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Laura J Martin Sun Drums Faded Gold Wild Beasts www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk

Laura J Martin by Mike Brits

Issue 20 March 2012

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Bido Lito! March 2012

Editorial

In last month’s edition of Bido Lito! we featured a guest column from Static Gallery Director Paul Sullivan on the subject of the upcoming public debate concerning the Noise Abatement Notice, which has been served upon the venue by Liverpool City Council. We have included a full article on the debate, Silence In The City, on bidolito.co.uk which looks at both sides of the argument. We have a situation where, in plain and simple terms, Liverpool City Council have served a legally binding notice on one of our venues forbidding them from hosting live music. This is as a result of two complaints from local residents, unhappy with the noise generated during live shows. Following the complaints, Static altered its live music policy and cancelled a series of clubnight bookings that could have potentially led to loud noise around the venue. Despite these concessions, which were deemed “quite reasonable” by Councillor Steve Mumby at the debate, the notice was served. Unless it is retracted, the only way to challenge the order is through the courts, which would incur the associated, unfeasible legal costs. There is a real danger here of a precedent being set. Static Gallery has a licence that enables it to host live music events at the venue, and has done so now for years. If the Static example is anything to go by, what would stop residents near The Kazimier, Mello Mello, Wolstenholme Creative Space, or anywhere else for that matter, complaining and notices being served? With new CIP legislation just introduced that gives more power to residents in the Mathew St and Ropewalks areas (i.e. where the vast majority of our venues are located) to decide on what licenses are granted to new premises in the first place, we have a potentially perfect storm; those residents who expect their urban dwellings to provide noise levels akin to the secluded island of Más a Tierra having a key hand in deciding who can open a venue, and the power to seemingly close existing venues down at will. There needs to be an opportunity for venues and residents to discuss their grievances and come up with workable solutions. This dialogue has clearly not happened in the Static case, with the notice being served despite moves on Static’s part to reduce their noise output, and also trying to instigate discussion with the complainants. In the context of the venue closures and perpetual gloom we discussed in last month’s issue of Bido Lito!, one of the shoots of positivity was the potential for new venues and spaces to emerge in the city; warehouses, industrial sheds and retail units, idle buildings adopted for new creative use as our traditional venues close. The precedent of the Static Gallery case and the potential ramifications of the recently introduced CIP legislation could well dispel that vision. Craig G Pennington Editor

Features

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Bido Lito!

Issue Twenty - March 2012 bidolito.co.uk Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane Liverpool, L1 9JD

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8

LAURA J MARTIN

SUN DRUMS

10 FADED GOLD

Editor Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk Assistant Editor Christopher Torpey - reviews@bidolito.co.uk Photo Editor Jennifer Pellegrini - photos@bidolito.co.uk Designer Luke Avery - info@earthstudios.net Assistant Reviews Editor Naters Philip - live@bidolito.co.uk

12 WILD BEASTS

Online Editor Natalie Williams - online@bidolito.co.uk Proofreading Debra Williams - debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

14 USED VINYL CLUB

Regulars 4 NEWS 16 PREVIEWS/SHORTS 18 RANTS/COMMENT 20 REVIEWS

Words Craig G Pennington, Christopher Torpey, Jonny Davis, N. Philip, Pete Charles, Nik Glover, Philip Gofton, Richard Lewis, Chris Chadwick, Katerina Koumourou, Amy Greir, Lisa O'Dea, Mick Chrysalid, Tom Jefferson, John Still Photography, Illustration and Layout Jennifer Pellegrini, Luke Avery, Mike Brits, Marie Hazelwood, Keith Ainsworth, John Johnson, Matt Thomas, Michael Cottage, Allegra Whitehouse Adverts To advertise please contact ads@bidolito.co.uk


News

Bido Lito! Dansette

Our pick of this month’s emerging wax wonders...

Edited by Jonny Davis - news@bidolito.co.uk

Sound City Announcement Having already announced appearances from Professor Green, White Denim and Death In Vegas, the latest batch of announcements for LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2012 includes Mystery Jets, TOY, Forest Swords, Alt-J, Alkaline Trio and many more. In addition the festival will also host the UK Student Music Awards at the Echo Arena on 17th May, hosted by Edith Bowman. Head over to liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk to see the announcement in full.

Eugene Calls Shotgun March will see the release of the second single from EUGENE MCGUINNESS’ forthcoming LP on Domino entitled Shotgun Shotgun. It’s all go for Eugene as he supports Marina & The Diamonds throughout February, followed by a special guest slot on tour with Miles Kane in April. The single will be released on iTunes on 26th March, and the accompanying suave, retro-futuristic video, directed by ThirtyTwo, is well worth a watch, at eugenemcguinness.net

Merseyrail Unsigned Competition ME EYRA MERSEYRAIL MERSEY AIL UNSIGNED UNSI UN SIGNED GNED

Merseyrail, in partnership with Bido Lito!, is launching a new initiative to find the best unsigned musical talent in Merseyside. MERSEYRAIL UNSIGNED has assembled a select panel of music industry experts who will judge entries from unsigned acts of all genres, and the winner will receive a weekend recording session at Rockfield Studios, famed for recording the likes of Oasis, Manic Street Preachers and Coldplay. Bands and artists can upload their tracks to soundcloud.com/merseyrail

Pretty Green Eyes In-Store Performances Liam Gallagher-owned clothing label PRETTY GREEN are to host a series of in-store events in their new Liverpool One premises. The series will begin with an acoustic performance by Steve Craddock on Sunday 26th February at 4pm. Continuing on a monthly basis, Pretty Green Presents will host The Universal, The Loud, Maker, and let’s not forget our very own Bido Lito! DJs.

Yeti Lane The Echo Show SONIC CATHEDRAL Incorporating the morotik repetition of Kraftwerk and the blissful haze of My Bloody Valentine, Parisian psychedelic shogazers YETI LANE's Analog Wheel is a 7-plus minute unstoppable electronic wig-out, taken from their debut LP The Echo Show.

Burial Kindred EP HYPERDUB BURIAL’s new Kindred EP finds William Bevan staking his place as one of the 21st century’s foremost composers. This three song collection tops 30 minutes and never drops in intensity, dipping its toe into a wealth of influences from musique-concrète to trance.

Porcelain Raft Strange Weekend SECRETLY CANADIAN

Bido Lito! Gig Guide And Ticket Shop Go Live B E THE NE X T FACE

At long last the all encompassing Bido Lito! Gig Guide and Ticket Shop are now live on bidolito.co.uk. The Gig Guide is open to all, allowing promoters and bands to upload shows, OasF well as to sell tickets through the Ticket Shop with a minimal booking fee. The Gig Guide is designed to be a comprehensive database hosting the full musical spectrum of what Merseyside has to offer, so get uploading now bidolito.co.uk/gig-guide

RSEYRAIL NSIGNED COMPETITION!

Ty Segall Goodbye Bread

Y OUR MUS I C C A R E E R O N TRAC K

This month we have an excellent bundle of fun to give away. The lucky winner will a local band, groupaorsigned solo artist, then of send us your OF GUNS’ (pictured) new album, a band T-shirt receive copy SOUND ould win a recording session at the famous Rockfield Studios a pair ofworld tickets to their biggest ortunity toand perform at the famous Liverpool Cavern.show yet at O2 Academy on 21st April. To be in rail.org/unsigned for more information or tojust upload your track. with a chance of winning, answer the following ridiculously easy question: What is the name of Sound Of Guns’ brand new album? a) Angels & Enemies

b) Angels & Demons

Secretly Canadian pull another shimmery indie gem out of the bag with this debut long player from PORCELAIN RAFT, aka Mauro Remiddi. The gloriously minimalist washes and reverb drenched electronics of album opener Drifting In And Out will have you pining for more from this spaced-out Italian.

c) Angels & Airwaves

Email your answer to competition@bidolito.co.uk.. The closing date ffor entries is 15th March. All correct answers will be placed in a big pink hat, the winner slected at random and notified by email. Good luck!

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

DRAG CITY While still retaining the dark energy that propelled previous record Melted, TY SEGALL’s latest LP sees him soaring into the realm of heavyweight singer songwriters. Bowie, Bolan and Lennon are channeled, while still typically strained through The Stooges, to make Goodbye Bread a rich and creepy blast.


