background, and my drummer James Dodds works at Liverpool Lighthouse. When I was asked to be a judge I was well up for it.” However, like the rest of us he’s keen to accentuate the positive: “I remember admiring the courage and speed of the TAR (Toxteth Against the Riots) response, and how hard they fought to keep the peace.” Williams was on a performing arts course with community organisation Positive Impact at the age of thirteen, and knows the lasting positive impression projects such as Peace Mix can leave: “The biggest thing I’ve learned from my experience is that, be it as a performer or a member of the audience, we just want to be a part of something. With Peace Mix we got together and made something happen. The young people I had the pleasure of meeting and working with all got a chance to perform, learn, develop and share their experiences. I would promote that every second of every day.”

The Liverpool leg produced no shortage of promising performances. The self-assured showmanship of Callum McKenna was particularly impressive, adopting the Plan B formula of combining gritty raps with passionately sung, radio-friendly choruses. Saira Kewley showed admirable courage and no little talent in stepping up to the mic for the first time in over a year; and eventual winner Vadane Robson - another who mixed rapping and singing - defied logic as he unleashed a remarkably soulful and mature voice for one so young. Vadane’s next step will be the semi-finals at Cornwall’s Eden Project on 16th August, and a chance to book that slot at the Roundhouse. Whether or not Vadane is successful, Emily believes Peace Mix has already had a positive outcome: “The kids have shown a real sense of pride in their work that isn’t always evident in mainstream education.” Despite the large elements of unhelpful opportunists, she also understands the frustrations that drove a lot of kids to riot. “A lot of young people feel they don’t have a voice, and saw the riots as a way to make a statement, albeit an unfortunately negative statement. All they hear in the press is that there’s nothing for them. Projects like Peace Mix, while borne out of negativity, have an intrinsically positive message - there are opportunities out there.” Esco Williams is proof that music can open doors to a brighter future, but maintains there’s a lot of work to be done: “Organisations like Positive Impact and Liverpool Lighthouse that promote self cultivation, confidence building and provide training working alongside projects like Peace Mix... that is the key to making a substantial difference.” While there are currently no plans for a Peace Mix 2013, Emily hopes this is the start of an annual event. “I’d love to see it back bigger and better. Hopefully the message next year won’t be about the anniversary of the riots, but celebrating the success of this year’s initiative.” peacemix.co.uk liverpoollighthouse.com


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Bido Lito! August 2012 Previews/Shorts Edited by Richard Lewis - middle8@bidolito.co.uk

Instrumental avant-rock threepiece ALPHA MALE TEA PARTY head up a bill including 72% MORRISSEY, FALLS and ORGAN FREEMAN for ALPHA MALE TEA PARTY a mere 200 pence at MelloMello. Following on from the release of their eponymous debut LP back in March, the show will be a perfect opportunity for gig goers to witness their ‘Instrumentalrocktasm’ sound up close. MelloMello - 1st August

One of the original class of 76 punks, VIC GODARD returns to the city for an intimate show at The VIC GODDARD Zanzibar. With a setlist heavy on his days with the legendary Subway Sect, material from their 2010 reunion and his solo material will feature. Support comes from THE LADYKILLERS in one of their final outings together. The Zanzibar – 10th August

Something of an institution on the city’s gig circuit, flying the flag over the summer for live music THE THE GO-GO CAGE PRESENTS… GO-GO CAGE at The Cabin returns with The Garage Punk Sound Clash Freakout! on 4th August. The primitive garage-fuzz stomp of THE BRANDED and the hip-shaking grooves of THE SEE NO EVILS feature along with resident DJs spinning vintage garage and psych floor fillers. The Cabin – 4th August

Toots And The Maytals

One of the world’s best loved ska/reggae acts TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS take to the Academy’s stage on 18th August. Almost fifty years since their debut album Never Grow Old was released, the group have been led since their inception by band mainstay Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. One of the founders of the reggae genre and a huge part of its international success, the band were the first to use the term on record (albeit spelt differently) in 1968 hit Do The Reggay. Reggay Signed to the groundbreaking Island Records by label boss Chris Blackwell, the band had an international hit in 1970 with 45 Monkey Man. Man Two years later the band featured in classic movie The Harder They Come starring fellow icon Jimmy Cliff, which took the genre beyond Jamaica to an international audience and gifted the world one of the best soundtracks of all time. Later in the decade the band became firm favourites with the punk and Two-Tone movements with The Clash covering Pressure Drop, Drop and Monkey Man becoming a staple of The Specials’ catalogue (later to be covered by Amy Winehouse). Splitting in 1982, The Maytals reformed in 1990 and have constantly toured the globe since. The last decade has seen the band receive a Grammy nomination for their 2008 LP Light Your Light and contribute a version of Radiohead’s Let Down to roots/reggae covers LP Radiodread. Veritable living legends, their show is not be missed. The Academy – 18th August

Continuing a run of excellent metal gigs, The Lomax hosts SEVERENTH in mid-August. Former SEVERENTH touring partners of Bring Me The Horizon and Skindred, the band are stalwarts of the gig and festival circuit over the past half-decade. A major coup for the support act comes in the shape of Liverpool’s OCEANIS who released their debut EP back in April. The Lomax – 15th August

