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Kankouran All We Are Sound Of Guns Record Store Day www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk

Kankouran by Khalil Musa

Issue 21 April 2012

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Bido Lito! April 2012

Editorial

Yesterday, I’ll be completely honest, was shit. Gripped by the vice of a hangover of gargantuan proportions, myself and Mikey Lee headed over to Derbyshire for Tranmere’s basement battle with rock bottom Chesterfield. Thanks to the iPhone, rather than landing at Chesterfield’s tidy little B2net Stadium (a positive and welcome counterbalance to the largely awful proliferation of supermarket-funded lower league football grounds on retail parks) we landed, ten minutes before kick off, in an industrial estate in Alfreton - a full eight miles from the actual ground. Seething, we burned it back into Chesterfield. Arriving twenty minutes late, The atmosphere was acidic as the away crowd, like a lynch mob, bayed for Les Parry’s blood. The players were terrified, the performance was nervy and fractured, and we got beat. Within hours word had leaked onto Twitter that Parry had been sacked. But now, here I am, bouncing around the living room like a kid on Christmas morning. “It’s Ronnie!” reads the text Mikey Lee has just sent through, and a quick flick to the club site confirms it. I feel fickle and dirty; filled with elation after feeling so sorry for Les...but it’s Ronnie, our Ronnie! The wrongs have been righted! There’s a post on The Cowsheds (Tranmere’s web forum for all you reds, blues, non-believers and people that don’t give a monkey’s) which reads something along these lines “I’ve just woken up from a three year coma and my missus has told me that Ronnie Moore was sacked after we missed out on the play-offs on the last day of the season...we brought in fucking John Barnes and Jason McAteer...we’ve hit the national headlines after being listed for sale on eBay by some yank sales company...the fans led a coup...Peter Johnson sacked dumb and dumber, with Sky Sports News broadcasting live from outside Prenton Park as McAteer and Barnes bundle big John’s push bike into the back of a 4x4...we appoint our completely inexperienced, lovable-comedian of a physiotherapist as manager...over two years later, we’ve sacked him and Ronnie is back. Surely she’s taking the piss?” I couldn’t put it any better. After two wins and a draw from three home games, including the first time we’ve come from behind to win in 177 games, I’ve found myself looking at how far we are off sixth. I’ll never, ever learn. Enjoy the game. Enjoy the mag. Craig G Pennington Editor

Features 6

KANKOURAN

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Bido Lito!

Issue Twenty One - April 2012 bidolito.co.uk Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane Liverpool, L1 9JD Editor Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk

8

ALL WE ARE

Assistant Editor Christopher Torpey - reviews@bidolito.co.uk Assistant Reviews Editor Naters Philip - live@bidolito.co.uk

10 RECORD STORE DAY

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

12 SOUND OF GUNS

Proofreading Debra Williams - debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

14 BUT TWO CAME BY

Regulars 4 NEWS 16 PREVIEWS/SHORTS 18 REVIEWS 30 GUEST COLUMN

Words Craig G Pennington, Christopher Torpey, Jonny Davis, Chris Chadwick, Peter Charles, Joseph Viney, Lizzie Nunnery, Richard Lewis, Andy Ng, N. Philip, Chris Malkin, Lisa O’Dea, Thomas Jefferson Photography, Illustration and Layout Jennifer Pellegrini, Mike Brits, Khalil Musa, John Johnson, Adam Edwards, Moorea Masa, David Howarth, Keith Ainsworth Adverts To advertise ads@bidolito.co.uk

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News

Bido Lito! Dansette Our pick of this month’s wax wonders...

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

Liverpool Sound City 2012 Update Festival organisers have released the latest batch of artists confirmed to play this year’s SOUND CITY festival, taking place between 17th and 19th May. They’ve pulled off a real coup in snaring The Wedding Present, as well as The Temper Trap, Kids In Glass Houses, James Vincent McMorrow and Eugene McGuinness among others. Keep up to date with upcoming announcements and ticket details on liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

Take Care Records Label Launch TAKE CARE RECORDS is a brand new label hosting artists from Merseyside and beyond, including The Sun Electric Band, Rusts, Matt Reekie and Forest Lawn. Describing themselves as “a collective of like-minded friends, musicians, producers and promoters working together to make good things happen,” Take Care certainly have the right attitude. Show your support for independent music and get on down to their launch night at Mello Mello on 14th April. takescare.co.uk

GIT Awards Shortlist To Be Announced With the preliminary rounds of judging underway whittling down the 400 plus entries, the GIT AWARD is close to announcing its shortlist of artists to be considered for the inaugural award. The twelve nominees will be announced on 26th March, with the awards night to be held at Leaf on 27th April. To keep up to date with the latest news follow the GIT Award on getintothis.co.uk

Africa Oyé 2012 This year sees the UK’s largest African music and culture event AFRICA OYÉ enter its 20th year of existence. To mark this milestone the organisers have announced the first set of acts in what promises to be yet another belter of a festival. Yellowman is back by popular demand after a successful 2011 UK tour, and other early highlights set to grace sunny Sefton Park include Samba Mapangala & Orchestra Virunga. For more information on line up announcements visit africaoye.com

Free Bido Lito! Subscription With All Sound City Wristbands Yes that’s right, as a special treat for this month we are offering a free three-month subscription to Bido Lito! Magazine for anyone who buys a Sound City wristband from bidolito.co.uk, up until 26th April. Not bad eh? As well as wristbands for the festival, you can buy tickets for a growing number of shows on the ever expanding Bido Lito! Gig Guide, the only comprehensive online gig listing in Liverpool. Head over to bidolito.co.uk now.

COMPETITION!

This month’s competition is a particularly juicy one… In association with Payper Tiger Records, Bido Lito! are producing a limited edition run of cassette tapes exclusively for Record Store Day. GAME THEORY will feature the cream of local musical talent, with FORST SWORDS, BILL RYDER-JONES and CLINIC confirmed. We’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win an exclusive, one-off copy of the cassette signed by the bands, and to win it answer this question: Bill Ryder-Jones used to play guitar in which band? a) The Coral b) Reef c) Country Joe And The Fish

To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer to competition@bidolito.co.uk. The closing date is Saturday 21st April. All correct answers will be placed in a big pink hat, 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

By The Sea Waltz Away THE GREAT POP SUPPLEMENT Featuring on the NME Radar as tip of the day, it seems BY THE SEA's net has been cast much further than the banks of the Wirral. Dipping its toe in the familiar sonic waters of hazy Americana, Waltz Away is a luscious, laid back trip through the sounds of the 60s.

Incan Abraham Ancient Vacation UNSIGNED The third EP from these glossy Californians, Ancient Vacation is a drifting exploration of psychedelia and subtle ambient textures, featuring some wonderful vocal hooks. The addition of memory laden synths make for blissful swoons that will haunt you for days.

Pond Beards, Wives, Denim MODULAR RECORDINGS Nostalgic and clattering psych rock from the Aussie bush normally has Tame Impala’s grubby fingerprints on it, and POND unsurprisingly conform on all the right points. It’s ramshackle, bombastic, self indulgent and utterly brilliant, and in Fantastic Explosion Of Time has the best song name EVER.

Cool Runnings Spirit Of The High DRACULA HORSE With the stomp of The Doors and the crunch of The Black Angels, this recently self-released 7” from Tennessee’s COOL RUNNINGS has all the hallmarks of a classic, and B-side Badlands has an equally rough mix of reverb drenched riffery and warbling organ lines – essential listening.