THE MUSIC CONSORTIUM PRESENTS

A celebr celebration ation of the music, lyrics & dance of Kate Bush 7.30pm Thursday 12th April 2012 at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP | Tickets from £15.00 to £21.00 Tickets are available from The Music Consortium Vinyl Emporium (Ex Hairy Records) and www.liverpoolphil.com


Laura J Martin ....beneath the veil of The Hangman Tree

Words: N. Philip Photography: Mike Brits


A

s we head deep into the freezing belly of winter, it could well prove hard for some to build up the gumption needed to drag themselves to a weekend festival, let alone muster the enthusiasm to set off to the draughty warehouses of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. However, for those who wrapped up in their winter layers and headed to the Threshold Festival, there’s a strong possibility that one surprise awaiting you there was “oneman band”, LAURA J MARTIN. More refreshing than a hot toddy and turning the chilly room into a theatrical spectacle performance, her set will have left you dreaming of warm, mid-summer nights in festival season. Quite rightly, there’s been a lot of media ‘buzz’ surrounding Maghull lass Laura and her debut album, The Hangman Tree, Tree released on Static Caravan Recordings. She’s been labelled an assemblage of genres, hip hop/folk/indie/J-pop/Mersey folk, everything but kitchen sink pop rock to be fair. But trying to label Laura J Martin, someone who is a self-confessed, “total non-purist when it comes to music,” with elongated and nonsensical sub-genres is ridiculous. It’s an insult to her creativity and the amount of fine detail she puts into every aspect of her craft. The first time Fire Horse came on at Bido Lito! Towers, the production quality of the album practically jumped out of the speakers. With songs often having half a dozen components, making each one stand alone whilst not over-powering the delicate vocals is a difficult task to achieve. But each instrument, effect and loop machine is clearly singular, and every song is a layer itself; an example of how modern music-making is constantly developing and changing. Laura herself says, “It’s so important to go out and see music, to watch people perform, because they see things in a way you never would. An English rapper, Edan, who I love, has such a way of looking outside the box - he’ll be playing the guitar in concurrence with the Kazoo and he uses that wonderful instrument, the theremin, a lot, which I think is brilliant. But, I suppose I’ve always been a sucker for novelty!” This is probably where the truth of Laura’s music lies, and why it’s so hard to try and lump such complex tracks like Spy into a hollow genre. Laura deduces that great music can be made through collaborating with other artists: “You don’t just play; you react and bounce off of each other’s excitement and then end up with an amazing track”. It’s fantastic to see an artist who’s so open to working with others, particularly as she’s such a complex performer in her own right. When you’re listening to songs like Kiss Bye Goodnight, Goodnight which features Canadian experimentalist Buck 65, it’s a bit like watching a play move through its acts. Act One: a creepily old-fashioned mandolin winds its way into your ears, before ghost-like vocals lull you through Act Two, and then Buck’s commanding rap creates the twist into Act Three. It’s no shock when Laura’s talking about her influences that she loves film composers: “I love Lalo Schifrin and my new discovery is Jonny Harris; they’re such amazing composers and I’ve always enjoyed film music, I think I sort of subconsciously soak it up.” And clearly, she puts that influence to good work by producing tracks that Danny Elfman would envy. It would be a mistake to think that Laura views other musicians in the well-stocked Liverpool folk scene as competition, as she states that, “I don’t really feel like part of that exclusive clique because I’m kind of a hermit. I travel a lot and when I’m making music it’s just me in my bedroom with my instruments and talking to my flat mate, Jess.” Jess [Swainson] is the woman behind all of Laura’s artwork and the videographer for Kiss Bye Goodnight, Goodnight and during our interview Laura takes time out to champion her, saying she’s the, “only person to do my artwork, she’s my best friend, we grew up together, travelled together and she’s been in the next room to my music for years - she knows it inside out!” It’s hard to believe anyone could know Laura’s music any better than herself: when asked about why songs like Silent Maria have an Eastern quality, she peels off another layer of inspiration. “People always think it’s because I spent a year in Japan, it’s not; I’ve always enjoyed the culture there and wanted to go to see it for myself. The Eastern pull in my album probably comes from the fact that I was obsessed with watching Kung Fu films; I used to watch one every night before I went to sleep. So that’s probably a big part of it.” It’s hard to argue with that; sometimes listening to her album will have you scrabbling for the nearest copy of Kill Bill. It’s easy to ponder whether or not films like this are the reason behind her using woodwind instruments like the flute and piccolo. Particularly after discussing her other inspirations, it would seem like a safe assumption. Nope, just don’t attempt assumptions with this girl: “I learned piano as a child, but it was so frustrating because my hands were so small; then I found the flute. I think it’s just more suited to midgets like me.” Leaving with a beaming smile on her face, Laura chats about how excited she is ahead of the upcoming Laugharne Festival in Wales; the EP she’s creating with Richard James (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci); and the work she’s already started on her next album. Despite being slightly under the weather when we meet, she bats off any suggestion of going home early, “I’ll have a brandy and be absolutely fine!” The lady is a veritable, passthe-parcel of layers; so drop the needle on The Hangman Tree and may you look forward to wrapping your ears around them. laurajmartin.com


sun drums Words: Jonny Davis

On the surface at least, it may seem that until recently SUN DRUMS had been largely inactive for the best part of a year, with live performances and new recordings proving few and far between. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Holed away in their shared house, the band have been writing and recording their debut, self-titled EP for months on end; toiling with the minute details and intent on making the record as grand as it could be. With the recordings mixed, mastered and (courtesy of Everybody’s Stalking Recordings) sitting comfortably on the shelves of Rough Trade no less, it is evident that all the hard work has paid off. Perhaps there was never any doubt that the band would successfully bring the EP to its conclusion, but sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seemed a long way off: “[When working on the songs] it was hard to think or talk about other stuff. It was a bit intense. There’s not much sunlight involved in Sun Drums”. As I speak to Tom, Sam and Jacob over a winter-warmer in Mello Mello, the camaraderie and closeness they have developed throughout the writing process manifests itself in finishing each other’s sentences, and bouts of incredulous laughter regarding the efforts they have gone to in order to get the right sound. Hindered by crashing laptops and technical glitches, the process has been a challenging one. “The logistics that got in the way made it difficult. Waiting for laptops to load was a nightmare and our computers packed up when trying to bounce it.” For those who dismiss the use of laptops in music as a cop-out, by pushing machines to the limits of their ability Sun Drums have shown that they can be as temperamental, fickle and thus capable of spontaneous results and happy accidents as an electric guitar or drum kit. The most prominent evocation upon listening to the EP is texture and lots of it. “We have a tendency to layer things up to make them sound as massive as possible, to generate a sense of drama. Complete self indulgence is what we specialise in”. Whilst the term ‘self indulgence’ may ring alarm bells (how ever tongue-in-cheek the comment) and evoke thoughts of lengthy prog rock songs, in the case of Sun Drums it

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

Photography: Mike Brits

manifests itself in added sonic depth rather than excess noodling. “There’s so much on the record that is just used as ambient textures and sound-scaping, a lot of which you probably can’t even hear”. This attention to detail shows a strong belief in what they do, yet after dedicating so much time and effort to the music, the band remain remarkably candid and realistic about its marketability: “It’s nuts how four or five songs can be your life for such a long time and you care about them probably more than anyone else ever will”. This is not a show of self-defeatism, more an acceptance and a realisation of why an artist creates: for their own pleasure and personal development. It is when bands take on this attitude, this sense of humility, that music becomes interesting, progressive and perhaps even more real. Sun Drums were keen to get the songs onto vinyl, allowing for the best possible audio quality as well as the satisfaction of having a physical reward for their efforts. “The record acts as closure and is the culmination of a year of hard work. The CD is on its way to being obsolete and it’s romantic - the idea that your blood, sweat and tears are pressed into a record”. Having reared their head at a time when the city is seemingly awash with venue closures and noise abatements, Sun Drums are not particularly worried, and believe the culture of the city to be in rude health. “It’s not brilliant to see music venues closing but I think the good ones are still here. The ones that have that sense of community - not the bars; they are the good ones. This little art community is fantastic and would rival anywhere in the country.” After a year of graft, Sun Drums have cut to wax a collection of songs that are dense, rich and saturated with the sound of late nights and dark cityscapes; and that hold a deep atmospheric intensity. With that chapter complete, the band are keen to avoid stagnation and are already writing new material. Whether we are made to wait weeks, months or even years, it’s a fair bet that it will be worth it. sundrums.co.uk


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Au ral Pleasures (with Faded Gold)