On the road around their appearance at the End Of The Road Festival, Rhode Island’s finest DEER TICK roll into the city DEER TICK at the close of August. Mining a rich seam of alt-country and awarded major praise by Rolling Stone and Spin on their side of the pond, this is one not to be missed. Superb support courtesy of BY THE SEA. The Kazimier – 31st August

The top lads at Liverpool Fanzine Boss Mag present this night of celebration and remembrance for ALEX LEX JARMAY JARMAY REMEMBRANCE REMEMBRANCE NIGHT NIGHT Alex Jarmay who tragically passed away the night before the Carling Cup final. THE TEA STREET BAND, MARK ARK FFRITH, RITH, COLD SHOULDER and THE BLUE JAYS will come together and join his family and friends in celebrating Alex’s life. Studio 2 - 4th August

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Scousers Calling

Continuing their close association with Liverpool by hosting some of the city’s finest bands on their stages, this year finds a clutch of local groups treading the boards at KENDAL CALLING. 2012’s Lake Districtlocated festival boasts an eclectic mix, headlined by the biggest act in UK hip hop Dizzee Rascal, festival band par excellence James and indie-rock evergreens Maxïmo Park. The Merseyside contingent meanwhile includes SOUND OF GUNS, THE TEA STREET BAND, THE HUMMINGBIRDS and THE CHEAP THRILLS. Following on from their biggest UK show to date at the Academy, Sound Of Guns take to festival stages armed with the heavy duty anthemic firepower of recent LP Angels And Enemies. Enemies Surefire rabblerousers live, the stage set will doubtless give lead singer Andy Metcalfe ample opportunity to get in some climbing practice (stage managers you have been warned). Elsewhere, fast becoming favourites on the city’s live scene with their particular take on countryinfused Merseybeat, The Hummingbirds take their well-honed live set up to the lakes. Winners of Sound City Youth Live 2012 and holders of the title for youngest group on the entire bill over the weekend meanwhile, indie-rockers The Cheap Thrills journey out for one of their first festival appearances beyond the city. Lowther Deer Park, The Lake District – 27th - 29th July


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews

Damo Suzuki (Jonathan Dawe)

DAMO SUZUKI & MUGSTAR Mind Mountain – Cantaloupe Behind The Wall Of Sleep & Harvest Sun @ The Kazimier As expected, the crowd tonight is a mixed bunch, with the youth and future of Liverpool music mingling with old Guinness-soaked hippies. Nottingham based three-piece CANTALOUPE are an interesting proposition, melding jazz-fusion with galactic synth-prog into something that is tricky to pin down but wonderful to absorb. At times they sound like video game session musicians taking the Sims’ loading music to its logical conclusion (which is a very good thing). This side to them recalls the glorious mulch and pomp of late 70s and early 80s fusionistas such as the Weather Report, Al Di Meola and Yes. At other times they possess the bite and urgency of the undoubtedly more fashionable bands relevant to tonight’s theme: Can, Cluster, Neu! etc. It is a glorious mixture that is just as catchy as it is left of centre, particularly the closer Splish which climaxes with such a happy bassline that it is impossible not to smile. MIND MOUNTAIN sound exactly how one would expect a band called Mind Mountain to sound. With heavy jazz-rock drums underpinning a wild, reverb-soaked guitar and repetitive basslines, the trio play lengthy, riff-heavy, acidsoaked jams following a lineage from Sabbath, through Hawkwind to Kyuss and beyond. Spacerock, desert-rock, whatever you label it this is expansive stuff. If you let it wash over you - that is, not to neglect the music but to soak it in - the songs reward close attention, particularly in the

gloriously intricate yet loose-swinging drums. Mind Mountain are excellent. As vocalist for German band Can during the most exciting three years of their career, DAMO SUZUKI’s influence on modern music is immeasurable. Can’s mechanized take on psychedelia has been echoed by an infinite number of bands, and their cut and paste studio technique informed electronic music, as well as being used to great effect by the likes of Brian Eno with Talking Heads. There are few artists whose psyche their sound hasn’t leaked into. Since parting ways with Can, Suzuki has set up the Damo Suzuki Network in which he performs live improvisational music with local musicians from across the globe, which tonight brings him to the Kazimier to play with the mighty MUGSTAR. Mugstar have a nervous energy, all too aware of the importance this moment holds for them: Suzuki was involved in the inception of a dozen genre variations that are the basis of Mugstar’s DNA. The band begins with a slow, locked-in groove; Suzuki joins in very quickly and instantly finds interesting vocal rhythms and cadences. The most surprising aspect of this performance is how cohesive it is. Although totally improvising, Suzuki’s use of repetition provides a hook so strong that it seems planned, crafted and honed. This is surely down to a great deal of experience in improvisation and perhaps a few key vocal tricks that he has developed to guarantee quality. One hopes and presumes not. In a trance, he sings gibberish; made up sounds that appear remarkably similar to English words lost in reverb and delay. As the intensity increases, multi-instrumentalist Peter Smyth becomes possessed and thrashes