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


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Bido Lito! April 2012

KanKouran The Pa PaTh PaT h To enlighTenmenT

Words: Christopher Torpey Photography: Khalil Musa Mass exposure can be a dangerous thing, especially at the intense level that KANKOURAN have been subjected to lately. Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past few months you’ve probably heard Rivers, Kankouran’s tribal, thumping, coming of age anthem that racked up over 300,000 views online, which dovetailed neatly with the Skins trailer it soundtracked. As well as being a fantastic publicity tool, this level of exposure can also stop a project dead in its tracks, certainly if it’s too much too soon. Observing the

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freshly formed five-piece Kankouran that sit in front of me today – quietly brimming from a third round of intense rehearsing, writing and playing badminton – there’s reason to suggest that the former is definitely the case. Written, recorded and produced by Tarek Musa almost a year ago, and featuring the yearning vocals of Evelyn Burke, Rivers is the reason why the dark shadow of a West African witch doctor is the name on everybody’s lips. With Burke no longer a member of team Kankouran, the band’s founder

Musa (Bass, Vocals) is now joined by former Dire Wolfe sparring partner Joe Wills (Guitars) and frequent sparring partner in surf rock project The Bodyboarders, Pete Darlington (Guitars, Vocals). Drummer Fabian Prynn and “vibe master” Rob Lewis (Organ) complete the fluid lineup, which has the feel of a collective that are happy to be pulling together in the same direction. The five are at pains to point out that “this is our baby”, a vehicle for their combined creative outpourings, which is perhaps confusing when compared with the way Kankouran


Bido Lito! April 2012 has been presented to us thus far. Of the two songs currently available online – Rivers appears alongside It’s Alright, Follow on their Bandcamp page – Musa is credited with all the songwriting and production, to the extent that it almost looks like his solo project. Is this the way it was started then? “I don’t know if it was just me calling out to want to be in a band again,” explains Musa, who has since put those two tracks in to the pot to get the ball rolling with this new setup. “I’d been in bands before and had a bit of a dry stint, I just wanted to be in a band again! What’s to come brings in all of our inputs, so it’s exciting to hear what songs they bring about.” Though this does present an enticing prospect, those two songs that have been devoured by eager fans and industry types alike must surely be a world away from how the band sounds now. “I wouldn’t say so really,” says Darlington, cutting off some half-hearted murmurs of agreement from the rest of the band, before Musa elaborates: “I think the songs are the same, the style is the same, but the production and aesthetics that we’re gonna go for are…rawer… I said to the guys yesterday, when we get in the rehearsal room let’s just go with what feels natural, and if it sounds like fun then let’s just play it like that.” And what of that sound then? One online blogger has termed Kankouran’s style as “cocktailed-up car crash rock”, which is as good a way as any of putting it. On the surface the fast-paced, pounding nature of

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Rivers and It’s Alright, Follow speak of a constantly shifting, yearning desire for change. Delve a little deeper and you’ll find a slightly darker heart to this band that gives them a sinister edge. “When I wrote Rivers,” Musa explains, “it was all based around growing up and how life turns round and hits you in the face sometimes.” Somewhat incongruously, Kankouran manage to combine this grand sound of impending doom with party rock anthems, without ever sounding as cheesy as that might suggest. The clipped, surfy guitars and towering organs lend a primal, almost Biblical soul to the songs, as if Arcade Fire, Glasser and Guards’ Richie Follin were jousting away in a darkened church, the reverb turned up to max, and the merest hint of an electronic rumble boiling underneath. Allied to this prevailing sonic imagery is the rather intriguing tagline ‘Heaven is when you know yourself which adorns Kankouran’s online presence. yourself’ This line, a lyric from an as yet unheard song, has become something of a mantra for the band. I wonder if this is the spiritual heart at the centre of Kankouran, that taps in to the gnostic teachings of Christian mystics? Alas, no: the blank looks on the band’s faces suggest that they’re blissfully unaware of the phrase’s connotations to the path to true spiritual enlightenment. Thought up by Darlington after a particularly wild three weeks in New York, he describes the line as a conclusion he came to when he finally reached a level of contentment. “It’s quite difficult to know yourself a lot of the time,” he states, “and when you do it feels great; you just accept who you are. There’s a lot of pressure on people to have to do certain things. I’m happy just doing what I do, playing guitar and writing songs with my friends. And I think that’s knowing yourself, when you can just accept that and get on with it.” Kankouran’s “home” is most definitely Liverpool, and they’re determined that their first live outing will be here in the not too distant future. Fully aware of the need to give their new songs and style time to develop away from the glare of the public eye, they have already turned down offers for tours and gigs, as well as label and press interest. This hints at a refreshingly patient desire to be self-sufficient, to craft it in right way. They’ve been fortunate enough to have been given this platform, and they see it as a real springboard. “It’s a long road, a long tough road,” points out Musa. Though it might not be the same road trodden by the middle-age Christian mystics, Kankouran’s path to enlightenment will no doubt be an illuminating journey. I for one am along for the ride. This month’s exclusive Obscenic Session with Kankouran will be online at bidolito.co.uk from the weekend of Saturday 31st March. kankouran.bandcamp.com

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Bido Lito! April 2012

Ripping Up The Textbook With All We Are In a disused primary school in Toxteth, across the abandoned playground and through the empty gymnasium, rules are being re-written. A Victorian classroom isn't a typical place to find a hotly-tipped folk band, but then ALL WE ARE are anything but typical. The classroom in question is drummer and vocalist Richard O'Flynn’s home, though he himself admits, “It's essentially our space.” It's a primal yet cosy setting: a mattress on the floor in one corner to sleep on, and floral printed sofas huddled together in another where Rich sits with band mates, Guro Gikling (Bass) and Luis Gustavo Santos (Guitar) and talks passionately about All We Are, their spontaneous formation and future goals. Most bands don't have a European tour booked before a rehearsal has even taken place but when Stealing Sheep, with whom Rich had previously toured as a solo act, came calling in June 2011 the seeds of a plan for something altogether more ambitious and expansive burst into life. “We played in various bands over the years,” says Guro, reclining into her seat. “During that time we kind of figured out that we would be better together than by ourselves.” Despite their collective experience and individual talent, this venture held new challenges for guitarist Luis and singer-songwriters, Guro and Rich. “I only started playing drums in June; Guro started playing bass and Luis started singing for this band,” admits Rich. “I remember the first practice when I was supposed to play bass and sing at the same time. It didn't work at all,” laughs Guro. “It was horrifying,” picks up Rich. “We had two weeks before our first gig of an expansive UK and EU tour.” Despite the seemingly insurmountable task, All We

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Are somehow managed to pull off the impossible, and far from heading out onto the continent unprepared, the three-piece emerged from a twoweek submersion in writing and rehearsal with a hazy set of delicately constructed, psychedelic folk tunes, laden with atmospheric harmonies and gently-effected guitar melodies. The four track, self-released demo that seeped quietly onto the internet in June last year was not the sound of a band searching for their identity. Instead the trio’s voices blend organically over simple bass lines and tribal rhythms while reverberating guitar adds a depth and maturity to the band’s sound. “The whole thing’s been easy because we’ve enjoyed it but we’ve worked hard to form this unit,” explains Rich. The work ethic that characterises All We Are’s approach to music is a strand that runs through everything they do. “Nobody has much money so you have to write your song, arrange, record, sometimes even mix. We do our own videos and promote ourselves on the internet,” says Luis. This DIY attitude is nothing new for musicians, but All We Are take the term to the next level, as Rich’s classroom living quarters demonstrate. The rent here is considerably less than anywhere else this close to the town centre. It allows Rich to survive by playing Irish pub gigs with Guro in Norway once or twice a month. “That stands us in good stead to invest a lot more time here,” he asserts. “But, by the same token, we're all broke.” Rich is effectively a guardian of the premises, but he’s not the only resident. Inside the school building nine more have made the classrooms their home, courtesy of

Words: Chris Chadwick Photography: Mike Brits

a scheme run by Ad Hoc, who are bringing unused buildings in the city to life by offering low-cost, alternative living. It’s a small community of creatives; people whose dedication to the pursuit of art and music overrides the desire for luxury living. Across a short patch of concrete from All We Are's annexe is a gymnasium synonymous with much of the emerging talent in Liverpool. Stealing Sheep have recorded here, so have Dan Croll, Jonas Alaska and Kankouran. “It's a real coming together of people pooling their resources and talents,” observes Rich. More recently, the hall has been echoing with the sounds of All We Are’s new EP We Hunt (released 1st May on Payper Tiger Records - with a launch show at St Brides Church on 28th April), half of which was recorded amongst the old blackboards and climbing bars. Blessed with the time and space to work on each minute detail of their first real release, the resulting tracks are more developed, more grandiose and expansive than their original recordings. The haunting ambience is still there; captured reflections from the mysterious spaces in which the band record. It’s a startling mixture of traditional folk melodies, vulnerable sparseness and a creeping psychedelia. We Hunt is a statement of intent; an admission that the band’s name is more than just that: it’s a confession. All We Are transcends its members. It engulfs them. It defines them. soundcloud.com/thisisallweare This month's exclusive Obscenic Session with All We Are is online at bidolito.co.uk now. For more information on Ad Hoc visit adhoc.eu / 0151 236 6061 / guardiansnw@adhoc.eu