Words: Christopher Torpey Photography: Allegra Whitehouse ‘Have computer, will make music’ should be the motto of the Information Generation, who embrace each new strand of technological innovation to satisfy their musical desires. While this may seem to some to be a cold and inorganic approach to music making, it has become an accepted norm now, and an important avenue in pushing the elastic boundaries of sound. One listen to the dreamy mini-suites of FADED GOLD will assuredly prove the electronic world’s naysayers wrong. For Stefanie Chew, the brains behind Faded Gold, it is as natural to sit down at the keys of her computer to write a song as it was for Beethoven or Mozart to do so at the keys of their pianos hundreds of years ago. Very much a solo project, the ambient, instrumental swoons of Faded Gold’s releases to date have all been concocted by the Wirralbased Chew on her laptop, in what is her first foray into song-writing. Drawing favourable comparisons with Explosions In The Sky (without the percussion) and M83 (minus the vocals and Gallic sheen), the delightfully shy and unassuming Miss Chew has been tickled pink by the positive praise for her output so far. “I kind of feel strange [at the prospect of] people writing about me,” she laughs. “I only started writing music at the start of the summer. I’ve always liked improvising and making stuff up, and I’ve always wanted

to be in a band, but I never had anyone to be in a band with.” The catalyst for going it alone seems to have been a stint working and living in Montréal, where Chew took a great deal of inspiration and encouragement from “being surrounded by really arty and creative people.” Assimilating these good vibes into Faded Gold’s music has paid dividends: Chew’s innate sense of dramatics, allied to a keen ear for tempo, makes the five tracks on the Faded Gold EP bubble along like a soundtrack to your most blissed-out dreams. Belllike synths lie comfortably alongside soft heart-beat pulses on Reflections and Sunbeams, while Velvet Crush reaches for a higher plane in its more frantic, palpitating rhythm. Plots and sub-plots weave in and out of each other just below the surface, but not in such a complicated manner that you can’t close your eyes and still be immersed in the warm glow of the drenched-in-dream tracks. Pushing this even further, most recent single Last Night I Dreamt Alone exhibits the kind of deft dynamics found on the soundtrack to Nicholas Wending Refn’s film Drive, full as it is of ominous tension and sky-scraping crescendos. “I’d really like to write a film soundtrack one day,” Chew confesses. “I really like the Trent Reznor soundtrack work, like on

The Social Network. That was a big influence in writing these recent songs.” If nothing else, the video to The Departure showcases these influences expertly, highlighting Chew as a musician with a distinct visualisation of her sound. One thing that is often levelled at experimental electronic music is its tendency to wander off down too many ‘proggy’ paths which test the listener’s patience. The linear nature of Faded Gold’s tracks, coupled with the fact that they all clock in at under or around four minutes, means that the songs are succinct and never outstay their welcome; your concentration may wander but you feel with the songs throughout, which evokes some very vivid emotions. I’m intrigued to know if this is something that dominates the song-writing process; whether or not the songs come from the emotions they seem to represent. “Not really, they’re all sounds not images,” replies Chew. “I’ll start with maybe a melody or chord, then I’ll add some more and build it up from there. Sometimes I’ll get halfway through a song and I’ll get to a point where it can go in one of maybe three directions, and I’ve no idea which way it’ll go until it’s already taken off.” The absence of vocals also

allows the tracks to float, meaning the melodies are untethered and free to twist into places that words can never reach. Chew does have plans to expand by adding vocals at some stage, as well as percussion and eventually a full band set-up, but it’s one small step at a time at the moment. For a start there’s the live performance to hone (one nervy outing so far suggests that a few more attempts may yet be needed) before any major changes can be considered, but it’s the ambition of the young lady that is the most mouth-watering. “If I add vocals in it would really change the style of the music, you know? My music’s still evolving and I’m still really new and I’m developing new recording techniques. Every time I write something new I really like it a lot more than the older stuff, and I wish people hadn’t really seen or heard the older stuff!” They say all that glitters is not gold. In the case of Stefanie Chew, if it glitters, it’s Faded Gold. Go to bidoito.co.uk for an exclusive free download from Faded Gold fadedgold.bandcamp.com


Bido Lito! March 2012

13

Words: John Still Illustration: Michael Cottage Being a ‘Liverpool’ band can be something of a doubleedged sword. The musical heritage of this fair city provides a deep well of inspiration for the artists who dwell here, fostering a scene eager to see Liverpool remain on the map. On the other hand, the achievements of those who have gone before remain the biggest stick used to beat the current crop. So then, to WILD BEASTS. Hailing from Kendal, Cumbria, a weight of expectation did not lay heavy on their shoulders when starting out. In fact, after three albums they have been touted as ‘The Greatest ever band from Kendal’. Bassist Hayden Thorpe comments, “Well... being called the greatest band from Kendal is a bit like being called the biggest fish to be caught in a teapot”. Despite having decamped en masse to first Leeds, and now London, Wild Beasts’ sound - an intensely melodic, textured and literate pop music – remains an esoteric blend that belies their remote roots, as Hayden explains: “I’m sure being from Kendal had a huge impact on our sound. I think it gives more options. There wasn’t a niche that we had to choose, it was more open”. These options are evident across their three records: vocals shift seamlessly from soaring falsetto to a sinister baritone; and precise, punctuated rhythms mix with pastoral, watercolour guitar flourishes. Hayden continues, “It would have been disastrous for us to have formed in London or Leeds. In Kendal we were always seen as slightly weird. It gave us a gang mentality; I think we always carry those perceptions with us”. After releasing debut singles Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants and Through Dark Night on Bad Sneakers Records and joining Domino Records for 2008’s Limbo, Panto, mainstream success came to Wild Beasts in 2009 with the arrival of Two Dancers: their breakthrough album, the record garnered much critical acclaim with positive reviews across the board, culminating in a Mercury prize nomination. For a band intent on carving their own niche, Hayden believes success was a vindication of their own creative choices. “We were desperate for that acknowledgement. We’re very proud of this creative, individual music. We’re not out copying American singers. We’re really happy if we can show there are more voices to be heard.” 2011 saw the band follow the release of Two Dancers Smother which experienced the same level with new LP Smother, of critical adoration despite the band being overlooked for the Mercury Prize a second time. Whilst by no means a wholesale sea-change from previous outings, Smother

represents a significant development in Wild Beasts’ style, incorporating added synthesisers and a more introspective lilt than previous outings. Hayden notes, “It was where we were at the time. I don’t think there should be any design. We were in a time of great transition, great vulnerability and also togetherness. You don’t realise these things at the time, but they affect the record on a subconscious level.” Wild Beasts will arrive in Liverpool with the city in a state of flux once more, with the recent slew of venue closures forcing their show to be moved from the now defunct Masque to the O2 Academy. Is this symptomatic of their experience over the rest of the country? “The value of creative arts has been massively undervalued and underestimated. A large proportion of British exports are from the creative industries, yet funding was cut by 20% last year. It’s a real worry that the creative arts are going to start becoming exclusive to the wealthy again, that the only people who’ll be able to concentrate on art will be those who can afford to.” In fact, questions of class and wealth are not alien to the members of Wild Beasts. As is often the case when faced with music of a certain technicality or flamboyance, the hoary old ‘art-school’ accusations surface. “When we released Two Dancers we were lumped in as public schoolboys. It was crushing. I’m not saying I was poor growing up, I’ve got no pretensions regarding that, but we worked for everything. There’s a massive tabloid hangover in this country, this notion that to be literate goes hand in hand with wealth. When a band chooses to be a bit more colourful, use different styles, the first assumption people jump at is ‘wealthy’”. While many people may have been discouraged and dumbed-down, Smother exhibits exactly the same spirit of creativity that runs through the veins of Two Dancers: the sound of a band resolutely sticking to their guns. Wild Beasts seem to pose a contradiction. They have achieved the type of success only dreamed of by the plethora of bandwagon jumpers, and done it while treading the path less well worn. Allowing themselves to be shaped not by style and zeitgeist, but by experience and culture, they are a band fiercely proud of their past, yet eager to embrace their future in equal measure. Much like our city, really. Wild Beasts play the O2 Academy on 17th March wild-beasts.co.uk

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


Words: Pete Charles Photography: Luke Avery “Some bands don’t know they’re born.” Peering out from behind a thick, copper-flecked beard, Andy Donovan, the softly-spoken bassist of indie pop starlets Elle S’appelle, is at risk of sounding like an elder statesman of his trade. “I recorded a young band recently who had their first gig at the O2 Academy - they had a light show, a monitor engineer on stage, practice room in town funded by their parents...” Andy’s experience of starting out as a musician fifteen years ago was an altogether different experience. “We used to practise in a youth centre in Norris Green, having to chase scallies away and trying not to get robbed. As for the gigs, they really could go either way.” It’s easy to forget just how far Liverpool has come in those fifteen years. And while some musicians might spend much of their 30th year grumbling about the increasingly transitory and impermanent state of Liverpool’s music scene, Andy wants to remember it as an annus mirabilis of sorts - the year he created some lasting memories of what came before. And he’s doing so in the form of his latest project, USED VINYL CLUB. He and a bunch of friends have come up with a unique concept for promoting ten new records, showcasing a different band every month. Andy explains it as something he’d been building towards that just snowballed. “The impending existential crisis of turning thirty made me think I wanted to do something and just stick a pin in that part of our lives. I had records by four bands (28 Costumes, Hallo...I Love You!, Guild of Defiants and Elle S’appelle) that I’d been working on, then all of a sudden other bands started asking ‘can we do one?’” The records will form a musical collage of Liverpool’s indie pop scene over the last ten years or so. There are also contributions from Voo, Married To The Sea, The House That Jack Built, Meow Meow, Doubledoubleplusgood and Puzzle, who headlined the launch gig at Mello Mello on 3rd February. But this is no ordinary ‘record label’ - a term that Andy uses “in its loosest possible sense.” Each record is more like a gift set, which also includes badges, a ‘unique contribution from the band’ and - perhaps as a light-hearted affront to the digital revolution - a used vinyl record. Andy presents me with Puzzle’s EP, which is lovingly packaged in a handmade cardboard wallet and contains Feargal Sharkey’s 80s classic A Good Heart on 7” vinyl. It’s the twee pop equivalent of getting a party bag (not that getting an actual party bag isn’t already pretty twee). The germ of the idea for Used Vinyl Club can be traced back to September 2010, after a friend of Andy’s asked him to bring some bands over to St. Helen’s to play