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his guitar and keyboard around, playing over his head like Hendrix, wandering into the crowd and even offering his guitar to an audience member to jam with. He then proceeds to smash up his keyboard stand in an act of semi-controlled rock showmanship. Mildly contrived perhaps, but can it ever not be in 2012? This doesn’t happen at your normal Mugstar show, so why not now as part of a one-off improvised piece with a living legend? A special performance, leaving Mugstar with another impressive notch on their bedpost. Jonny Davis

AFRICA OYÉ The Picket

With the rain doing its thing again, AFRICA OYÉ’s landmark 20th anniversary festival is in

danger of being a washout. But a festival of this magnitude doesn’t get through to its twentieth year without being robust. So, having been uprooted from Sefton Park (due to health and safety reasons), a quick move across Liverpool and back to its old haunt at The Picket means that the show, for Saturday at least, can still go on. Though intensely cramped at times due to the sheer number of people present, partying inside and out, you can’t grumble as the wholesome music on offer mitigates any moving pains. Quick thinking from the festival directors and staff by securing the trio of Baltic Triangle indoor venues (The Picket, Camp & Furnace and The Blade Factory) are evidence of Festival Director Paul Duhaney’s message: “It shows how we all pull together in times of crisis in this city.” Musically the venue change sees the original Saturday line-up take to the stage at The Picket, with DJs forming a peripheral party of their own in The Blade Factory. JALIBA KUYATEH puts the weekend’s troubles behind him and brings some Gambian spirit to the day. Accompanied by his entourage of usual suspects, the koraplaying self-made artist goads the crowd with his unique recipe of African blues and soul laced with some pop whimsicalities. Following up, crowd pleaser SAMBA MAPANGALA demonstrates a much more conventional and expressive musical approach, adding a continental flavour to his frame of music. The brass and trebles come as the expected uplift that finally brings those Picket naysayers to their dancing feet; a degree of freedom finally sweeps the crowd which, for me, typifies this festival. After a swift wander to sample some of the festival’s pop-up tents (primarily to the craft stalls and Ragga’s for the Guinness punch), I was ready to watch YAABA FUNK take the night one notch up. Their funky range of afrobeats are loud, sincere, and packed full of grooves and soul. The collective’s all-encompassing approach makes them the absolute standout artist of the night. The DELE SOSIMI AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA come onstage last to wrap up the night with their own particular rootsy funkadelia. More like a family

Yabba Funk (Matthew Thomas)


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22

Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews

on stage, the band collate all the emotions of the day, switching between tempos, beats and rhythms that demonstrate the true genius of Dele Sosimi and the strong cohort of artists at his side. Though the artists, stall runners, chefs and fans have been brilliant, a massive doff of the cap must be made to the Oyé management team, who behind the scenes lost a lot of sleep so that Liverpool might have its special day once more. Africa Oyé 2012 may be remembered as a washout, but for those who were in The Picket it will be seen as a special festival in which all revellers felt comfortable enough to relax, chill and enjoy themselves, even when the weather threw all it had at us. The words “smashed it” spring to mind. Si Finnerty

CEREBRAL BALLZY

The Bendal Interlude – The Smoking Hearts – Stereo Virgins Evol & Bloody Shells @ The Kazimier Making your Kazimier debut is nervewracking at the best of times, but when it’s supporting current East Coast hardcore kings CEREBRAL BALLZY the pressure is really on. Perhaps that explains the subdued start from STEREO VIRGINS. It takes two or three songs for frontwoman Rachel Alveston to grow into the

The Smoking Hearts (Adam Edwards)

performance, and the set thus far is lacklustre. Once Alveston warms up there is a marked difference – the band’s confidence and the set’s quality grow noticeably. There are good QOTSA-esque riffs here, and combined with the vocals Stereo Virgins sound like 2:54 put through a Marshall Jackhammer. Yet their songs occasionally overstay their welcome: either cut in half or played twice as fast and Stereo Virgins could excel. Essex thrash-punks THE SMOKING HEARTS are next, returning to Liverpool after an April headline gig at the Shipping Forecast. They’re

impressively drunk and impressively energetic, with singer Ben Mills jumping from the stage during first song Thrash B4 Gash. The Smoking Hearts are loud and abrasive but with the right amount of snap; a good, tight, punk band. Despite the crowd still warming up, the band flourish in this larger venue. An impressive set concludes with all but the drummer in the crowd – after Mills has already jumped from the Kazimier’s balcony, naturally. They’ve done British thrash proud and would not have looked amiss as tonight’s headliners. Main support is local lads THE BENDAL