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Sat 24th Mar ‡ SOLD OUT Mountford Hall

You Me At Six

+ Kids In Glass Houses + Mayday Parade + The Skints Sat 31st Mar ‡ £20 adv Mountford Hall

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The Skatalites

Fri 27th Apr ‡ SOLD OUT Mountford Hall

Sun 20th May ‡ SOLD OUT Stanley Theatre

Bombay Bicycle Club

Newton Faulkner

Fri 27th Apr ‡ £10 adv Stanley Theatre

Tues 23rd Oct ‡ £12 adv Stanley Theatre

Charlene Soraia

Benjamin Francis Leftwich


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Bido Lito! April 2012 suitable for acoustic artists. They will also sell rock memorabilia, guitar strings and other accessories, and gig and festival tickets. They will be the only outlet in Liverpool selling tickets for the Leeds and Reading festivals.

Vinyl ReViVal with the Music consoRtiu consoRtiuM R Rtiu M

and RecoRd stoRe day 2012 Words: Pete Charles Photography: John Johnson Hairy Records has for years been a haven for vinyl geeks, a place to go on a Saturday afternoon when you decided that your life was sufficiently empty that it warranted a four-hour hunt for Anthrax’s first album or a rare Hawkwind 7-inch which, when you finally found it, seemed older than time itself. However, despite being a refuge from the perils of HMV, Hairy was never exactly the most pleasant of shopping experiences itself. Spike Beecham, local entrepreneur and brains behind The Music Consortium, a production company currently in the process of giving Hairy a much-needed makeover, agrees. “It seemed like it was turning into some kind of pensioners’ club,” he says tersely, “A smelly place full of people wearing anoraks who would spend hours going through CD racks and come away with a £2.99 CD.” He hack-spits at my own confession that I’ve been known to buy the odd bargain bin CD at Hairy. As he leads me through a mass of plastic sheeting and up to the first floor, it is clear that the new store, when complete, will offer music fans in the city a unique shopping experience. With its focus squarely on the vinyl medium (they will virtually do away with CDs), THE MUSIC CONSORTIUM VINYL EMPORIUM has already alienated much of Hairy’s original customer base, and with the younger generation seemingly hard-

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wired into social media 24/7, there’s an obvious elephant in the room here: why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to open a vinyl store in this day and age? Spike is more than happy to explain: “Since I took over, we’ve had more under-25s coming through the doors than ever before, buying vinyl and even asking if we sell record players! For whatever reason, vinyl sales are on the up. That’s not me bullshitting,” he says, fixing me with a hard stare. “That’s fact.” He’s not wrong. According to data released by the Official Charts Company, 341,000 vinyl albums were sold in 2011, compared with 237,000 in 2010 - a whopping 44% increase. So why the resurgence in the vinyl market? Spike puts it down to a combination of disillusionment with the disposable state of music and simple British materialism. “I think when people went towards the whole download experience, they lost the tangibility factor of having a piece of artwork that someone has gone to a lot of trouble to produce. There’s no touchyfeeliness to an MP3.” In accordance with historical consumer behaviour, vinyl retailers in Liverpool are few and far between. Probe and 3Beat records have done a steady trade for many years, but Spike is keen to point out that MCVE is not just another record shop. On the ground floor, the focus will be on vinyl trading, while upstairs is due to house a cafe and small performance space which will be

Although he recognises that social media is useful in making music available to those who wouldn’t normally hear it, Spike is keen to promote this idea of an enhanced shopping experience and to revive a community spirit which is impossible to recreate on a fan site or internet forum. “The whole Big Society thing,” he says, pensively. “Governments have spent the last fifty years restraining communities - we need to revive that sense of community, and music is just one way of doing it.” So with Record Store Day fast approaching, vinyl sales on the up, and a perceived desire among young people to recapture the physical interaction so sorely lacking from the faceless online world, Spike appears to be onto a winner. “I don’t know, maybe I’ve hit the zeitgeist at the right time - I’m obsessed with vinyl, so I’d be happy sitting in there doing it in ten years’ time, even if no-one was going into the store; but since everyone seems to have decided that vinyl’s cool again, I’ll make hay while the sun shines!” themusicconsortium.com

GAME THEORY

A Liverpool Compilation For Record Store Day 2012 In association with Liverpool independent label Payper Tiger Records, Bido Lito! is releasing a LTD edition compilation (strictly 100 copies) for Record Store Day. The release comes on a pink cassette tape, with screen printed artwork and includes the cream of Liverpool's scene; such as CLINIC, BILL RYDER-JONES, FOREST SWORDS and MUGSTAR. The cassettes are £7 each. But, each cassette includes a £5 record voucher, which can be used in Probe, The Music Consortium or 3Beat. Pretty cool we think. The official launch party is on Record Store Day (21st April) at Mello Mello with DEATH AT SEA, THE WILD EYES, OWLS* and Bido Lito! DJs. The gig is free, so you’ll have a few quid to buy the tape... You can pre-order GAME THEORY now from paypertiger.com.


FOLK IN MAY A AY

LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC THE MONTH OF MAY A AY Four great folk f lk gigs fo fo fforr to welcome summer 2012

6

Saturday 19 May

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

6 MAWKIN 6 After 8 | Rodewald Suite | Friday 11 May

After 8 | Rodewald Suite | Wednesday 16 May

HAN HANNAH A NA AN N H JAMES & SAM SWEENEY

6 Friday 25 May

THE IMAGINED VILLAGE E

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

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


12

Bido Lito! April 2012

BUT TWO CAME BY:

Martin Carthy & Lizzie Nunnery In Conversation

                                                     Composed by Lizzie Nunnery

Performed by Martin Carthy

For more than sixty years MARTIN CARTHY, famed for his craftsmanship as a guitarist and heart-wringing passion as a singer and interpreter of songs, has been defining and redefining the folk genre. Emerging Liverpool folk artist and playwright LIZZIE NUNNERY is developing into somewhat of a torchbearer for the genre in the city, with BBC Radio 2’s Mike Harding one of a growing list of supporters. What could be better, we thought, than to arrange a chat between Lizzie and Martin ahead of his upcoming solo performance at the Floral Pavilion this month, and May’s appearance at The Philharmonic with THE IMAGINED VILLAGE? We hope you’ll agree that it worked out quite nicely...

The Imagined Village. You know? I get asked to do fabulous things. And I’ve got just enough common sense to say ‘Yes’.

                                   Lizzie: Are you looking forward to coming back to Merseyside? Martin: Oh I’ve always loved Merseyside audiences. ‘Cause you’re all barmy! Liverpool’s got a sense of humour that’s different from everywhere else in the country. It’s a passion for life you’ve got. I love it.

                              43

Lizzie: I heard you say once that a folk song is like an old chair that bears the mark of time and all the people who’ve used it. Martin: Yeah. The thing that I notice - having got a song into a shape when it’s ready to be sung- is how much it then starts to change. It’s to do with performing it for people. Their reaction has something to do with it.

Lizzie: You started out doing a residency at The Troubadour in Earls Court. That period has taken on a mythical quality now, with people like Dylan and Joni Mitchell beginning their careers. Martin: That was one of my first jobs yeah… end of 61, beginning of 62. It was a great time. A huge great voyage of discovery. It was a small 62. audience but it grew when that revival got under way, particularly in the late 60s. In the big cities there was a choice of folk clubs every night of the week. In London there were at least four hundred clubs. Which astonishes me now. And it was never reflected in record sales. Which Folk music was underground in the sixties.

