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Death At Sea The Sundowners Ninetails Endeci bidolito

Death at Sea by Death at Sea

Issue 19 February 2012


Just off Bold Street‌ 88 Wood Street Liverpool, L1 4DQ / 0151 707 4464

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Bido Lito! February 2012


It feels like we’ve been away for months, and thinking about it I suppose we have. That pre-Christmas buzz seems like a lifetime away and all I’m left with is a chunkier belly, a freezer full of beef stock and a list of shattered New Year’s resolutions. The only one I’ve actually stuck with is a new running regime (I’m going to do the Liverpool 1/2 Marathon in March, which was booked during a festive drinks session thanks to the joy of the internet-ready Bido Phone; cue instant regret...) which, if nothing else, may help to address the aforementioned chunkier belly. What’s more pressing to point out though, is that if anybody is unlucky enough to see me running from the Gun Site in Wallasey at 8am on a Tuesday morning in February, I’ve not just wriggled free from a blacked out Ford Capri, I am merely engaging in some much needed trimming of the chassis.

With this being our first issue of 2012, the need to assess the outlook for our city’s music scene during the coming months is unavoidable. The closure of The Masque, MOJO’s shunning of live music, The CUC’s demise, Static Gallery’s Noise Abatement Notice and the BBC’s strategically scalpel-like ‘strategic review’ flowed like a choreographed combination of punches out of 2011’s backend and into the new year. Our article on page 10 seeks to gauge the feelings of various people working within Liverpool’s music and wider creative community about the year ahead and we would very much welcome your input into the discussion at I actively encourage you to check out our cover band DEATH AT SEA at your earliest convenience, actually at your earliest inconvenience, just as quickly as you bloody well can. I’ll be the first to admit that, from time to time, we do get a little bit carried away here at Bido Lito! Towers (though there will certainly be no apologies for it) and we are in the midst of one of those occasions with Death At Sea. It is rare that a band springs up on our radar from what seems like completely nowhere, perfectly formed and with little in the way of a back story. It’s also moments like this when I’m reminded personally of why I wanted to run a Liverpool Music magazine in the first place. The excitement of striking pure gold, discovering something truly amazing and then being able to spread the gospel. The opportunity to put an unknown band like Death At Sea on the front cover of the magazine is precisely the reason we run it. As well as the article (expertly carved by Mr Torpey I’d like to add) we have managed to shoot the band for an exclusive Obscenic Session with Jack Whiteley and Joe Wills for Bido TV, over at bidolito. The session will go up over the weekend of 28th January. Happy New Year kids... Craig G Pennington Editor

Features 6



Bido Lito!

Issue Nineteen - February 2012 Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane Liverpool, L1 9JD Editor Craig G Pennington -



Assistant Editor Christopher Torpey - Photo Editor Jennifer Pellegrini -

10 2012, A YEAR TO FORGET?

Designer Luke Avery - Assistant Reviews Editor Naters Philip -


Online Editor Natalie Williams - Proofreading



Regulars 4 18 20 22


Debra Williams -

Words Craig G Pennington, Christopher Torpey, Jonny Davis, N. Philip, Samuel Garlick, P. Lee, Clarry M., Pete Charles, Nik Glover, Paul Sullivan, Richard Lewis, Chris Chadwick, Aaron Rose, Rob Dewis Photography, Illustration and Layout Jennifer Pellegrini, Luke Avery, Death At Sea, Barrie Dunbavin, David Howarth, Mike Brits, Brian Roberts, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Marie Hazelwood, Keith Ainsworth Adverts To advertise please contact


Bido Lito! Dansette

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

Edited by Jonny Davis -

Keep Calm And Carry On CALM is a charitable organization which helps young people through depression and loneliness, and this month sees the release of a book documenting 10 years of award-winning campaigns and events in Merseyside. With endorsements from DJ Yousef, Dizzee Rascal and Tony Wilson (among others), CALM has had much success over the past decade. Show your support by buying the book from Waterstones, or by getting involved via TXTACLIP is a new music video hosting service with a difference, designed to make a decent return for the artist and to make money for charity as well. The artist uploads their work for a one off payment of £1.00, fifty pence of which is donated to the musicians’ charity, Youth Music. Each time their track is downloaded, the artist receives 85% of the sale. Bands can even set the price to charge for their work. Check it out at