INTERLUDE. Like a Scouse Pantera, they rumble through a short set of grunge-metal tracks – but it’s hard to really discern between most of the songs and they tend to overrun. Ron Salmon goes down well and the crowd maintains a good atmosphere, culminating in a fat, topless Scouser hugging the band on stage. This is the Krazyhouse’s first floor in gig form. Headliners Cerebral Ballzy may not have expected to follow much tonight and it’s evident that the crowd requires an element of rejuvenation after The Bendal Interlude. Regardless, singer Honor Titus and his band come out with gusto – very loud, very fast gusto. A lot of songs tonight have dragged but there’s no danger of Ballzy making that mistake. Like descendants of The Descendants, the set is a blitzkrieg onslaught, most songs clocking in at under a minute. Hardcore punk at this speed is an acquired taste but it showcases how tight the musicianship is – drummer Crazy Abe in particular reminiscent of E. Honda with drumsticks. The songs are indistinguishable but those watching care not a jot – an energetic crowd keeps pace with the band, moshing from the word go. For his part, Titus gets involved – sharing his microphone with a fortunate few revellers and sharing his beer with one even luckier. Although there’s interaction there seems to be little engagement, and Titus seems jaded throughout. It sounds ridiculous to describe a singer who performs a few numbers perched


Reviews atop the venue’s highest amplifier as going through the motions, but Titus (and Ballzy by proxy) feels a bit detached from the evening. Perhaps the band’s live reputation has been built up too much, or the earlier support has raised the bar too high. Either way, it IS a good gig – there’s just the nagging feeling it could have been more. Adam Edwards

23

Whether or not this annoys you ultimately boils down to taste, but fundamentally, the song isn’t that great and it kind of just feels like it’s there for the sake of a mood shift. The accompaniment (drum samples and acoustic guitar) are sparsely used, though the backing vocals on Hospital combine with delicious sibilance on the title word, providing the perfect bulwark to Hoop’s shrill vocals. Some of the mid-set songs start to drag a little, her best songs serving to bookend the set. As the darkly anthemic Tulip brings the evening to a close, the audience make their full appreciation felt by showing some genuine love, and it’s not hard to see why. More please. Charlie Lashmar

JESCA HOOP

Mellowtone and Ceremony Concerts @ Leaf It’s evident that this evening’s sweltering heat hasn’t played too much part in JESCA HOOP’s outfit selection: as she slyly emerges from the back of a jam-packed Leaf crowd clad in a military jacket stolen from Adam Ant’s wardrobe, she coolly strides on to the stage with her trio of accomplices and storms into the simply brilliant Murder Of Birds. This absolute gem of a song (which on record features Elbow’s Guy Garvey) demonstrates Hoop’s mastery of melody, and ability to effortlessly shift gears mid-song. After some heart-wrenching harmonies in the verses, the chorus skips into a gorgeous Celtic jig, which she carries with minimal help from her threepiece band (acoustic guitar flourishes aside). The Manchester dwelling Californian frequently alludes to her constricted youth. In her own words, “I was raised Mormon ‘til I was

Bido Lito! August 2012

Jesca Hoop (Rob Rossington)

sixteen. Then I fucked off.” So when she croons, “I have demons when I need them, don’t ask me to show you they’re not supposed to be used on you,” everyone believes her. Where other artists might faff about between songs, plug their merch or half-heartedly say ‘cheers’ a few times, Hoop aims a little higher: she frequently uses the inter-song gaps to recount lengthy and amusing anecdotes. Her smoky American accent and sultry delivery, like Mia Wallace over her home Tannoy system, has everyone spellbound. Biggest smiles are saved for the tale about smuggling some weed in a

jar of peanut butter to her mother (recently diagnosed with cancer), and the ensuing conversation with a 54-year-old taking illicit drugs for the first time. It might seem strange to dwell so much on the between-song banter, but some of it takes longer than most of the songs, to the extent that it feels as much a part of the show as the songs themselves. One thing that isn’t consistent however, is the tone of the music. Third song, Feast Of The Heart, has this whole krautrock thing going on, which seems a little at odds with the lilting Joni Mitchell cultivated jazz-folk-pop songs around it.

DAWES

Jonny Corndawg Harvest Sun @ The Kazimier After a brief and unwarranted apology for his stage moniker (a nickname given to him as a kid) JONNY CORNDAWG serves tonight’s crowd the type of authentic American country music that they don’t often get the chance to appreciate. But his lyrics have a clever modern twist to them, referencing caller IDs and contact lens solution amongst lines about the blue Texan sky. Taylor Goldsmith, of headliners DAWES, stands to his right, providing dulcet electric guitar noodlings,


24

Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews

A U G U S T

2 0 1 2

Saturday 4th - 4pm till 3am FESTEVOL GARDENS part 1 (feat. Clinic, Eva Peterson, Wicked Whispers + More) Sunday 5th DEVIATION: SURREAL LIFE DRAWING Sunday 5th 7pm NICK MULVEY (PORTICO QUARTET) - FREE Thursday 9th 8pm FREE ROCK & ROLL Saturday 11th - 4pm till 3am Dawes (Matthew Thomas)

FESTEVOL GARDENS part 2 (feat. Outfit, Thunderbird Gerard, Tea Street Band) Sunday 12th - 10.30am till 12.30pm SCREEN PRINTING WITH PAPER STENCILS WORKSHOP Saturday 18th- 12pm - 5pm THE GREAT SUMMERTIME WHITE ELEPHANT BAZAAR Saturday 25th BANK HOLIDAY KRUNK PARTY Feat. Orchestra of Spheres (Australia) Sunday 26th 6pm DEAD HEDGE TRIO