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a gig in an art gallery. After initial scepticism about whether people would travel out to the back of beyond for an indie pop gig, they decided to twin the event with an exhibition called Cover Versions at which local artist Matthew Dolan reproduced classic album covers, such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, on canvas. It turned out to be a roaring success, so Andy decided to bring the creative element of the event to Used Vinyl Club - posters were made, record sleeves were laid end-to-end and decorated and, with the help of Sam from Married To The Sea and Ste Lucas of Mash Gallery, Andy is currently in the process of shooting videos of each band performing acoustic versions of their songs. At the next event on 3rd March, where Elle S’appelle will launch their longawaited debut album, Andy is keen to set up a vinyl swap stall. “We even toyed with the idea of issuing library cards so people could take the records away, give them a spin and bring them back,” he says enthusiastically. Anyone who is old enough to remember spending hours down the library after school - on the pretext of doing homework - and rifling through its vinyl collection will understand the appeal. With its focus squarely on preserving memories rather than launching new bands, Used Vinyl Club is by no means a record label for the future. Andy seems to think of it as an anthology of local indie music into which fans can delve and use as a base from which to follow spin-off projects. “It’ll be a lasting archive which you can download for free. It’s not something I want to carry any further - there’s definitely a beginning and an end to it.” The creative drive behind Used Vinyl Club deals a knockout blow to a pseudointellectual national press which regularly carries apocalyptic rhetoric about the grim outlook for British indie music. The Guardian recently ran a typically obtuse article called Indie Rock’s Slow and Painful Death, citing poor record sales as evidence of its decline. The hapless blogger completely missed the point that this was like saying news is in decline because people are buying fewer newspapers. For those of us not plugged into Radio One 24/7 or living in a Fleet Street goldfish bowl, as long as there are vintage cardigans, hand-made vinyl sleeves, festivals like Indietracks and ATP, broken hearts, beards, badges and cupcakes, it’s fair to say that indie rock will remain very much alive and kicking. rekordmeistermusic.co.uk


TINARIWEN T TI INA IN NAR ARI RIW IWE WEN EN Wednesday 11 April A ril 7.30pm Ap £18.50, £24.50 Award-winning poet-guitarists from the Sahara desert. These soul rebels toured with Red Hot Chili Peppers and have Tet. been remixed by Four Te T t. Fighting for freedom, the guitar is their weapon.

‘ brilliant live band ... ‘A infectious, pounding fusion of desert blues and the styles of the Tuareg nomadic Tu T areg people of the Sahara’ The Guardian

FOLK IN MAY A AY

Liverpool Philharmonic in the month of May Four great folk/roots f lk/roots gigs to welcome summer 2012 fo

Saturday 19 May

THE T TH HE LADY: HE L DY: LA Y A HOMAGE Y: HOM HO OMA MAGE G T SA S AND AN NDY DE D ENN EN NNY NY TO SANDY DENNY

MEMBERS M ME EMB EM MBER E S OF O BEL BELLOWHEAD, E LOWH EL WHE WH HEA EAD, PLUS P US PL U MADDY M DD MA D Y PR P PRIOR, IOR IO OR, ARNOLD, JOAN WASSER P.P ARN RNO RN NOL OLD LD, JO J OAN OA AN WA W SSE SS SER ER (Joan (Jo (J Joan As Policewoman), Policewoman) n, n) JERRY DONAHUE Convention), JER JE ERRY DON ONA ON NAHUE U (F UE ((Fotheringay/Fairport Foth Fo t ering gay y//F y /Fa Fairp rport Co rp C nvention) n, n) D VE DA V SWA W RBRIC WA ICK IC CK, K, TH T HEA HE EA GILMORE, GIL GI ILM LMO MOR ORE, E LA L VIN VI INI NIA IA BLA L CK LA CKKDAVE SWARBRICK, THEA LAVINIA BLACKW LL WA L (Trembling (Tr (T Trembling Bells) s , BLAIR s) BLA L IR LA I DUN UNL UN NLOP O WALL Bells), DUNLOP (Th (T The Albion Band), Band) d , SAM d) SAM SA AM CARTER C RTE CA TER TE ER (The

6

After A Af fter 8 | Rodewald Suite | Friday 11 May ft

MAWKIN

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A Af fter 8 | Rodewald Suite | Wednesday 16 May ft After

HAN HANNAH A NA AN N H JAMES & SAM SWEENEY

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Friday 25 May

THE IMAGINED VILLAGE ANDY GANGADEEN & SIMON RICHMOND (The Bays) ELIZA CARTHY, Y MARTIN CARTHY, Y, Y SIMON EMMERSON Y, & JOHNNY KALSI K LSI (Afro Celt Sound System), ALI FRIEND KA (Clayhill/Red Snapper), SHEEMA MUKHERJEE (Transglobal Underground), BARNEY MORSE BROWN (Duotone)

Box Office Off Of ffi fice 0151 709 3789 liverpoolphil.com


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

DIAGRAMS A top notch night at Static beckons: the side project of Tuung co-frontman Sam Genders, DIAGRAMS’ debut album Black Light draws from sources as disparate as John Martyn and Scritti Politti. Superb French electro-shoegaze diviners YETI LANE also feature, bringing a blistering Gallic squall to the evening. Static Gallery – 16th March – Tickets from ticketweb.co.uk

WE CAME OUT LIKE TIGERS A welcome return to the city’s stages for one of the most visceral live acts out there, WE CAME OUT LIKE TIGERS and KEROUAC plug their wares at the Wolstenholme Creative Space. Touring across Europe in support of recently released split 7” with Ravachol, WCOLT never fail to deliver an intense live spectacle, informed by progressive and post rock movements in equal measure. Wolstenholme Creative Space – 8th March – Tickets OTD

EYE EMMA JEDI

White Hills

Promoters Behind the Wall of Sleep open their 2012 account with a bang, bringing New York psych trio WHITE HILLS across the pond to top a night of mind-bending space rock at The Kazimier. Liverpool legend Julian Cope, an authority on all things pysch and kraut-related, was an early supporter of the group and the band have amassed a substantial catalogue of sprawling, heavy jams over the past five years. The New Yorkers are presently signed to the same label as the mesmerizing Wooden Shjips (Thrill Jockey), who played a spell-binding show at the same venue last year. Occupying a similarly swirling sonic terrain as their label mates, White Hills’ new LP Frying On This Rock is the band’s most accessible to date, with engineering duties handled by Martin Bisi who was behind the desk for Sonic Youth’s totemic Daydream Nation. Coming in the wake of support slots with The Flaming Lips, and a highly prestigious date at ATP New York, the trio’s storming live reputation precedes them. Liverpool’s MUGSTAR, who have recently been in the recording studio working on their latest opus, are main supports, nicely kindling anticipation for the new LP. New spacerock explorers MIND MOUNTAIN complete the bill. The Kazimier – 23rd March – Tickets from behindthewallofsleep.com

EYE EMMA JEDI is a Liverpool via Norway rock enterprise hatched by former Dire Wolves Dan Croll and Joe Wills alongside Andrew Murray, Alex Pavelich and Andreas Westhagen. EEJ deal in anthemic alt rock with XL edition axework. This show is entirely free and features support from CRUSHING BLOWS among others. The Kazimier – 1st March – Free

THE RODEWALD SUITE @ LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC FT. SPIRO MASHEMON/DASS UNSER Like London buses, two free gigs come along at once. Flagging up the release of their eagerly awaited EP, electro glam punk trio MASHEMON head up a superb bill at The Lomax on 17th March. Sublime downbeat electro outfit DAS UNSER, and US alt-pop disciples WET MOUTH both feature on the undercard. The Lomax – 17th March - Free

SHRAG On the road to promote their eagerly awaited third LP Canines, art pop boy-girl quintet SHRAG head out on a joint headlining tour with TUNABUNNY. Following 2010’s acclaimed Life! Death! Prizes!, supports with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The Cribs followed, and their riot grrrl post punk continues to thrill. Mello Mello – 1st March – Tickets from wegottickets.com