                                                                                                                                       52                                                                                     48

Lizzie: In The Imagined Village you play a beautiful version of Cum on Feel the Noize. How did that come about? Martin: It was Simon Emmerson’s idea. He does the Forest School Camps. They camp out and have these sing-songs round the fire. One night they sang that song. And Simon’s thinking: ‘This is fantastic.’ For my money it’s a very playable song. It’s not necessarily that big shout out. And I’m not saying that Noddy’s wrong to sing it that way. But when you slow it down it brings out really beautifully what he wrote. Lizzie: You’re quoted as saying: ‘The only way you can damage the music is by not playing it.’ Do you think there’s any way you can treat a traditional song that is wrong? Martin: There’s a lot of people who make a terrible mess of singing Martin: the songs but I just don’t think you can damage a song permanently. It’s nonsense to think that a song can be destroyed by somebody doing a crap job of it.

Lizzie: Do you enjoy being out on the road still? You’re out for a few months now, aren’t you? Martin: It’s a fantastic life. I’ve had a privileged existence for the last sixty years. I can’t see the point of retiring. There’s too much to do. There’s too much to find out.

Lizzie: You’ve worked for years with your wife Norma Waterson and now your daughter Eliza. I write and perform with my husband Vidar Norheim, and wondered if you’ve got any advice about working with family members? Martin: I love working with family. I’d never played with a blood relative until Norma and I started working with Eliza. It’s a revelation. b ood relatives e a ves make when they hey sing s ng together oge he iss something some h ng The sound blood qu e unique. qu un que It doesn’t doesn matter ma e whether whe he you’re you e listening s en ng to o The Boswell Boswe quite S s e s or o the he Watersons Wa e sons or o the he Bee Gees - there’s he e s a blend b end that ha other o he Sisters peop e can just us wish w sh for. o It’ss in n the he bones, bones it’ss in n the he blood. b ood And that’s ha s people wha I understood unde s ood when I started s a ed singing s ng ng with w h Eliza. E za Wonderful. Wonde u It’ss a what wonde u feeling. ee ng wonderful LLizzie: zz e What Wha artists a s s do you get ge excited exc ed by now? Ma n Em h iss sensa ona And Em man she Martin: Emilyy Sm Smith sensational. Emilyy Po Portmanshe’ss wonde u There’s The e s a great g ea crop c op of o musicians mus c ans and singers s nge s around a ound now wonderful. he really ea y gratifying g a y ng thing h ng iss how many of o them hem are a e women. women That’s Tha s and the o be delighted de gh ed in n I think. h nk to

                                  55

Lizzie: You’ve been ambitious and inventive throughout your career. Do you see that as a duty - to keep exploring? Martin: I’m lucky enough to get asked to dodifferent things. In 1964 Leon Rosselson asked me to join a group he had (The Three City Four). Then I was asked to be involved in Steeleye Span. Twice. I was lucky enough to get to sing with The Watersons. And doing things like The Band of Hope with Roy Bailey, playing with Dave Swarbrick… and then

LLizzie: zz e Wha he ho zon nex ng ano he so o What’ss on the horizon next?? W Will you be do doing another solo a bum following o ow ng the he success of o Waiting Wa ng for o Angels? Ange s? s album Ma n EEliza za and I have go bum on the he sstocks. ocks Tha Martin: got a duo a album That’ll be e eased sometime some me next nex year yea I think. h nk But Bu I should shou d be thinking h nk ng about abou released do ng another ano he solo so o album. a bum It’ss time me I think. h nk doing

                                          

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

wa e sonca hy com watersoncarthy.com zz enunne y co uk zz lizzienunnery.co.uk Ma n Carthy Ca hy plays p ays The he FFloral o a Pav on 14th 4 h Ap he Imagined mag ned Martin Pavilion April. The Village V age play p ay The he LLiverpool ve poo Ph Philharmonic ha mon c 25 25th h May May.


14

Bido Lito! April 2012

Words: Joseph Viney Since the release of their 2010 debut LP, What Came From Fire, Liverpool’s SOUND OF GUNS have proven themselves to be locked, stocked and with two smoking barrels. Their expansive and anthemic sound has provided plenty of ammunition for the critics, who have bombarded the group with sustained and unerringly positive plaudits. Angels and Enemies, Enemies their second full LP, released this March, has already been added to many ‘Best of 2012’ lists by those in the know: Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and XFM. A tour promoting the new LP is currently making its way across western and central Europe, and 21st April sees the run come to the most climactic of endings with the band’s largest headline slot to date, at Liverpool’s O2 Academy. Life must be good, and it’s no surprise that frontman Andy Metcalfe is in a boisterous and welcoming mood. He laughs off suggestions that the Liverpool show will be the great homecoming of the city’s latest favourite sons. “We’re not going to play the whole Bono thing, none of this messiah stuff; it doesn’t suit us. In fact, the Liverpool gig is the one I’m most worried about. We just want to put on a great show, say thank you to those who were there from day one or who have found us since.” Whereas other groups might be shaking in their size nines at the thought of the release of a new album, Metcalfe is calm personified. “I’m not worried, no. It’s a great album. This one was never going to be miles from the template of the first one, but the difference this time is the production and the sonics. We have Dave Eringa to thank for that.” Ah yes, of course. Albums are much more than a group effort these days. Dave Eringa has an exemplary CV, including production work with Manic Street Preachers, Ocean Colour Scene and Idlewild. It must have taken some coercion to bring such an esteemed producer on board, surely? “You’d be surprised. Dave did our first EP and even then that was because he loved the music and had a passion for what we were, and still are, doing. Some record companies make the mistake of throwing a load of money at some producer who just sees it as a job, but Dave was different. By day two

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Photography: Jennifer Pellegrini of recording our new album, he had stacks and stacks of notes. I think he knew the songs better than we did! It was nice to see that kind of love and attention given to our music.” Sound of Guns are taking major steps towards popularity and are being backed to the hilt by sections of the music press. But, as today’s media focus desperately switches from one act to another, there’s every chance an emerging band could be lauded and subsequently destroyed by maniacal hacks. How many times have we seen ‘The Next Big Thing’ splashed across the music glossies, only for those in question to disappear sadly and silently? Metcalfe thinks for a few seconds, perhaps wary of biting the hand that feeds. “You know, ‘mainstream’ can be a dirty word and honestly, it’s not something we’ve strictly aimed for. When I sit down and write, or we get together and practise, I never think about what these songs will sound like on the radio. It’s a funny thing though, and it can mess with your head sometimes, but ultimately you’re in a bind. It can be tough when you’re praised and there are constant expectations, but it’s worse if you’re ignored!” It’s going to be tough to ignore Sound of Guns. The relatively short time between the two LPs is a reminder that some groups these days really do have momentum on their side, and it’s a blessing for the independent Distiller Records, the group’s overseers. “We had this album recorded last May, straight from the tour. Wrote and recorded it in four weeks. Thankfully, Distiller are in it for the long haul. They offer a lot of financial support and we have a good relationship with them. Loads of our contemporaries have signed major deals and just disappeared. Most major labels don’t care; it’s like taking a window cleaner’s ladders away from them.” One question remains, and it’s too tempting not to ask: just what kind of gun do Sound of Guns actually sound like? Metcalfe doesn’t miss a beat. “A revolver. A nice short, sharp blast.” soundofguns.com


16

Bido Lito! April 2012

Previews/Shorts

Edited by Richard Lewis - middle8@bidolito.co.uk

THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS A stalwart of The Kazimier’s listings, Psycho Motel have secured THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS for their April event. Winning approval from Jello Biafra and Robert Plant, they have toured with Black Keys and featured on cult US vampire soap True Blood. EL TORO! and THE LOOSE MOOSE STRING BAND also feature. The Kazimier – 25th April

2:54 2:54, comprising of Bristolian sisters Collette and Hannah Thurlow, have been receiving heaps praise for their 2011 EP Scarlet, influenced by Bikini Kill, QOTSA and Kyuss. Also on the bill are DEAF CLUB, whose purring Beach House vibes will add an extra layer of allure to the show. Demand will be high for this one, so secure tickets ASAP. The Shipping Forecast – 13th April