WWW.GARDEN.THEKAZIMIER.CO.UK

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and harmonies that perfectly accompany Corndawg’s southern yelps. By far the highlight is his cover of the Jimmy Cousins song Stone Cold Daddy-Oh. Daddy-Oh Right arm raised aloft like a preacher, he sings the whole thing a capella to his now transfixed, seated congregation. Chatter and heckles are far from the minds of the rapt audience as this stunning moment drifts by uninterrupted. For the last three songs Corndawg is joined by the full Dawes outfit and they finish with a three-part a capella rendition of Silver Panty Liners, Liners urging the crowd “Not to kiss below the belt ‘til you make a firm connection.” Wise words. Having appeared in various permutations with Mr Corndawg, the complete DAWES line-up now stands in front of a surprisingly large and receptive crowd. Apparently these Angelenos have a bit of a cult following here, which isn’t bad considering it’s their first ever show in Liverpool. Like the country giants of old, they excel at storytelling: on the brilliant Coming Back To A Man, singer Taylor Goldsmith painfully reminds us, “Some people were just meant to be a memory… The way the scattered, ever busy bright lights of a city might look off on a distant mountain range.” That line is actually quite a pertinent metaphor for the whole gig. Everything about their music pines for an age gone by, and though they try to bring a new spark to a now undeniably saturated genre, they fall a little short. It’s all just a bit rehashed. The buzzing crowd at the Kazimier seems to disagree, but Dawes are basically riding the last ripples of the country folk revival started by Fleet Foxes in 2008. The fact that they used to be a post-punk outfit until 2009, combined with their approach to vocal harmony arrangements, makes you

wonder if they didn’t all get together one day and say, “Hey! That Seattle band are doin’ OK, let’s get in on some of that!” Perhaps that’s a tad harsh: their songs are in fact really good, and they do attempt to play with the formula. Fourth song Fire Away has a fiendish Albert Hammond Jr-esque guitar solo that somehow just works over everything, and they throw the odd chord in every song that shouldn’t belong in the genre but again, just fits. The electric piano (expertly played by Tay Strathairn) sits sweetly alongside Goldsmith’s guitar and Wylie Gelber’s bass, and the song arrangements are tighter than Neil Young’s vocal chords. In spite of the nagging feeling that everyone’s indulging in some sort of fetish for plaid, the four of them are ridiculously gifted musicians, and they do know how to perform. That Dawes round things off with the audience bawling back the insanely catchy chorus for When My Time Comes suggests that they’ve got the balance just right. Charlie Lashmar

KATE NASH

Shuga – Jon Jackson The Zanzibar KATE NASH’s Faster Pussy Cat Run Run tour evidently spearheads her crusade to focus attention on female writers and performers, and to interest other young women in joining them. Use of riotous guitars and piercing vocals suggests she’s ready to shed the ‘girl next door’ image once and for all, with the question on everyone’s lips being whether she’ll pull it off. If die-hard fans are nervous about this unveiling of grungy Kate, opening act JON JACKSON doesn’t


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Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews

put their mind at ease. Failing to finish a single song, initial encouragement from about forty teenage girls soon subsides with the realization that he’s merely wasting everyone’s time. The final pulling of the plug pre-chorus during a Van Morrison cover/murder is met with a universal sigh of relief. Fortunately, SHUGA swiftly take to the stage. With warm hazy chords, the three-piece lace their songs with call and response vocals, creating a Velvet Underground/Jesus And Mary Chain feel, only with more chaotic chord sequences. Overly repetitious or tritely-rhymed lyrics sometimes fall short, but the earthy raw tones of Stay Wild, Wild featuring only piano and vocals, feel really intimate. A re-enthused audience screams its adulation as our headliner takes to the stage. What is most startling at first is Nash’s appearance – the wavy hair, cute pretty dresses and pink cheeks have been replaced with dyed auburn hair with a white streak, a psychedelic 60s dress and a guitar heavily plastered with ‘rock’ band stickers. She immediately launches into the grungy wall of sound All Talk, with the all-female backing band adding to the 60s pop ambience with their sultry BVs. At times, there’s even something of the Lulu about Nash, at odds with the grunge mood when the muddiness is brazenly severed by vocal shrills. Certain songs penned for the new album, including You’re So Cool I’m So Freaky and 3am, revert to typically Nash four-

Kate Nash (John Johnson)

chord melodies, with words drizzled ten-to-thedozen. There are some pleasant surprises in the set, however. Are You There Sweetheart?, comes across as a bit of a shouty Moldy Peaches number, marking a stark exit from the overproduced and compressed sound of Nash’s old material. The less Kate prattles, the more sophisticated she seems, and the better she masters the mood and takes control. Standout track of the evening is Cherry Picking, mixing a colourful Love is All sound Picking with indie-punk Rakes-like backing. Only three tracks from former albums feature tonight, including a complete reworking of biggest hit Foundations, with fuzzed-up guitars blending well with Nash’s staccato enunciation; a coherent reinterpretation of the back catalogue which helps to demonstrate a greater maturity. A cover of an obscure Canadian punk song, My Chinchilla, Chinchilla demonstrates a dramatic change of influences she’s picked up while writing in LA. Yet despite this there’s plenty to suggest that she hasn’t quite settled in at riot grrrl HQ just yet: her female backing band are forced to wear black T-shirts with pink heart stencils, and her songs are still about girls, sweethearts and all the cute lil’ things associated with the Kingdom of Twee. That said, tonight has served as a testing ground for Nash in trying to gauge which songs make the grade and which need more work. There are a surprising number