Museum Records Resurrect Relics Describing themselves as ‘a final resting place for lost recordings and curiosities’, Museum Records specialise in releasing music that time has forgotten. For their latest offering the label have carefully restored a mini-album called Solid Gold Label from Liverpool’s JELLYSTONE PARK (who later became the critically acclaimed CLINIC). To grab yourself a copy head over to museumrecords.tumblr. com. Plus, keep your ears at the ready for an exclusive Museum Records Guest Mix at

Sound Of Guns Load Up On Enemies Once described by Zane Lowe as ‘British rock n’ roll from the heart’, SOUND OF GUNS continue their pursuit of rock domination with the release of their second album Angels And Enemies on 5th March. The release will be accompanied by their largest UK tour to-date, culminating in a home-coming at the O2 Academy on 21st April. Get the album for just £5 when you purchase a gig ticket from

Dan Croll Home UNSIGNED Merseyside’s favourite acoustic troubadour and LIPA alumnus DAN CROLL writes hook-laden music in his sleep and latest offering Home is no exception. His talent for thoughtful and affecting pop music justifies the hype-storm currently engulfing him.

Sun Drums Sun Drums EP EVERYBODY’S STALKING Laptop whizz-kids SUN DRUMS have released their self-titled EP on independent label Everybody’s Stalking. Saturated with swirling synthetic sounds, haunting echoes and distant melodies, this is very much a headphone affair so put on some heavy duty cans, get lost and bliss out.

Kankouran Rivers UNSIGNED

Cultural Champion 2012 The CULTURAL CHAMPION project provides an opportunity for nominees to become an ambassador for culture in Liverpool for a year, taking in all that the city has to offer and sharing their experiences in blog form. With the help of previous champions, the scheme hopes to document the city’s cultural experiences through the eyes of 2012’s champions. To nominate yourself or a friend, visit before 12th February 2012.

COMPETITION! This month Bido Lito! Towers have teamed up with our friends at MUSEUM RECORDS to offer one lucky reader a Deluxe Limited Edition Mini-album from the resurrected JELLYSTONE PARK (pictured). The prize includes four individual one-off Jellystone Park prints, signed and hand-packaged by Museum Records. If this gets your pulse racing, answer this question: By what band name are the members of Jellystone Park better known under? a) Priory

b) Clinic

c) Bedlam

To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer to competition@ The closing date is the 16th February. The right answers will be placed into a pink tombola, the winner will be picked at random and then notified by email.

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Ex-Dire Wolfe/Dan Croll cohorts KANKOURAN have bagged themselves a slot on the Skins trailer and with a YouTube count climbing above 100,000 are fast becoming the name on everyone’s lips. Rivers features guest vocals from Evelyn Burke and has all the hallmarks of a pop chart climber.

Loved Ones Are You Hiding Out In Hell? GIANT HAYSTACKS Are You Hiding Out In Hell? is at the sharp end of LOVED ONES’ sound. The spiky guitar sound underpinned by a cold-as-ice drum loop offers a mechanical introduction to their world. Check out the equally chilling video online, directed by Matt Thomas and David Surridge.

Bido Lito! February 2012


Crate Digging At The Music Consortium When was the last time you bought vinyl? Visited a proper record shop? The Music Consortium are on a mission to bring you back indoors, to music history, and to that end have taken over Hairy Records on Bold Street. Soon to re-launch as a vinyl emporium, they’re encouraging you to call in and discover some of rock music’s hidden gems. They’ve selected some singles and EPs from the 50s to the 90s for Bido Lito! this month, showing you the sort of stuff that’s ready for you to get sifting through. Happy Hunting!


Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and his Comets (Brunswick Records 1957- Cat: OE 9250)

Many believe the music on this EP started it all off, as it’s not quite Rhythm & Blues, not quite Hillbilly, not quite Tin Pan Alley. Described at the time as a ‘kind of shaking, rattling and rolling music; it shakes some people, rattles others and rolls along all the time’. Essentially, Rock & Roll at its finest. Value: £20.00


Dylan - Bob Dylan (CBS Records 1964 - Cat: EP 6051)

Another EP, Dylan’s first in the UK. As a folk poet he was without peer among his generation, and conveyed his concern for the world through unique poetic imagery that made explicit the human condition. This EP contains Blowin’ In The Wind which has become the standard against which all troubadours are measured. Value: £40.00


Anarchy in the UK - Sex Pistols (EMI Records 1976 - Cat: EMI 2566)

This is a rock and roll record, but Lydon’s sneering vocal delivery over the angry buzzing guitars, and the feeling of standing next to a Boeing 747, knocks you off your feet. This is a record that makes you believe in the power music has over the emotions; it’s simply brilliant. Value: priceless! But, it’s here at £40.00