ICE AGE

Tinariwen

With a consistently eclectic roster it is no shock that the Philharmonic have managed to entice TINARIWEN into the grand hall. Hailing from the Sahara Desert region of Mali, Tinariwen have established themselves as true musical innovators fusing Western styles with their own fiercely original Tamashek grooves. Their history is infinitely more fascinating than that of most bands, having grown up in nomadic tribes before joining Libyan military camps in the 1980s and fighting for peace in Mali. Taking hints of influence from Western blues cassettes that found their way into the desert, Tinariwen have since amassed a global following including Robert Plant, Santana, The Edge and Thom Yorke. Their songs are steeped in nostalgia and a longing for peace and with their latest album Tassili, the collective have opted to drop the electric guitars for a softer acoustic sound, adding to a sense of melancholy. The album has won Best World Music Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards, album of the week in The Sunday Times and album of the month in both MOJO and Uncut magazines. Featuring appearances from Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio) and Nels Cline (Wilco), Tassili is a real fusion of east and west. Philharmonic Hall - 11th April

Danish quartet ICE AGE turned heads with last year’s debut LP New Brigade winning excellent reviews across the board, with Pitchfork stating Brigade, that “these four have located a punk-rock sweet spot”. The addition of New Yorkers ROYAL BATHS on the bill makes this one unmissable. The Shipping Forecast – 1st May

KYLA LA GRANGE Cambridge philosophy graduate KYLA LA GRANGE’s music combines witchy folk with widescreen pop, best sampled on superb new single Vampire Smile. Smile With her debut LP due for release in June, this gig at Leaf will be the perfect opportunity to see her Cat Power and Elliot Smith inspired songs in a low-key setting. Leaf – 21st April

ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES Gigs at Binary Cell Studios usually indicate an event of some importance: this time it's ALWAYS THE QUIET ONES’ launch show for double A-side single Drought/Ghost In The Filament, Filament hosted by promoters Snub II. ATQO’s fearsome live reputation will be ably supported by WE WERE BEAUTIFUL and JAZZ HANDS. Binary Cell – April 27th

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Free Rock N’ Roll Festival @ Mellomello The evergreen FREE ROCK N’ ROLL event is a fundamental part of the city’s musical landscape, giving many bands their first taste of the live circuit. Organised by Pete Bentham, the event has spawned a two-day festival over the Easter Weekend at its regular home, MelloMello. The weekend event boasts an excellent bill, in return for a small donation of the door. Regular Free Rock n’ Rollers LOVECRAFT, LONG FINGER BANDITS and PETE BENTHAM & THE DINNER LADIES will all be in attendance. Pete said of the night and the festival “I think people just like the unpretentiousness and the DIY fun of it. Obviously it helps that the gigs are free and that’s thanks to it being a kind of unofficial collective of bands that have played the night. Everyone involved in running Free Rock n’ Roll plays in a band, myself included, so we know that you can’t afford to do a free gig all the time, but if all the bands in Liverpool play one free show a year, then we can all have a regular free gig to go to.” STEALING SHEEP and EMILY & THE FAVES are among the recent successful graduates of this system who will also be playing the event, with the likes of KING TWIT and SEA WITCHES hoping to follow in the same footsteps. MelloMello – 7th-9th April from 2pm – donation on the door


18

Bido Lito! April 2012 Reviews

The War On Drugs (John Johnson )

THE WAR ON DRUGS Weird Dreams

Harvest Sun @ The Kazimier Adam Granduciel has been here before. As part of Kurt Vile’s Violators he spent an inordinate amount of time sound-checking on his only previous appearance on this stage (Sound City 2011), resulting in a tetchy audience’s disappointed reaction to a long overdue set. Now shorn of his long-time collaborator, Granduciel’s THE WAR ON DRUGS arrive tonight amid a swathe of anticipation that

comes off the back of hugely positive reaction to the sublime Slave Ambient LP. It’s not that much of a surprise then to see Granduciel wince at an ear-splitting sound prang during his set-up: surely he’s not going to be beset by sound issues again? London psych-pop four-piece WEIRD DREAMS are chugging away as I get in, their jangly guitars spawning rippling waves of nostalgia that are a little more sleepy than dreamy. There’s a sweetness to their 60s girl group-indebted harmonies and doo wop charms, but tonight’s attendees are reserving their attention solely

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for the headliners. There’s enough there, however, to suggest that Weird Dreams’ upcoming debut album Choreography will be worth keeping an ear out for. Easing into things with the sober drones of Best Night, Night TWOD lay the groundwork for what turns out to be an hour and a half of sonic bliss. Granduciel drawls his way through some of the finest Americana rock I’ve heard in years, the postindustrial Philadelphia landscape lending a fitting backdrop to the songs, characterised by a wholesome blend of organ, distorted guitars and

bursts of harmonica. Gone is the hiss of early ramshackle recordings, as TWOD have developed an ear for a more textured, organic type of Springsteen rock. Witnessing it all come together live makes you realise just how uncluttered the craft is, too – Granduciel churns out great reverbdrenched hooks from his guitar that carry a plaintive edge on some (I Was There) and an irresistible urge on others (Baby Baby Missiles), Missiles with steady support from Robbie Bennett (Keys), David Hartley (Bass) and Steven Urgo (Drums). Complications and histrionics are left aside as they find a groove


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20

Bido Lito! April 2012 Reviews

and plough it, pouring themselves into multi-layered compositions that feel so natural that you’re sure they’ve been around for eons. When it’s necessary to pick things up and stretch into widescreen rock the shift is effortlessly made too, especially in the extended, hypnotic jamming that segues into Original Slave. Slave Come To The City rolls in on an extended intro that comes to the boil in a swirling bore of distortion, which takes off when the band all cut in together. Comin’ Through, Through taken from the Future Weather EP, flows off the back of it as the tracks bleed in to one glorious whole, creating one massive feel good atmosphere as it washes over the rapt audience. Brothers is given an adrenalin shot as Granduciel invites two fans up on stage to jam with them, turning it in to more of a party fizzer than the plodding number it is on record. The guitar-toting guests unabashedly thrum away and swig the band’s beer like seasoned pros, blissfully unaware that their levels are dropped

the moment the song kicks in (sorry to piss on your bonfire, lads). Rounding things off with Buenos Aires Beach and Black Water Falls, Granduciel shows that his is a massive talent that could easily sit alongside the like of Neil Young and The Boss in the Great American Songbook. It’s now time for Kurt Vile to catch up. Christopher Torpey

BETH JEANS HOUGHTON

Mellowtone and Ceremony Concerts @ Eric’s A lot has been said about BETH JEANS HOUGHTON & THE HOOVES OF DESTINY lately, with her being ‘hot picked’ all over the show by those in the know and out to discover what’s new. Named as one of the biggest acts to come into the music scene by nearly every monthly mag, and with fans of her new album Yours Truly, Cellophane Noise spread worldwide,

it’s fair to say that we’re expecting a big crowd, with everyone clambering over each other in the gig space. It’s clear straight away that the Hooves are a rather fun bunch, mostly because each band member has drawn themselves a silly moustache. In the drummer’s case his whimsy is a set of cat’s whiskers; it’s unclear why this is - perhaps to make Miss Houghton look all the more lovely? If this is the reason, it works, as her red hot pants are a topic of discussion for most of the gentlemen in the audience. Her (and here comes the dreaded word) quirky look is completely expected: anyone who can write a song about a Dodecahedron is always going to be above average interest. But, true enough, Houghton doesn’t disappoint across any platform; looks and vocals are to the highest degree. For such a tiny thing Houghton’s vocals are extraordinary, and those who had previously listened to Sweet Tooth Bird had to have been wondering how on earth that would sound live. And, to be fair it’s nothing short of

amazing. Such controlled maturity in vocalists is hard to come by, and you can see why people have been annoyingly comparing her to Florence Welch. However, what Houghton has on her side is a softer choral quality, and a better range of genre through her performance. She shakes things up a bit with Honeycomb Honeycomb, a cheeky little pop number; but the highlight has to be Atlas, a delightfully beachy tune. This song brings with it a breath of fresh air; perhaps due to its inherently merry nature it draws the audience further towards the stage. Rounding off the performance with a rendition of Like A Prayer Prayer, it’s clear that Houghton and her Hooves Of Destiny are a band capable of as many sides of performance as their aptly named songs. It’s a shame about the size of the audience but there’s the feeling that it is a mere anomaly on the tour scale. Come back to Liverpool soon Beth Jeans Houghton, we love you really. N. Philip