Reviews of genuine nuggets, so let’s hope it’s those songs that make the final cut. Amy Greir

27

were a more anarchic version of The Rapture, Ital is a more precise, original, slick and varnished version of something else entirely. What? I’m not quite sure, but I like it. Eighties house is certainly an elemental part but used in a ‘retrolicious’ way - a simple classification of ‘dance music’ just doesn’t suffice. That’s the beauty of new music you see, you can’t quite put your finger on it. Categorisation isn’t really that vital here anyway: listening and absorbing is the key, soaking it all up and not trying to pigeonhole the sounds. It’s not all easy, but like an affecting film his set stays with you long after you’ve left the venue. To move music on we need to support original musical pioneers and boundary pushers such as Martin-McCormick, and to constantly invest in something new, not stay away and reconfirm our own prejudices. Ital’s Floridian Void is a great place to start. Mick Chrysalid

ITAL

Isocore Deep Hedonia @ The Shipping Forecast First and foremost music should be its own reward. Is this an ideal? A cliché? Well, I think it’s a truth. If this is so then the most rewarding music should challenge itself, seeking out avenues that have seldom been travelled. The narrow path of nostalgia takes us to the same tried and tested safe havens. ITAL’s Daniel Martin-McCormick, previously of Black Eyes and Mi Ami, is mapping out his own adventures and he’s gone off road. Where Mi Ami was experimental, LA DIY disco punk, Ital is DIY house for a new century. The label he’s on (100% Silk) are chief proponents of this boldness and, as such, the rest of their roster makes for interesting listening. Deep Hedonia also share something of this vision and, with Hive providing visuals, Forest Swords spinning tracks, and ISOCORE providing the warm-up, it is a pity that there aren’t more punters here to absorb it all. In fact, in an age where bogstandard festivals are a rite of passage and ‘back together for the money’ bands are everywhere, it is actually quite fucking depressing. Isocore’s techno bleeps and twisted, off-kilter

Bido Lito! August 2012

Ital (Darren Aston)

drums are constantly reshaped into swarms of attacking wasps hovering over spilt jam: well, it gets my head buzzing anyway. At times, on the likes of Saintropie, Saintropie you can almost hear the strains of frequent Argento collaborators Goblin, digitized for the new film age, with the visuals emphasizing this whole cinematic glitchfest.

Sat 22nd to Sun 23rd September, 7:30pm.

CATFISH THERAPY

Fri 28th September, 8:00pm.

KATHRYN TICKELL NORTHUMBRIAN VOICES Fri 5th October, 8:00pm.

RALPH McTELL AN ENGLISH HEARTBEAT Sat 6th October, 8:00pm.

Now on to the main act, and MartinMcCormick throws himself at his sequencers and samplers, a full-on sweaty and hedonistic wrecking ball. And he’s got a job on too as all the intricacies of this music are played out at his fingertips in plain sight: you definitely can’t accuse him of just pressing play. Where Mi Ami

Fri 2nd November, 8:00pm.

HOT CLUB OF COW TOWN

Saturday 17th November, 8:00pm.

Sunday 11th November, 7:30pm.

Sunday 18th November, 8:00pm.

GEORGIE FAME IN CONCERT GEORGIE FAME & SONS

Wednesday 14th November, 8:00pm.

MATRACA BERG

Sat 13th October, 8:00pm.

Friday 16th November, 8:00pm.

KARINE POLWART

An early doors appearance by EMILY & THE FAVES on the launch night for the debut single by THE BIG HOUSE sees the Faves’ luminous psych-pop moulded into different forms by a re-jigged band line-up. Not quite

EASY STAR ALL-STARS

Sun 4th November, 8:00pm.

Thursday 15th November, 8:00pm.

Sun 14th October, 8:00pm.

The Music Consortium @ The Kazimier

BOBBY VALENTINO & B.J. COLE STEELIN’ THE NIGHT AWAY WITH SPECIAL GUESTS TOM DOUGHTY, CHES & AL CHERRY

NEARLY DAN REELIN’ IN THE YEARS TOUR NICK HARPER

THE BIG HOUSE

The Flamin’ Mamies - Emily & The Faves

SAD CAFE

WOODY MANN

THEA GILMORE

Thursday 22nd November, 8:00pm.

GALINA VALE

Friday 23rd November, 8:00pm.

NINE BELOW ZERO

Saturday 24th November, 8:00pm.