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

With roots/folk music’s influence keenly felt in the city at present with Lizzie Nunnery, Laura J Martin and The Big House prime exponents of the genre, a new series of concerts at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Rodewald Suite will presciently look to tap into this rich seam. Utilising an intimate portion of the venue, the Philharmonic are providing this unique platform to a programme of shows that offers a tantalising alternative to their main hall events. Focusing largely, but not exclusively, on folk music, selected highlights include the International Guitar Night on 1st March, with LULO REINHARDT (grand nephew of jazz legend Django) featured on the bill. A centrepiece of the season is the show by SPIRO (24th March), who are touring their recent Kaleidophonica album, the recipient of a four star review in The Word. Signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records, Spiro combine folk music structures with minimalistic classic elements. Flamenco-jazz virtuoso EDUARDO NIEBLA plays on 13th April, while JIM MORAY, considered to be in the vanguard of the UK folk revival, plays on the 18th. ANDY IRVINE, founder of Irish music legends Planxty which also featured Christy Moore, performs on 28th April. HANNAH JAMES AND SAM SWEENEY, a fiddle, accordion and vocal contemporary folk duo, wrap things up with their performance on 16th May. The Rodewald Suite - Various Dates – Tickets from liverpoolphil.com


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Bido Lito! March 2012

Rants/Comment

Nik Glover Check, Please

There are unwritten rules to soundchecking. These rules are brazenly ignored by 97% of bands, and broken at least once by even the most well-meaning. It isn’t easy to guess which band will be efficient ‘checkers’. Even the most complicated set-up shouldn’t take too long if the band are professional, and actually give a Mail-reader’s testicle about the other acts on the bill. 1. If you’re headlining, we’re waiting for you If you are lucky enough to be the top billed act, soundcheck will not begin until you have arrived. So if doors are at 7.30 for your 8-band, pay-to-play Classic Rock night and you show up at half 6, you will have made some extremely unpowerful enemies.

2. Perfection is an idyll you will not realise No soundcheck is perfect. If a band spends four hours complaining about a rattle on the bass amp, the other bands will begin to fashion voodoo caricatures of them from beer mats. And rightly so. 3. In-house sound engineers can’t hear you over your lick If I were to type this article while simultaneously mashing the keyboard it would look like aer87rapvh’;[]. Use the mic, and don’t jam Enjoy The Silence while doing so to illustrate your point. 4. You can all check at the same time But you cannot all talk at the same time. Stand on stage, be ready, do your bit, then be quiet and let the others

Philip Gofton The Turbulent Flight Of The Byrd

Never in the annals of popular music has there existed a band as tempestuous as The Byrds. While the ruthless opportunistic surges of savvy ‘leader’ Roger McGuinn and enfant-terrible David Crosby draw uncomfortable parallels with the social-Darwinistic mechanics of the Third Reich, this survival-of-the-fittest power struggle between The Byrds’ dominant forces fails to dim the chiming-freedom of their music, which in 1965 illuminated the Sunset Strip. Somewhere, trapped in the eye of this bitter whirlwind of ego and jealousy, existed Gene Clark, their most gifted

and prolific songwriter. Born on 17th November 1944 in the small farming town of Tipton, Missouri, Harold Eugene Clark suckled on a diet of bluegrass, country and rockabilly, though it was the sensitivity of his eggshell psyche that seeped both beauty and tragedy into his songs. Evidently, on The Byrds’ first LP releases, 1965’s Mr Tambourine Man and Turn Turn Turn, it was Clark’s compositions that stood toe-to-toe with the Dylan covers. Whether they be pools of unabated emotion, siphoned from the catacomb of the soul (Here Without You), or crackling with a charged vibrancy (The World Turns All Around Her), they remained unrivalled by anything that McGuinn and Crosby were bringing to the table. With the release of their magnum opus Eight Miles High a

do theirs. Don’t wander off after setting up your timpani to phone your girlfriend. She isn’t really interested in what you have to say anyway. 5. Sound engineers will be avenged To some extent, this person controls how good a gig you have. Sarcastic comments like ‘yeah mate, it sounds great up here, really clear like, don’t bother putting my vocals in the monitors’, while funny, will only rebound on you. 6. This is not practice You know what really cracks my eggs? Bands who think that soundcheck is there to make up for the fact they don’t practise. If there’s only 3 hours to check 5 bands, don’t go through your whole set ‘because the keyboard player has different sounds for each’. Do him separately. Tossers. 7. I’m getting angrier and angrier You can tell I’ve had a lot of

year later, Clark’s position as The Byrds’ composer-in-chief seemed to be secured - ‘seemed’ being the operative word... nothing or nobody was secure within the volatile nest of The Byrds. If the towering luminosity of his song-writing was evident to all, within the inner sanctum of his own band the vultures were circling, preparing to feed. The intrigue can be traced as far back as the pre-Byrds’ days when, rehearsing under the snappy moniker The Jet Set, Crosby began implanting seeds of doubt in Clark’s ability as a rhythm guitarist; a festering unease that led to the eventual seizing of his instrument. Manager Jim Dickson recalls this Machiavellian ploy: “David started telling Gene his timing wasn’t good and shaking his confidence. . . I’d seen it happen in jazz where one bass player [shook] the confidence of another by just circulating the rumour that his timing was bad.

experiences like this, can’t you? 8. No you can’t leave your f**king amp on stage When you’ve finished, give a thought to how much space there was when you began. There is considerably less with your harp, 12piece brass section and papier mache giant monkey’s head. Put it in the dressing room, mate. 9. Managers don’t know Unless your manager does know about sound engineering. If so, he’s a valuable resource. 10. An Apology …to Hot Light Fiesta, who I borrowed two guitar cables off a couple of months ago and then left in the venue. I’ll buy you some new ones, lads. If you get enraged by the actions of others, contact takemeforanexample@ gmail.com and vent.

By the time it got around, it was bad. David did that to Gene, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy”. The fact that Clark relinquished his role with nothing more than a nonchalant shrug is testament to his strength of character; however, by 1966 it lay in tatters, broken like a hopeless captive. ‘Just - because-you’reparanoid-don’t-mean-they’re-notafter-you’, hushed a sagacious fellow. For the unassuming farmer’s boy, the maxim became a twisted reality. With his nerves unravelling, his initial absence from duties culminated in an official statement: “Gene Clark was leaving The Byrds”.... The press and fans gasped in shock. As for McGuinn and Crosby, they calmly dusted their palms, folded their arms and eyed the prize... To be continued in Part 2, The Byrds Of Prey, featured now at bidolito.co.uk


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Bido Lito! March 2012

Reviews acoustic performances, which only serve to massage their egos rather than add any real depth to the set, but these can be forgiven as they do go some way to highlighting the strength of the band as a unit. CYHSY are most definitely at their best when firing on all cylinders, playing the upbeat pop that they set out to present in their eponymous 2005 debut album. That is not to say that they have not or should not progress musically; rather, they should recognise where their strengths lie. When they play to those strengths, CYHSY are a joy to behold. Jonny Davis

FRÁNÇOIS & THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS Southern – Silent Sleep Harvest Sun @ Leaf Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Jennifer Pellegrin)

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH Meursault

Evol @ O2 Academy 2 Supporting CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH for the duration of their European tour are Edinburgh-based epic-rockers MEURSAULT. Through a thick Scottish accent singer Neil Pennycook weaves tales of love, loss, hope and disappointment with a wit and sincerity that is characteristic of musicians north of the border. He possesses a powerful voice and, more importantly, he knows how

and when to use it as he seamlessly shifts from conversational tone to mighty roar at the flick of a chord change. This deftness of sonic control is equalled by the subtly swelling instrumentation that allows for hanging notes and negative spaces. It is however quite hard to see past the very standard nature of the song structures. All too often the direction of the song becomes clear very early on, which weakens the crescendos when they arrive fully expected. At times it does come across a bit ‘Mumford go electric’. Fronted by Alec Ounsworth, CYHSY skulk onstage in front of a satisfyingly healthy audience. They have come a

long way since their DIY debut record and it is nice to see that they still attract a lot of love. Ounsworth’s distinctive voice resonates with an historical familiarity borrowed from the wail of bands like Television and Violent Femmes. Now three albums into their career, CYHSY have built a fine repertoire of alt-pop would-be hits, of which the dark vibes of Satan Said Dance and the blissful notebending of The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth stand out tonight. There is a timeless quality to many of the songs, aided by a knack for the simplest of hooks that can arrive from any angle. There are one or two missteps that take the form of solo

FRÁNÇOIS & THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS are here to perform tracks from their new, palindromically-titled album Evolo Love. Essentially the work of one man, Fránçois Marry, the band are the first French act to sign to Domino Records. Using quirky French pop, noise seizures and elements of DnB, the rich repertoire of his orchestrallike scores with their array of gadgets and instruments means the support acts tonight have a lot to live up to. First on the bill comes SILENT SLEEP, aka soloist Chris McIntosh. There’s a sense of predictability in the air, but McIntosh manages to produce heart-felt weighty songs. It’s not until You Can Colour Me In that he takes full control over his guitar,


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Bido Lito! March 2012

producing an unexpected bridge that’s like a super-8 film recording autumn leaves floating past the lens. A clearly talented musician, McIntosh needs to unleash this concealed depth to his music. Belfast three-piece SOUTHERN provide the main support for the evening. There’s good use of reverb with high-pitch soars set against fuzzed-up guitars. After some fine tuning, Where The Wild Are promises to be a knock-out track. With You! Me! Dancing!-type guitars and a pulsing bass/drum combo, they create a sound like something the Raveonettes would claim as their own. They end with World Don’t Shine, a constricting blues number that becomes a melodic quagmire for the band, where they fail to embellish the riffs they establish, as good as they are. Flying onto the floor with the energy of a child at the seaside, Fránçois joins his band on stage, hugging his guitar – his dancing partner for the evening. With bright, bird-like textures and synthed-flute, we’re tricked into

Reviews

GZA (Marie Hazelwood)

viewing the performance as a lighthearted French C86-esque pop. But it is clearly evident that Fránçois has more up his sleeve this evening, warping twee into a cacophony of battling keyboards.