Reviews Bido Lito! April 2012

Beth Jeans Houghton (David Howarth)

ELLE S’APPELLE Barbieshop

Used Vinyl Club @ Mello Mello A good thing, they say, never lasts. Geeks of Liverpool’s indie pop

scene will remember a certain band called ELLE S’APPELLE bursting onto the scene at the back end of 2007. Respected independent label Moshi Moshi promptly drooled all over their spritely girl/boy duet Little Flame and practically begged the band to let

them put it out. The band couldn’t let such love go unreturned, and they looked set for greatness. Crushingly, Elle S’appelle split up the following year before they could release their debut album and promptly skittered off to the

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indie graveyard. It was unfinished business that must have nagged away at singer/bassist Andy Donovan for four years... right up until tonight. That debut album The Amazing World O’ Stuff is being launched tonight at Mello Mello, with the band playing a comeback gig. In support, they have in tow the twittering, trilling trio BARBIESHOP (try saying that after a few organic ciders). Barbieshop are Liverpool’s finest (well, only) performers of a cappella versions of pop songs. The Trashmen’s Bird Is The Word is given a hilarious makeover and comes complete with meticulously choreographed actions, while their version of Radiohead’s Creep still remains better than the original. In tribute to Elle S’appelle, and perhaps to make up for the fact that the band will be omitting it from their set tonight, they give a sassy, finger-clicking rendition of Little Flame, which is met with rapturous applause. Elle S’appelle take to the stage with Lucy Spoons of Puzzle on backing vocals. Andy’s vocals on familiar hits


22

Bido Lito! April 2012 Reviews these, there’s simply no need for it. Pete Charles

DJANGO DJANGO Loved Ones

EVOL @ The Shipping Forecast

Django Django (Keith Ainsworth)

such as She Sells Sea Shells are truly lung-busting and you start to remember why, in Elle’s S’appelle’s heyday, comparisons were made with Freddie Mercury. Part of the band’s charm was that their previous singer (also called Lucy) was more of a dual vocalist, trading lyrics with Andy like

characters in a musical. It’s perhaps for this reason that they leave out Little Flame and Monkeyshine Monkeyshine, with their prominent girl/boy vocals. But there is sufficient variety in their repertoire to ensure that their performance does not suffer and they even throw in a sublime cover

of Pixies’ Velouria. With their cutesy keyboards, thunderous fuzz bass and crisp drums, Elle S’appelle really are a law unto themselves; their unusual set-up ensures none of the vocals are lost in the wash of a rhythm guitar, and there is no attempt at individual virtuosity - with pop songs as good as

LOVED ONES’ seemingly unstoppable assent to the pinnacle of Liverpool’s art pop peak shows no sign of abating. Much like tonight’s headliners, the group’s song-writing manages to straddle the borders between the ambient, the intellectual and the unashamedly melodic. The dexterity that Loved Ones show is unique, with multi-instrumentalist Ben Shooter drifting from piano to saxophone for a marvellous arrangement of Red Dawn, while Rich Hurst holds court on viola; before Shooter then finds himself on drums for the group’s debut single Are You Hiding Out In Hell. Hell, yeah. With a warmly received 7” comfortably tucked into their collective belt, 2012

....................................................................................

EXHIBITION FREDERIC PRADEAU + DIANE GUYOT 24 - 31 March daily 11am - 6pm

....................................................................................

DEBATE 26 April What is the City?: Following on from the Noise Debate 2/2/2012: Liverpool, Urban Metropolis or Suburban Hinterland? Static Gallery will host a further What is the City? debate that will explore the impact of the recent Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP) that Liverpool City Council has imposed on the Ropewalks, Victoria Street and Mathew Street areas of the city.

....................................................................................

STUDIO Static Gallery studio’s for rent from £150 pcm.

.................................................................................... Static, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD www.statictrading.com facebook: static gallery


seems set to be a defining year for Loved Ones. This evening provides nothing but fuel for optimism. DJANGO DJANGO bound onstage to a vociferous, sweaty welcome from a sold out Shipping Forecast. After bird-tweeting their way through Introduction, a scene-setting palate cleanser, they attempt - twice - to morph the song seamlessly into Hail Bop. The problem is that drummer Bop David Maclean just can’t nail it in time with the sampler, and the song grinds to a complete halt. Yes, twice. “Erm, welcome to a Django Django show,” offers singer Vincent Neff, in an unconvincing attempt to make light of the situation. We’ll give Maclean the benefit of the doubt for the first balls-up (apparently he couldn’t hear the sampler in his monitor), but the second time it’s all a bit toe-curling. As entrances go, it’s something akin to heading up onto the stage during a school prize giving night and going arse-over-tit on the stairs in front of 300-odd of your mates and their

parents. Trust me - from personal experience - it’s awful. After such a cataclysmic fuck-up the band take a while to loosen into the performance and Storm, the group’s original curtain raiser back in 2009, is subdued and tetchy - the band seemingly constrained by a straitjacket such is the tension across bass player Jimmy Dixon’s face. Keyboard and synth commander Tommy Grace (who could easily be the offspring of The Proclaimer’s Charlie Reid and C-3PO, both in his looks and his musical gadgetry) grimaces awkwardly. They do eventually get going and relax into the performance, with Skies Over Cairo’s three-part percussive Pharaoh rock providing a welcome break; an opportunity for the band to let off steam. By the time the Link Wray meets Beta Band fuzz of Wor rolls along, the group seem to be positively enjoying themselves. True, it may have been more in relief than revelry, but with tracks such as Zumm

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Zumm, Django Django manage to be both tongue in cheek without being gimmicky, and arresting without being aloof - an enticing balance to strike. Default is a complete set saver; a more linear, assertive live beast than its bolshy recorded cousin. In this song the band have a radio and dancefloor smash, and if ever a reminder was needed that the song remains king, despite temporary challenges, this was it as the place goes cuckoo. It is a shame really that tonight’s show comes off the back of a run of cancelled gigs and so inadvertently became the opening show of the group’s tour. After a week on the road, hopefully Django Django will be a completely different prospect; confident live and relishing performing their record, which remains a wonderful achievement. Let’s hope that there are no more tumbles down the school stage steps. Craig G Pennington

BATTLESHIPS

Evelyn.Is – We Were Beautiful – The Hummingbirds – Port Sunlight Livefast Presents @ The Zanzibar PORT SUNLIGHT kick off the night's proceedings and it is a lacklustre start for the young trio. Unconfident and at times awkward, their set seems a little forced and possesses more than a hint of banality. They fare better as they progress further into their performance, and when the band do hit their stride Port Sunlight reveal a budding potential. However, weak vocals and inconsistent tendencies ensure that these moments are far too few. Next up are the charismatic fivepiece THE HUMMINGBIRDS, who bring with them a feverish energy that has The Zanzibar roused to impressive fortitude. Spontaneous and playful, it’s hard not to enjoy this performance, rock and roll blues fused with folksy


Battleships (David Howarth)

beats that make for an invasive and authentic sound. With their roots firmly planted in Liverpool, The Hummingbirds are very easy to relate to, and appeal to the audience with their impressive clamour, articulating themselves though the medium of song-writing. Singing how “they just can't pay the bills” has the Zanzibar crowd in a state of delirium, pushing and shoving to get closer to the stage and shouting back the words to the band. Intricate harmonies with simultaneous guitar and harmonica playing cement the unique stylistics of The Hummingbirds, who never disappoint. Alt. rock band WE WERE BEAUTIFUL deliver a large slice of hardcore rock next, complete with erratic movements and screaming vocals. The vocals are suitably abrasive, let down by lyrical subject matter that can get a little dull and one-paced; songs with potential drive seem to get stuck in traffic and swallowed in congestion. The crowd, slightly static at this point, become increasingly harder to win over, and despite affable efforts from front man Paul Easton, a sense of disconnection is still evident. EVELYN.IS are on hand to deliver their post rock and attitude-heavy sound, with Brittany Hayes delivering ethereal and intimate vocals but with distinctive bite. Yet it is left to BATTLESHIPS to resuscitate the Zanzibar. Youthful, exuberant and impossibly cool, they have a command of the stage that is rarely seen in a band so young. Intense vocals imbued with perfectly constructed melodies

create a chunky, unconstrained sound that suits this venue aptly. Not to mention, Battleships are loud… very loud, with their dominant dynamics further augmented by beautifully turbulent riffs and heavyweight beats. They have created an excellent sound for themselves, sat in the chasm somewhere between emotive and raw power; and they’re able to convey both intimacy and musical maturity without losing any of their intensity. Tempo changes are seamless and the band are enjoyable to watch, even as they exchange banter with the crowd and announce that this is their first gig in a long time. Welcome back Battleships. Lisa O’Dea