SHOW OF HANDS


28

Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews ‘Unplugged with Emily’ but not far removed, the alternative arrangements with only one guitar present underline the melodic strength of the Faves’ material. Future single Rain, weaving its way through a stop-start structure and intermittent banshee howls, along with new song This Time, clearly indicate there are plenty more gems to be mined from the rich seam that the band tapped into on their excellent debut LP. “This is a song from 1925” must rank as one of the more unusual introductions to a song heard from The Kazimier’s stage this year. When the band making the intro is THE FLAMIN’ MAMIES however, it makes perfect sense. With their songs led by ukulele and banjo the glamorously attired all-female quartet transport the venue back to an interwar era of frantically-dancing society girls and debonair gents on the ballroom floors of the Adelphi Hotel’s Palm Court and The Grafton Rooms. Taking to the stage as an XL edition eight-piece, headliners The Big House launch into a storming rendition of new single Canyon Home In The Sun. With the nucleus of Candie Payne and Paul Molloy supplemented by a rhythm section and a four-piece brass ensemble (including former Zuton Abi Harding), the extra instrumentation is expertly arranged. At the helm of the band, Paul Molloy assuredly steers the players through proceedings, the incredibly well-drilled troupe capturing each nuance of the songs perfectly. Pebble Lane, played early on and led by a wistful Candie vocal, is a standout, the summery acoustic arpeggio offset by the emotional turmoil present in the lyrics of one of the darkest tunes in the duo’s catalogue. Splicing the breezy LA atmosphere of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac with the Laurel Canyon scene of a decade earlier and infusing it with their own indelible boy/girl harmonies, Lover, Lover Silver And Gold and Too Far Gone all shine individually as brilliantly realised pieces of West Coast folk/classic pop. Parallel to these, covers of Gene Clarke’s Here Without You and The Merseys’ Sorrow slot seamlessly into the set, working well alongside the original material. Demonstrating how easily they can move back into stripped-down acoustic mode, guitarist Dave Owen is welcomed to the stage as the trio turn in a delicate rendition of the Gram Parsons-esque Sweetheart as an acoustic three-piece. Concluding with a rousing take of accompanying A-side Caught Up, Up with the entire company back onstage, now numbering ten, and Candie’s voice in impressive full flight, the group are transformed into a stomping Motown revue band. Drawing to a close after ten songs, the entire sum of which appears to have flown past in less than five minutes, the players depart from the stage beaming smiles all round, mirroring the audience’s reaction to a dazzling show. Richard Lewis

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GOTTWOOD FESTIVAL Seemingly cast adrift from civilisation, the desolate surroundings of the idyllic Welsh countryside are just enough to break from the monotony of the everlasting A55 as we make our belated arrival at GOTTWOOD FESTIVAL. As nightfall draws in and we approach the makeshift festival gates which stand between us and a thriving community of bohemian trailblazers, the steady hum of an unidentified bassline resonates through the dense forest ahead. Lumbering through the mountainous evergreens you can’t help but take a step back to admire the infinite beauty of this scenic utopia. The festival grounds are truly a sight to behold: envision an elaborate lucid dream, an involuntary exploration into the outer reaches of the subconscious. It’s a twisted hippy commune and Gottwood captures this vibe and psychedelic aesthetic with consummate aplomb. After a thorough rub of the eyes and a quick reality check it’s time to get stuck in to the thick of it (perhaps all too literally now we’re suitably caked in mud), and dance hall groove wizard MOSCA’s appearance at the aptly named Summer Of Wood stage is our first port of call. Expertly amalgamating tediously labelled genres in his collection, it’s nice to see a true aficionado at work. Continually displaying his enthusiasm for a wide range of turbulent UK bassline, the inconsistent and volatile nature of Mosca’s set is as unpredictable as it is worldly. From techno and prog-house to the incessant flutterings of hip hop, his freedom to interchange his selection pays testament to his versatility as a live performer. The unruly mass is captivated and clearly itching for more. A spot of exploration on day two reveals a site littered with structures and artistry of all shapes, sizes and colours. Gottwood’s site offers a tremendous playground of visual delights and tree-house architecture, whose form springs from the very foundation of their tranquil surroundings. With wanderings appeased, IFAN DAFFYD and Saturday night’s dynamic headline double act DISCLOSURE are the choice over at The Stables. Sultry and progressive two-step in between twitchy house archetypes was duly expected from local Welsh wonder Ifan Daffyd; his formidable use of diced vocal snippets (à la James Blake) never fail to build an eerie atmosphere. Unfortunately the overbearing heat created by The Stables’ masses disappointingly detracts from the intimacy of the affair as Disclosure take the reins to uproarious adulation. The orgasmic yelps of lush stable stormer What’s In Your Head are enough to encourage spontaneous acts of jubilation, its jaunty rhythm dictating bodyjacking outbursts of self-expression. The twilight hours see us trip in to The Walled Garden, where Crosstown Rebels powerhouse DINKY is at the helm of a monastery of visual delight. Although she may have been dubbed