Amidst bubbly underwater keyboard noises, organ pangs, and whining theremin, Fránçois holds his chest mid song and pines, “Son Coeur!” then dramatically throws open his clenched fist as though to cast his heart away. The moving seasideorgan ballad Slow Love uses celestial harmonies, which culminates in a synchronised arm-waving exercise with Fránçois parading his guitar like an air rifle amongst the crowd. Using African drums to emulate the sound of dripping water, together with a subaqua pumping bass, immediately fills the audience with echoes of the sea. Nicely wrapping up the evening is Piscine, which gradually builds to the point of explosion. It's a culmination of the band’s sound: a depth of happiness and euphoric exaltation, exemplified by the drummer’s outstretched tongue, and crazy clapping from all. Amy Greir

GZA

The Commission - Mr2G O2 Academy 2 When you think of old-school hip hop, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan instantly spring to mind. So when

you’re the opening support act for the founding member of Wu-Tang, you’re going to want to somehow leave a mark on the crowd through your performance. With their own distinctive expression of hip hop, THE COMMISSION present a religious and reflective side to the genre through their lyrics. Rappers Siye Tomney and Mico Simonde passionately take over the stage, oozing with professionalism as they take turns in rapping verses, swiftly shifting from one to the other in perfect timing for the next lyric to be uttered. Undoubtedly a great act to begin with to set the standard for this hip hop-filled night. Too bad that the next act is an anti-climax then: MR2G feels that a successful way to grab the audience’s attention is to repeat “I go by the name of 2G” at every rising opportunity during his tracks which, needless to say, is like hammering your head against a wall over and over and over. Despite this, 2G is to be given some credit in that his distinctive Scouse accent brings a unique quality to his rapping: it’s some relief that this is the main focus of his performance, as the backing tracks get samey and the lyrics are hardly original. By the time GZA finally takes to the stage the venue is bursting with


23

Reviews Bido Lito! March 2012 the humbling feeling of nostalgia. Notably, the venue’s small size gives this particular gig an intimate feel, and allows GZA to connect quicker with the audience through his performance. Starting off with a bang, the songs he goes through reintroduce the old-school style of hip hop that Wu-Tang Clan represented (and indeed still represent), making a bold statement that classic flows will never die out or fade into the background. The crowd is madly pumped and in a sing-along mood, highlighting just how much of an influence and inspiration the old style of hip hop has on today’s music industry, as well as identifying how much it has changed since Wu-Tang’s prime (the contrast with Rick Ross and Jay-Z and other big names of today couldn’t be more marked). Though the backing tracks are simple, leaden and lacking much variety in terms of tempo, there is a lot of emphasis placed on the lyrics themselves: GZA regularly removes himself from the

backing music to emphasise certain rapped sequences as much to break up his own constant delivery flow. If you are a hip hop lover, or just a Wu-Tang nut, then his performance from the Genius is as near to perfection as you’re likely to get. Katerina Koumourou

KING CREOSOTE & JON HOPKINS Withered Hand

The Capstone Theatre It seemed the most unlikely of pairings but the compressed paradox that is Kenny 'KING CREOSOTE' Anderson & JON HOPKINS is a sweet combination. Devotees of The Fence Collective - a conglomerate of musicians under the record label founded by Anderson - will already be familiar with the ambient folk music of King Creosote. The addition of Jon Hopkins on their 2011 Mercury

nominated album Diamond Mine, provides a whole new dimension and depth to the music. They are supported tonight by WITHERED HAND, aka Dan Wilson, a musician from the Fence Collective stable, who possesses a strong voice which gets a little creaky and strained at times. His performance becomes quite endearing as he eases into his set, which clearly focuses on his lyrical storytelling. Sometimes it’s overwrought, but Wilson is obviously no stranger to off-kilter hooks and reflective melodies. The night’s headliners waste no time when they take to the stage, immediately launching into Diamond Mine, with no introduction and no audience participation between songs. The intimate stylings and the clarity of production pack an emotional punch that’s hard to fully comprehend. Jon Hopkins provides a stunning soundscape to illustrate the lyrical musings of fishermen on the coast of Fife, and seems more than

comfortable playing the piano and the accordion almost simultaneously. Anderson's voice is genuinely brilliant - powerful, yet haunting, carrying all the memories and poignancy built up over a lifetime. A true homage to the craft of song-writing, John Taylor's Month Away is a standout track, a slow burner evoking ethereal thoughts of the rustic coastal village, all the while having an opiate effect on the senses. As the play through of Diamond Mine comes to a close, Anderson finally addresses his entranced audience in his self-effacing, warm and witty manner. As he re-tunes ready for some covers, Hopkins takes the opportunity to show off his melodic composition Small Memory Memory, before they reunite on some charming realisations of Nothing Compares To York You and Only Living Boy In New York. King Creosote & Jon Hopkin’s partnership is a solid one, their rapport and mutual appreciation for the other's talent being clear from the

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outset. Hopkins’ subtle arrangement brings out the best in Anderson's voice, creating a minimalist vibe that is not so much melancholy but tranquil and hypnotic. A diamond performance. Lisa O’Dea

BANGERS

Truro - Only Strangers Yam Yam Punk @ Basement 20 Basement 20 is fast becoming the new home of the Liverpool punk scene. Their gig calendar is filling up at a prodigious rate of knots and it’s thanks in no small part to the efforts of Yam Yam Promotions, who came along exactly one year ago and gave the scene a much needed kick up the arse. Tonight is Yam Yam’s first birthday and they’ve managed to coax Cornwall trio BANGERS up from the south coast to celebrate the occasion by headlining the show. With Wigan’s TRURO - who played the first ever Yam Yam show in support, it’s a mouth-watering lineup and one that throws us a rather pleasing curveball early on. When four rather well turned-out young scamps sneak gingerly on stage, we groan and brace ourselves for an unabashed looting of Sum 41’s back catalogue. But first act ONLY STRANGERS exceed all expectations. Their lead vocalist sounds like he’s had razorblades for breakfast - think Rancid’s Matt Freeman on Black Derby Jacket and you’re close. Hailing from Stoke, where they admit “there’s fuck all going on,” Only Strangers play the type of melodic gruff-punk popularised by Hot Water Music et al, and despite a slight absence of stage presence, they make up for it with big-hearted punk anthems delivered with energy and verve. Keep a close eye on this lot. Next up are Truro, who lean further towards a more hardcore sound, but despite boasting impressive technicality and precision, the songs rarely deviate from frantic speed punk, and we’re left a tad underwhelmed. Only a 30-second NOFX cover is met

with boisterous pint-raising assent. Bangers - in Liverpool for the second time - are making considerable waves on the UK punk scene at the moment, and from the opening chord it’s easy to see why. There’s something a little bit special about this lot - gravelthroated guitarist Roo Pescod roars his way through the rousing choruses and their mid-paced, shout-along punk is certainly more accessible than the likes of Truro’s, but having an ear for a great hook is where their true appeal lies. Album bookends Making Friends and A New Raymondo are nothing short of sublime - the latter contains a delicious guitar lick that bursts through the next morning’s beer-fug and is a sign that they could make a real name for themselves if they keep producing goods like these. Bangin’ anthems indeed. Pete Charles