TUNABUNNY Shrag - Town Bike Mello Mello It’s fair to say we’ve seen a more brazen side to our female pop stars in recent weeks. First M.I.A. uses her appearance at the Superbowl to show the American people exactly what she thinks of them, and then across the pond Adele follows her lead with an arguably more justifiable one-fingered salute. Such behaviour would have been lambasted twenty years ago, but it’s now widely accepted, and it’s perhaps thanks in no small part to the riot grrrl movement of the late 90s, which saw bands like Bikini Kill and SleaterKinney give the proverbial finger to the typically male-dominated world


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Bido Lito! April 2012

Reviews

of punk rock. Tonight’s touring bands SHRAG and TUNABUNNY perhaps owe them a debt of thanks. First up are pop-punk spit merchants TOWN BIKE. Confrontational songs like LIPA and Jerk With New Shoes show they’re not afraid of the odd scathing lyrical assault on hipsters. Speaking of new shoes, singer Sazzle takes time out to announce that someone down the front has actually “danced a hole in one”. She holds it up to prove it. And dance they might –Town Bike play a brand of infectious two-minute pop punk with a humorous twist every now and then. They’re proud to announce their song for Team GB’s Olympic cycling team. You could actually set it to a Chris Hoy training montage and if it doesn’t make kids want to take up cycling, nothing will. London’s Shrag have opted to let Tunabunny headline for this leg of the tour, and as a further gesture of solidarity, barefoot singer Helen King is wearing a Tunabunny T-shirt, but not much else. “You’re on gusset watch,” she says firmly to keyboardist Steph Goodman. Shrag play a brand of riot grrrl punk with distinct traces of more accessible indie pop and garage rock. 2009 single Rabbit Kids, which received significant airplay upon its release, and the call-and-response vocals of August show that they can Tight In August, write a vulnerable love song, but there is undoubtedly a more sinister side to Shrag. Slithering spoken-word brooder The Habit Creep, Creep is a dark tale of adolescent insecurity. They close with the vocal yelp of Ghosts Before Breakfast which sees superbly-named bassist Russell Warrior mount a speaker before toppling backwards and disappearing behind Mello Mello’s deceptively unstable red curtains. Hailing from Athens, GA, Tunabunny come from the Bratmobile school of riot grrrl, with an attitude to melody akin to Adele’s attitude to the Brits’ producers. No keyboards in sight here, just heavily distorted punk noise. That said, there is the odd tuneful moment - the luscious

Veronica Falls (Moorea Masa)

guitar hook of (Song For My) Solar Sister recalls early REM or Husker Dü. The set descends into mild chaos during the last song, Perfect Time, which ironically, and perhaps deliberately, is played completely out of time. Guitarist Mary Jane Hassell slams her fretboard into the mic stand, while the drummer bounces clean off his stool. Dazed and disoriented, he finds something, anything, to play, even putting a beer bottle over his hi-hat rod and whacking merry hell out of it. Well, we predicted a riot, didn’t we? Pete Charles

VERONICA FALLS Novella – By The Sea Harvest Sun @ Leaf When the Velvet Underground had Nico foisted upon them by Andy Warhol, it felt like a marriage of convenience, albeit a pretty cool sounding one. Though nowhere near as gothic or earthy, there’s a faint Velvets whiff in the air tonight as VERONICA FALLS pack the crowd into Leaf, but any ideas of this outfit being in any way forced are well wide of the mark. The union of former members of The Royal We and Sexy Kids, Veronica Falls build their charm around the pairing of Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare up front, who trade jostling, jangly guitars and sweet and faintly creepy

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boy/girl harmonies that are ever so slightly reminiscent of Lou Reed and Nico’s duelling. Stephen could well be pinched from the cutting room floor of the Factory, all mellow and lamenting with its adulterous desires for a fictional beau. Aside from these dalliances with lo-fi doom rock royalty, everything else about Veronica Falls follows a well-tried indie geek path that is irresistibly infectious. They’re taut and efficient, and the songs hum along in a business-like fashion, typified by the crunching, buzzsaw guitars on Fountain and Found Love In A Graveyard. It’s not quite as romantic Graveyard as I hoped (but then, what do you expect from songs about hanging round in cemeteries and jumping off cliffs), but there’s enough flecks of Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls’ sultry bite to make up for that. Right Side Of My Brain even conjures up memories of The Long Blondes, though not quite with the same strut, allying a tight and no nonsense geek chic to waves of post-punk buzz. Yes its retro, yes its revivalist, yes Roxanne Clifford is wearing a natty vintage polka dot top that screams “aren’t I cool?”; but when it’s done this well, who cares? Not me: bring me more. Tour support NOVELLA obviously agree as they crowd round the front of the stage for Veronica Falls’ set and nod away enthusiastically, in complete thrall to their touring partners. If they allow some of their


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Sun 15th April, 8:00pm.

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

Standard £16.00 Concession £14.00 Prima Donna £12.00 Soubrette £12.80

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WIL HODGESON + OPENER TBA Sun 10th June, 8:00pm.

ANDREW O’NEIL + OPENER CHRIS TAVNER Sun 8th July, 8:00pm.

DAVID LONGLEY + JOHN SCOTT

FLORAL FOLK NIGHT Sat 14th April, 8:00pm.

Standard £13.00 Concession £11.00 Prima Donna £9.75 Soubrette £10.40

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! April 2012 Reviews

Liverpool International Jazz Series at The Capstone Theatre April/May 2012 Chamber Friday 20 April 19:30 £10 (£8 concessions)

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

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

Phronesis Saturday 19 May 19:30 £12.50

www.thecapstonetheatre.com email: 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

The Phenominal Handclap Band (Adam Edwards)

touring partners’ efficient dazzle to rub off on them on this tour then it’ll be worth all the hard yards, otherwise their undoubted talents will be lost in the frankly boring murk of noise they produce. Though not unpleasant Novella don’t set my pulse racing, and sandwiched between the two performances tonight makes them seem even flatter, since the night’s openers BY THE SEA set the bar really high. Finally seeming to enjoy the whole live performance thing, these Wirral chaps have thrown off the cape of their pastoral Byrdsian sound, only to pick it up again and put it back on over an added layer of shoegazey guitars. Their new ‘sound’, which carries more bite than ever, sees a certain clamour for floor space tonight, bringing a sizeable number in early to get a glimpse. With the washed out strains of Stay Where The Sun Is and, in particular, Waltz Away grabbing the attention of industry bighitters, it goes to prove something we’ve known for a while: when they get things right, By The Sea have the ability to knock it out the park. Now hurry up with that album lads. Christopher Torpey

THE PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP BAND The Winter Falls – Wet Mouth EVOL @ The Kazimier Tonight, sees the return of multi-

dimensional New Yorkers THE PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP BAND, who a couple of years ago brought the house down with a memorable show. Tonight their credentials are put to the test and they rise to the challenge of coaxing a reluctant Tuesday night crowd into getting down and into the groove. WET MOUTH open proceedings with some alt. indie pop-rock circa early 90s. Clad in a bikini top and baggy vest top, Veslomoy (Vocals/Bass) is gruff and sultry, a Norwegian lilt adding to her sex appeal, and bearing some vocal resemblance to PJ Harvey, Gwen Stefani and Karen O. Thudding bass patterns drive Choisters and Red Hot Euphoria as distorted guitars crackle and crunch around them. White Light is the stand out track that confirms they could be ones to watch. If Wet Mouth are rough and ready then THE WINTER FALLS are the opposite. They bring infectious melodies and bouncy pop, their recent support of The Wombats providing a good springboard for their twinkly pop to shine. Wasted Minds hits all the right notes and as The Kazimier begins to fill, they up their game with a cracking rendition of This Good Life. Despite my distaste for the type of music they present, they have an infectious sound that isn't unpleasant on the ear. TPHCB are well received by an initially modest crowd, and opener You’ll Disappear Disappear, with its psychedelic vibe and slick, smooth groove seems to act as a rallying call to all