FEST IVAL HIGHLIGHTS REFLECT IONS - 14 August, 7:30pm Rakesh Chaurasia & Shashank Subramaniam Two of the leading bansuri players of the Hindustani and Carnatic styles present a rare jugalbandi performance. CHENNAI TO COLOMBO - 15 August, 7:30pm Hari Sivanesan & Dr. Deepti Omchery Bhalla A journey through the musical traditions of South India in this double-bill performance.. MORNING RAGA - 18 August, 8:00am Rakesh Chaurasia Bamboo flute virtuoso Rakesh Chaurasia welcomes in the day with a traditional Hindustani morning concert. GLOBAL CARNAT IC - 18 August, 7:30pm Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, Anil Srinivasan & Gaurav Mazumdar A unique blend of Carnatic, Hindustani and Western music traditions. DEMYST IFYING INDIAN MUSIC 13-17 August, daily 4:30pm Series of lecture-demonstration sessions devised to explain and demonstrate some of the key characteristics that form the basis of all Indian classical music. FREE ADMISSION

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Bido Lito! August 2012

Reviews

Steeling Sheep (Matthew Thomas)

Dinky by name, this is in no way a shrewd indication of the amplitude of her capabilities behind the decks. She patiently cultivates an acute tapestry of percussive funk entwined with melodic drones in order to build a modern symphony both moving and surreal. Disheartened by the news that the mighty Lake Stage is waterlogged and therefore unredeemable, the remaining acts on day three are allocated to the Boxford Caravan for the remainder of the festival. Unmanageably exhausted we decide to check out how the WAXXX DJs are getting on. A sparse but enthusiastic bunch of miscreants stand in attendance for the Liverpool collective, swaying in unison to what can only be described as an innovative offshoot of Balearic tech-house. Gottwood’s intimate setting along with its friendly community ethos is an enlightening reprieve away from the frivolous corporate shite rammed down our throats by the so-called domineering festival super powers. Maybe the thin mountainous air has induced a feverish delirium, but we say bring back the obscure, encourage the creative, seize the freewheeling magic of the boutique festival, and embrace the weird and wonderful with an open mind

and an open heart. Gottwood Festival: two unquestionable thumbs up. Joshua Nevett

STEALING SHEEP

a.P.A.t.T. - By The Sea – White Bicycles – Silent Sleep – Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band everisland @ The Kazimier Garden Gone are the days of choosing a line-up, throwing together some posters and getting some punters involved. While these are still essential elements for promoters putting a night together, 2012 is arguably a far more challenging time for music promoters than any other year, thus making it essential that they both forge a unique identity and pick up on what the public wants. Everisland regularly tick all those boxes by showcasing some of the best up and coming musical talent in Liverpool, all whilst thinking outside the box to create unique events that bring a certain charm. Taking place in this summer’s most charming summer space, tonight’s Kazimier Garden Gathering opens in typically visionary fashion with a 20-foot giraffe puppet, fittingly accompanied by the jazz club vibes of THE HARLEQUIN DYNAMITE MARCHING BAND. A giraffe puppet proves not to be the

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only thing to capture the audience’s fascination, however, with creative agency The Wolf Collective returning later in the evening with an enchanting shadow-puppet show. Engrossing in their own separate ways, both side orders to the main dish mesh perfectly with the overall ambience of the space, which is dressed to look like some kind of madcap summer fête. Following a crowd-arousing tropical house set from probably one of the most exciting DJs in Liverpool right about now (DJ Carla Clarkson), the audience are treated to the delicate folkinspired lullabies of SILENT SLEEP, and the musical equivalent of sunshine courtesy of the steel-drum led melodies of WHITE BICYCLES. NME Radar stars and Wirral’s BY THE SEA open the second instalment of the evening’s proceedings with their shoegazey melodies, jangling guitar patterns and reverbed vocals in all encompassment of their name. The night belongs to one band however, the darlings of Liverpool music (and probably one of the city’s hardest working bands) STEALING SHEEP. Never have a headline band and a venue, even event, been as well matched as these two, with the band predictably pulling in the biggest crowd of the evening. It’s impossible not to be drawn in by Stealing Sheep’s charm, which is embodied throughout their live set by the playful

smiles upon the girls’ faces. There’s always an evident chemistry between Becky, Emily and Lucy, which is enhanced further through their ability to seamlessly switch lead vocal duties, all while keeping on the same path. The addition of members of The Harlequin Dynamite Jazz Band providing extra percussion, and, later on King Twit, is a welcome one and whilst Stealing Sheep are perfectly capable of creating a big enough sound on their own accord, it makes the conflicting melodies the trio use to reach a crescendo somewhat more exciting. This addition is taken to a celebratory extreme when Stealing Sheep are joined on stage by their wide variety of collaborators and friends for Shut Eye, Eye the single that has been picked up by the likes of Radio 1 and BBC 6Music and therefore one that many of the audience will have been waiting for. It’s a wait that doesn’t prove disappointing, as the Shut Eye Choir add a playful depth to the song that is obviously a very special moment for fans of the band, and probably quite a unique one to witness. While a.P.A.t.T. scream and thrash through some debauched late night antics, the air settles on what has been an unmitigated success all round, for band, venue and promoter. A good night’s work. Matt Healy


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Issue 25 / August 2012  

August 2012 issue of Bido Lito! Featuring EDGAR SUMMERTYME, DOMINOES, JETHRO FOX, MILAPFEST and much more.

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