SHIELD YOUR EYES The Left Hand – Eyes

Behind The Wall Of Sleep @ Next To Nowhere Opening an evening of discordant eclecticism are three-piece EYES. Consisting of simple, picked guitar chords, skittering drums and spoken word lyrics, the idea is simple and, on occasions, affecting. Each song follows a similar route, gradually building in intensity until it inevitably decays in a haze of distortion. The small crowd isn’t particularly receptive to the noises made by Eyes, however. Maybe this is because there is something unexpectedly and perhaps unintentionally confrontational about poetry; it speaks frankly and directly and, as such, is more akin to everyday situations than sung lyrics and musical escapism ever can be. THE LEFT HAND possess a sort of Germanic kosmische sound that one could perhaps imagine being played in London’s UFO club in the late 60s. There is a playfulness to the chord structures that leads the songs down unexpected and often interesting paths. Due to its very nature, journeys


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Bido Lito! March 2012

Reviews

in psychedelic music can offer as many dead ends as open roads, and as such the set flickers between moments of energising vitality and almost draining futility. The Left Hand must however be commended for their openness to experimentation with effects, tempi and lateral sonic thinking. SHIELD YOUR EYES are quite a rare beast. They have the ability to switch pace, change direction and pursue ridiculous tangents without seeming at all contrived. For this reason the lazy ‘math rock’ genre often thrown their way is rather illfitting. The shape-shifting nature of the songs feels organic and once you get inside their mindset you quickly become anaesthetised to the jarring, whiplash-inducing changes in direction. To this end, Shield Your Eyes would fit far more comfortably with a looser ‘progressive’ tag. If we continue to ‘dance about architecture’ then a reasonable reference-based description of SYE for the uninitiated would be as follows: Two Gallants borrowing Lightning Bolts’ equipment to play Chrik songs with added Isaac Brock solos. If that doesn’t sound like a compelling live performance, then this band aren’t for you. The intensity of tonight’s performance is electric, containing everything from ferocious harmonica solos to cripplingly awkward silences between songs. It is clear that SYE have no intention of flirting with the polished sound of mainstream rock. Here’s hoping it stays that way. Jonny Davis

JOSH ROUSE AND THE LONG VACATIONS Dead Flamingoes

Harvest Sun @ The Black-E First up tonight are DEAD FLAMINGOES’ Kami Thompson and James Walbourne. The description they give themselves is “a musical collaboration”. Now, I’m always a bit suspicious of collaborations, and in

Josh Rouse and The Long Vacations (John Johnson)

the case of Dead Flamingoes it is not without foundation. The daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson, Kami brings the subtle and heart-wrenching persona while James brings the audacity and the skills. Drugs And Money and Habit target the darker side of Americana that has served many well in the last decade, and though Thompson is at pains to point out that the songs aren’t really about narcotics and the sordid, Walbourne doesn’t look so sure. As competent as they are, this looks like a marriage of convenience that may and should be a fleeting one. Josh Rouse has travelled aplenty since his Nebraskan birth and so the troubadour cap fits him well. Now finding himself in Spain, he has brought together two talented multi-instrumental chaps, Xema Fuertes and Caio Bellvesser, to make up the band JOSH ROUSE AND THE LONG VACATIONS, coming together for the first time on his most recent Latin-flavoured album of the same name. He kicks it off with a new song, Heart Full Of Love, which beds in the audience neatly for what is to come. Oh Look What The Sun Did is a charm, with its tempting line of “I don’t mind Monday staying at home, I ain’t going in today”. An ominous sentiment for a typically shit post-Christmas January it cheers me up, anyway. When Rouse’s dreamily lavish voice

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

is joined in harmony by Fuertes on Middle School Frown things really get cooking, a little tale of teenage years peppered with the meanness and melancholia that swallow up many an adolescent. The crowd seems to have shrugged off any resolutions as the bar keeps adding impromptu percussion as bottles are being opened, and the snatches of bossa nova beats drag more and more of them into the head-bobbing swing. It is always to the reviewer’s chagrin to wonder who the artist sounds like, and while Rouse has the vibe of the archetypal 70s singer-songwriter running through his veins, he does a pretty good job at being just Josh Rouse. This is no small feat in an overcrowded and over-influenced genre - it’s a difficult tightrope to walk and if you fall off you can fall into putrid David Gray territory. Thankfully this isn’t the case here. Going for his big guns in the encore, Sad Eyes and Love Vibrations finally draw the crowd in to a sing-along. Job successfully done, Mr Troubadour. Mick Chrysalid

ERRORS

Remember Remember – Ninetails Evol @ The Kazimier NINETAILS play a mixture of funktinged, mathematically-inclined rock


Liverpool’s International Arts Venue March Terry Seabrook’s Milestones Play ‘Kind of Blue’ 19:30 Thursday 1 March £12.50 Neil Campbell’s The Bulbs 20:00 Saturday 3 March £10 Sell a Door presents William Golding’s Lord of the Flies 19:30 Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 March £12 (£10 concessions) Theatre Unlimited presents Stalin’s Favourite 19:30 Tuesday 20 March £12 (£9 concessions) Theatre Unlimited presents Defying Hitler 19:30 Wednesday 21 March £12 (£9 concessions)

April Chamber The Neil Cowley Trio featuring Mount Molehill Strings 19:30 Thursday 22 March £17.50 Murder, Mayhem, Mystery and Architecture: An Evening with Frank Carlyle 19:30 Friday 23 March £8 (£5 concessions) Andre Canniere 19:30 Wednesday 28 March £10 Judie Tzuke 19:30 Thursday 29 March £22.50

19:30 Friday 20 April £10 (£8 concessions)

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio 19:30 Tuesday 24 April £12.50

May Kolectiv Theatre presents Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot 19:30 Thursday 10, Friday 11, Saturday 12 May £12 (£8 concessions)

Martin Taylor and Martin Simpson 19:30 Thursday 26 April £17.50

Milapfest presents Music for the Mind and Soul: Sur 13:00 Saturday 28 April Free

Phronesis 19:30 Saturday 19 May £12.50

Milapfest presents Music for the Mind and Soul: Tarun Bhattacharya & Pravin Golkhindi 13:00 Saturday 26 May Free

Milapfest presents Music for the Mind and Soul: Rajeeb Chakraborty 13:00 Saturday 31 March Free

www.thecapstonetheatre.com e-mail: creative@hope.ac.uk Box Office: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP. Tel: 0151 709 3789 Venue Address: The Capstone Theatre, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP. Tel: 0151 291 3578

‘Hilarious... it gets no better than this!’ Time Out ‘Inspired. Comedy so bright it almost blinds you!’ London Evening Standard

Sun 11th March, 8:00pm.

DIANE SPENCER + OPENER IAN SMITH Sun 15th April, 8:00pm.

JOHN ROBINS + OPENER PAUL RICKETS Sun 13th May, 8:00pm.

WIL HODGESON + OPENER TBA

Sun 10th June, 8:00pm.

ANDREW O’NEIL + OPENER CHRIS TAVNER Sun 8th July, 8:00pm. Fri 16th March, 7:30pm. STANDARD £14.50 PRIMA DONNA £12.33 SOUBRETTE £13.05

CHRIS RAMSEY + OPENER ALUN COCHRANE COMEDY £10.00 COMEDY & TWO COURSE MEAL £20.00 Meal served in the Panoramic Lounge, 5:45pm to 7:15pm.

To save money with our ‘‘Bunch Bunch of Laughs Laughs’’ offer, please contact the Box Office.


28

Bido Lito! March 2012

Reviews

with more than a hint of the influence of Foals. Although at times the wilfully obtuse time signatures threaten to overshadow the songs, there is much substance to their work. Clearly a lot of care has been taken with the construction of the arrangements, and when they pull it off Ninetails make some really excellent sounds. The set is backloaded with their most progressive and exciting material, which shows a band pushing themselves further and further into more interesting realms. ERRORS’ tour supports and fellow Glaswegians REMEMBER REMEMBER are a seven-strong team featuring glockenspiel, saxophone and a host of FX and loop-based pedals. They get off to a slow start where not much seems to happen, although this could be down to technical difficulties. Once into their stride, the band are capable of creating some wonderfully slow-moving pieces that are given a sombre texture by drawn out saxophone notes and bassheavy synthesizer. Finishing on the

Errors (Marie Hazelwood)

endlessly happy children’s TV theme sounds of John Candy, Candy head honcho Graeme Ronald makes his way into the crowd to soak up his own creation and appreciate the sparkling sounds his bandmates are producing. Contrived it may be but he has every right to bask in the light-filled noise, as it truly is delightful. Having created such a richly layered third album in Have Some Faith In Magic, it is easy to forget that Errors are still just a three-piece with a relatively simple live set-up. The addition of reverb-drenched vocals adds a great deal to their current sound and seems to push the band in a simpler motorik direction (think a marriage of New Order and Wooden Shjips). There is now a clear distinction between the old and new songs, making for an eclectic set that flickers between dour, brooding Gregorian chants and uptempo house-inflicted pop songs. This diversity adds a sense of grandeur and authority to a band that have always been a thrilling live act but have until