Bido Lito! April 2012

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 acoustics, SSL4024E beautiful console, mouthwatering collection of outboard, microphones & vintage backline / £165 per day / 0151 933 7379 / shstudios.co.uk Sleep Less Studios / Based in Liverpool / 30 years recording, mixing & mastering experience / With rates from £25 p/hour it’s the place to record right now / 10% off if you quote ‘Bido Lito!’ / Call 0151 345 3382 Crosstown Studios / City Centre recording and production studio / Experienced engineer / Lots of inhouse equipment / Flexible hours & reasonable rates / 07841 746 575 / crosstownstudios.co.uk City Rehearsal Studios / Prices from £23.00 including PA system, bass amp and 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

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

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

Words and Deeds / Proofreading & professional writing services / ‘Let me turn your deeds into words.’ / 07783 997 129 / debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

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

PRESSING & DUPLICATION PRESSING DUPLICATION 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

INDUSTRY SERVICES INDUSTRY SERVICES Middle Distance / Promotional distribution campaigns across Merseyside & beyond / Full event support / Distributors of Bido Lito! Magazine / 0151 708 9494 / bookings@middledistance.org

Naters Philip / Copywriting & proofreading / Can scribble anything from slogans to web content / Freshly squeezed genius guranteed / Rates on request / natersp@writeme.com / @natersp / 07789 225 286 Shipley IP / Legal advice for the music industry / Band Agreements, record & publishing deals, management deals etc / Ask about our Band on the Breadline offer / 0151 705 3440 / shipleyip.com / music@shipleyip.com

P PHOTOGRAPHERS Jennifer Pellegrini / Freelance photographer with an intimate & candid style / Promotional and live music photography / 07709 809 994 / jenniferpellegrini@ live.com / jennifer-pellegrini.com

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Luke Avery Photography / Promo shoots, portraiture, advertising, retouching / 07729 308 307 / luke-avery.com / info@luke-avery.com Jack Whiteley / Music Videography / Music Videos / EPKs / Live / 07707121507 / info@jackwhiteley.co.uk / jackwhiteley.co.uk 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

STUDIOS AVAILABLE Static Gallery / Studios to rent from £150 per month / 07882 378 463 / statictrading.com / paul@ statictrading.com

O OPPORTUNITIES Bido Lito! Magazine / New writers, and illustrators photographers always wanted / Use Liverpool's music magazine to showcase your work / Please send relevant examples of your work to the Editor / bidolito.co.uk

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Bido Lito! April 2012 Reviews

Guest Column Andy Ng, Represent Music

If I Ruled The World Sitting in Hong Kong in the summer of 1996 that song came on the TV. Nas’ incredible poetry, combined with the angelic voice of Lauryn Hill, turned me from my 14 year old casual listening of rap music, to the commencement of a 16 year old love affair with hip hop culture. This is why for me, the most exciting music scene in Liverpool today is its local hip hop. Leading the charge are the city’s own, Kiddaz With Attitude: TL aka Tony Broke, undeniably the number one MC in the city. He's working on his debut album Life After Debt, planned for a summer release and Don’t Flop champion Steven O’Shea has amassed two million plus hits on YouTube. The Lana Del Rey of Liverpool rap, Bang On! drops his highly anticipated debut album on Big Dada/Ninja Tune in May. And, highly rated up and coming 15 year olds Kaast and Capz are the future, dropping freestyles, mixtapes and net videos to build their profiles. Despite this burgeoning crop of artists, what the Liverpool hip hop scene is missing at this moment in time is infrastructure. More managers are needed to develop the growing talent, as well as two or three dedicated labels in creative competition with each other - who fight to sign the best talent. The winner in this tussle will be the fans, and the scene. To the next generation of up and coming artists, my advice is to play the game and play to win, you’ve got to give to get. DJs want tracks to play in clubs to get people dancing, radio wants music that people want to hear, promoters want acts who sell out venues and labels want to sell something that makes a profit. Get started today, the perfect moment to strike isn’t going to come. You’re going to win some days and lose others, the trick is to win more than you lose. The brain, the heart and the mouth are the most powerful weapons you will ever hold, so use them wisely. Whether your style is street journalist, social commentator or an entertainer who just wants to have a good time while living the good life, you have to find your niche and grow it. The population of Planet Earth is seven billion, there is room for everyone to exist. Don't try and be everything to everyone, it probably won't work, so instead be original and bring your own style, your own flavour. Make people want to listen to you because you’re you, people can see right through a copycat act, and they will listen to the originator over the duplicator any day of the week. With the state of the music industry right now, the power has shifted to the artists. If you’re an artist, or looking to make some money at this game, take the risk and just do it. Watch out for an explosion of working class heroes leading the way from the Liverpool hip hop scene. John Lennon would have been proud. Andy Ng currently manages Miss Stylie and has previously worked with Bang On, Skinnyman and Wu-Tang Clan.

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groovers and shakers, as three and a half minutes later The Kazimier has miraculously filled up. In This Room, from new album Form & Control, is led by some sultry female vocals and squishy synth bass, with jagged guitar stabs throughout that stink of Electric Six’s finer moments. The whole sound has connotations with a plethora of European acts such as Air and Röyksopp, yet it all feels very touché and playful – they seem to genuinely just want to have a good time. TPHCB are gently forceful, always wanting more from a crowd who initially struggle to shake off that Tuesday feeling. New track The Unknown Faces Of Father James Park is a funk-pop odyssey, led by glitchy organ tones, before breakthrough track 15 To 20 really hammers home this group’s live ability; a real party tune that serves as the catalyst for this gig. This leads the way for more new material, including The Right One, a real pop gem from a band who take their influences from every genre of popular music from psychedelic, to funk and soul, to glam rock and beyond. By the time they break out old favourite Born Again they have the crowd in the palm of their hands, and its funky soul vibe has everyone moving: The Kazimier dance floor reborn into a 70s disco. It feels overdue when they finally bring in the cowbells for the final track All Of The Above, which extends into an instrumental jam. Having woken the crowd from their midweek slumbers and worked them up in a Saturday night fever, TPHCB depart. Not bad for a Tuesday night. Thomas Jefferson

THE MEN

Being Jo Francis – The Temps Lazy Genius @ The Kazimier Taking the influence of Joy Division down paths that shouldn’t exist, THE TEMPS thrash through a set of formulaic post-punk. Although the band play with a modicum of aggression, all venom is sucked

from the performance by clunky and somewhat meaningless lyrics appropriated from a multitude of sources. Perhaps The Temps subscribe to the maxim ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’, however this method can only work if the source material is of the requisite quality and relevence for its new home. Let’s hope we never have to mention Editors in the same breath as David Lynch again. It is usually pertinent for a review to contain a few reference points with regard to a band’s perceived influences, to throw the reader into roughly the right sonic ballpark. In the case of the most original, exciting and exhilarating performances, this can do the artist a disservice so it is best to plump for effusive hyperbole. In the case of BEING JO FRANCIS however, the former is by far the easiest option. The influence of Biffy Clyro is so blatant that there is not much more information to offer about this band. From the mushy lyrics to the rock posturing, the set lacks any kind of spark and this is further magnified by a ‘let’s all fall over because we’re so passionate’ finale that is woefully staged. It is with great relief when THE MEN take to the stage. 2011’s LP Leave Home is a blistering, noisey and more importantly, authentic collection of songs that beg to be played live. The performance is as joyfully scrappy as expected and although this is hardly a forward-thinking group, the set largely borrows from a wide enough range of rock history to allow for the occasional moment of petty theft (particularly new single Open Your Heart which is heavily indebted to the Buzzcocks). Bataille is the pick of the bunch tonight with its visceral discordance weighted perfectly with memorable punk riffs. Tonight is certainly a slow burner hindered by an indifferent crowd but The Men prove that given the chance (and perhaps a smaller venue) they can really tear it up. Jonny Davis


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A ND G ET Y OU R MUS IC C ARE E R ON T RAC K 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 21