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The Bido Lito! Directory RECORDING & RREHEARSAL EHEARSAL SSTUDIOS TUDIOS Whitewood Recording Studio / City Centre 25 Parliament Street Elevator building / Relaxing & professional environment to record, mix & master your music / whitewoodrecordingstudio.com / info@whitewoodrecordingstudio.com Elevator Recording Studio / Clients inc. The Maccabees, The Zutons, The Wombats, The Coral / Fantastic recording space & brilliant in-house engineer / City Centre location / 0151 255 0195 / elevatorstudios.com Sandhills Recording Studio / Features beautiful acoustics, SSL4024E console, mouthwatering collection of outboard, microphones & vintage backline / £165 per day / 0151 933 7379 / shstudios.co.uk Crosstown Studios / City Centre recording and production studio / Experienced engineer / Lots of inhouse equipment / Flexible hours & reasonable rates / 07841 746 575 / crosstownstudios.co.uk Andy Fernihough / Sound engineer / Music production / Recording studio / Good rates, great results / Based at Crash Rehearsal Studios / 07929 603 456 / ferniha@virginmedia.com Crash Rehearsal Studios / Practice rooms hourly and long term / Backline & PA hire / Storage / Licensed bar / Liverpool City Centre / Previous clients inc. Lou Reed, Cast, The View / 0151 236 0989 / crashstudios.co.uk

Russell J. Cottier / Record Producer / Extensive commercial discography credits / 07906 376 701 / russellcottier.com City Rehearsal Studios / £30.00 for four hours including PA system, bass amp & drum kit / Based near Stanley Street in Liverpool City Centre / 07711 661 476 / facebook.com/cityrehearsalstudios Milk:Rehearsal Studios / 132 Bold Street / £25 for four hours with Full Backline Provided (drum kit, bass amp, guitar amp & PA) / 0151 709 5874 / 07554 196 894 / info@milkpresents.co.uk Elevator Rehearsal Studios / State of the art, acoustically treated studios / 24hr access / Available permanently or by the session / Dale St & Upper Parliament St locations / 0151 255 0195 / elevatorstudios.com

PA, LIGHTING IGHTING & TECH Total Control Sound / Professional PA & Lighting hire / Full Event Management available / Clients inc. Echo & The Bunnymen & Edwyn Collins / 07968 911 097 / 07719 439 988 / info@totalcontrolsound.com

29

PRESSING & DUPLICATION PRESSING DUPLICATION

P PHOTOGRAPHERS

Payper Cut Print and Press / Hand screen printed record sleeves & CD duplication / Limited edition screen printed gig posters / Visit Payper Cut facebook page / paypertiger@gmail.com

Luke Avery Photography / Promo shoots, portraiture, advertising, retouching / 07729 308 307 / luke-avery.com / info@luke-avery.com

INDUSTRY SERVICES INDUSTRY SERVICES Another Media / Marketing & PR campaigns for various events / Poster & flyer distribution across Merseyside & beyond / Full design & print services / 0151 708 2841 / info@anothermedia.org McEntegart Legal Ltd / Experienced Music & Entertainment lawyers in Liverpool / Contracts, advice & negotiation services / 0151 255 0400 / info@mclegal.co.uk / mclegal.co.uk The Music Consortium / Event & Production Management / Festival Crewing & Stage Building / Set & Show Design / Clients Worldwide, Liverpool Based / We work with the best for a reason / themusicconsortium.com Words and Deeds / Proofreading & professional writing services / ‘Let me turn your deeds into words.’ / 07783 997 129 / debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

Jack Whiteley / Music Videography / Music Videos / EPKs / Live / 07707121507 / info@jackwhiteley.co.uk / jackwhiteley.co.uk Jennifer Pellegrini / Freelance photographer with an intimate & candid style / Promotional and live music photography / Bido Lito! Photo Editor / 07709 809 994 / jenniferpellegrini@ live.com / jennifer-pellegrini.com Freakbeat Films / HD music videos, promos and all that jazz / Previous work for The Loud, Dead Cities & Bido Lito!’s Lecky Lunar Sessions / freakbeatfilms@hotmail.co.uk / Vimeo.com/freakbeatfilms

VACANCIES Sentric Music is looking for a parttime intern to assist its music synchronisation team / Must be tech savvy & have a keen ear for music / Email CV to jobs@sentricmusic.com

T TUITION David Kelly Drum Tuition / Energetic, fun & personalised tuition in Liverpool City Centre / Fully equipped studio / 1st lesson 20% off & a free pair of drumsticks / 07825 519 320 / davidkellydrumtuition.co.uk

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


30

Bido Lito! March 2012

Reviews Any semblance of order is truly gone by the time Sunday evening comes around. With only hours of Threshold Festival 2012 left, the

Organ Freeman (Matt Thomas)

now only ever skirted the perimeter of critical acclaim. The well-deserved hype surrounding the latest LP ensures that The Kazimier is buzzing with mad, inebriated dancers and Errors are clearly appreciative of the wild response they receive. For once talent and acclaim go hand in hand. Jonny Davis

THRESHOLD FESTIVAL The THRESHOLD festivities are well under way by the time the beautiful SHONA FOSTER takes to the Camp & Furnace Liverpool Live/ Under The Influence Stage. Oozing class and beauty, Foster is flanked by two dapper chaps on guitar and keys, and the stripped-back nature really enhances her quirky folk pop sound for the enthralled audience. The honky tonk trill of Hard Work is a highlight, demonstrating Fosterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

knack for unusual song structures and powerful choruses. The Blade Factory Main Stage plays host to FONETIKS, a lively three-piece of guitar, drums and what can only be described as a veritable smorgasbord of effects. What these guys lack in technical ability they make up for in high octane energy and raw potential which, to a degree, allows us to turn a blind eye to some slightly unimaginative guitar and drum patterns, and weak vocals. MUTO LEO overflow from the Blade Factory Main Stage, producing epic soundscapes perfectly juxtaposed with angular guitar riffs and furious beats. It's Foals meets Mogwai in a battle of attrition that leaves the band suitably sweaty and the crowd undoubtedly impressed. Despite a shaky start, with sound problems unavoidable in this expansive warehouse venue, CAROUSEL turn in a characteristically

refined performance on the Under The Influence Stage. Understated synths and downbeat drums accentuate singer Ross Nicholson's beautifully constructed lyricism. With glorious crescendos contrasted by spacious, ethereal sections, it's a perfect balance between lo fi electro pop and downbeat post rock. Headliners of the Liverpool Live/ Under The Influence Stage LOU LU & THE BOY are out to show they deserve their slot, and they do so in style. Combining pitch perfect three-part harmonies and sly, gritty lyricism with subtle guitar hooks, Lucy, Lou and Roy stand out by refusing to conform with anything on the Liverpool scene right now. Set closer Run, Johnny, Run burns with smart, cynical lyrics and they dish out pop hooks left, right and centre; the band somehow avoid sounding clichĂŠd or rehashed, to produce a unique sound that speaks of experience and potential.

atmosphere of organised-chaos suits STATEMENT HAIRCUT down to the ground. Filing onto the stage with little more than a guitar, laptop and synth, the two-piece produce expansive electro pop with crunchy guitar riffs thrown in for good measure. It's a delicate balance between producing catchy electro and well crafted sunshine pop: perhaps Statement Haircut aren't quite there yet, but there were moments of their set on the Blade Factory Main Stage that showed just how good this band could be. Dashing around the corner to the Picket, NATALIE McCOOL glides onto the stage to dazzle the audience, literally as well as metaphorically thanks to a particularly sparkly dress. Often singersongwriters struggle to transfer songs from delicate acoustic beginnings to a full band set-up without detracting from the subtlety of the original. McCool has no such problem with a euphoric, almost anthemic sound that hypnotises the packed Picket. Wandering back towards Camp & Furnace it is impossible not to be charmed by the unabashedly enigmatic ORGAN FREEMAN. Causing quite a stir both on and off the stage, this band somehow achieve a punk aesthetic without ever picking up a guitar. As retro-programmed synths and clattering drums fill the Blade Factory Main Stage, it's hard to take the band seriously. This doesn't detract though as they put smiles on the faces of every person in the room as their singers bound from one side of the room to the other, hurling out raucous vocals ranging from guttural screams to genuine harmony. Much like the festival itself, it's captivating and well...lots of fun. Chris Chadwick, Tom Jefferson


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AND GET YOUR MUS I C CA R E E R ON T R A CK If you’re a local band, group or solo artist, then send us your track and you could win a recording session at the famous Rockfield Studios and an opportunity to perform at the world famous Liverpool Cavern. We’re also offering you the chance to record an exclusive live session for Bido Lito! - The Liverpool Music Magazine. Visit www.merseyrail.org/unsigned for more information or to upload your track.

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Issue 20 / March 2012  

March 2012 issue of Bido Lito! Featuring LAURA J MARTIN, SUN DRUMS, FADED GOLD, WILD BEASTS and much more.

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