Hand in Glove - The Smiths (Rough Trade 1983 - Cat: RT131)

“The sun shines brightly out of our behinds,” sings Morrissey. A sentiment that would ring true for their adoring fans everywhere, especially when you listen to the knowingly sexually perverse B side Handsome Devil. Value: The version shown here has the Manchester address on the rear and will set you back £25.00


Loser - Beck (Bong Load 1993 - Cat: BL5)

Mr. Hansen produced a series of classics throughout the 90s, and his album Odelay takes some beating. His music is a melding of Folk, Hip Hop, Soul and Indie which transports you to a slackers’ world of Californian sun, sex and suicide. This is the 12-inch US version with Steal My Body Home on the flip side. Value £25.00

The Music Consortium presents

A celebration of the music, lyrics & dance of Kate Bush 7pm 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

rpey stopher To Words: Chri t Sea a th ea D hy: Photograp

By the time you read this, the dreaded ‘Listomania’ period will hopefully be over. During late December and early January, the music press is obsessed with playing Janus, filling up its various column inches and word counts with list-tastic reviews of the year passed, and predictions for the 12 months to come. You should, by now, have a comprehensive knowledge of everything you liked and hated from 2011, and also be building a detailed portfolio of bands, DJs and scenes that you will adore in 2012. Independent thought is no

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longer needed for the mere consumer, as our tastemakers do the donkey work and spoon-feed us our opinions. But, what the music press always forgets about at this time of year is the kind of talent that cuts through the bluster of hype and press suffocation: the internet sensations and viral videos that take YouTube by storm; the un-fancied goth band that reinvent themselves as the band of their generation. In short, what they’ve neglected to mention is the very thing that makes music exciting, the hidden treasures that you stumble upon via an obscure

blog, or that are recommended to you by a mate of a mate who knows a band... What they miss is the mouth-watering golden nuggets that we’ll discover as we sift through the rushing waters of musical delights. What they haven’t accounted for is DEATH AT SEA. Back in November at Bido Lito! HQ, we stumbled upon a video of Death At Sea’s Drag, Drag and we were immediately smitten by its squalling, shoegazey charms. The equally scratchy sumptuousness of Sea Foam Green then followed, and a two-month hunt for the brains behind these songs began. We finally managed to track down Death At Sea’s main protagonists, Ralph Kinsella (Guitars, Vocals),

Bido Lito! February 2012 Ruaidhri Owens (Guitars) and Sam Peterson (Guitars, Vocals), and sat them down round a table to ask them the question that had been on our lips since the first listen through of Drag: Drag where did that come from? “Ha!” laughs Owens, his knowing smile splitting wide at the question. “We’ve known each other for ages and we’ve always jammed together. I always had the confidence that we’d form a band and do some great stuff, but we’ve only just got round to it. We’re made up with the response those two songs have had, but there’s so much more to come.” Brought together studying for a music degree at the University of Liverpool, and bonding over mutual admiration for Deerhunter and Tokyo Police Club, the three are responsible for every aspect of Death At Sea’s output so far. All of the recording has been done by them in their flat-cum recording studio, with Newry-born Owens presiding over the production and mixing. The film reel videos for both Drag and Sea Foam Green trip along like stream of consciousness slideshows, which marry up perfectly with the hazy, lo-fi warmth of the songs. Put together by Edinburgh native Kinsella from original and stock footage, the video to Sea Foam Green depicts them in their hangout surrounded by homely trappings and empty wine bottles, with bursts of sunlight lancing through the hazy fug of cheap ciggie smoke and day-old blues. It’s an atmosphere that encourages the lazy melancholia of their sound to flourish, and overrides the rough nature of the recordings to conjure up a wholesome and scintillating sound. Peterson (Wirral-born, but now hailing from “down South”) has contributed illustrations to the project, highlighting the three friends as a creative trio striving to make each track the best possible sonic realisation of the sound in their heads. Since music is consumed over so many different platforms nowadays, I ask them if the visual element is just as important as the music, to engage the senses on multiple levels? “Yeh, that’s definitely right,”

agrees Peterson tentatively. “That’s why we work on our own artwork and take time to make sure it fits with our aesthetic. We did inwardly groan when we saw that Lana Del Rey video though, as the videos looked very similar. But hers was super slick and intentional, whereas I hope it’s obvious that ours aren’t!” It’s encouraging to hear them talking about this, showing that they have a real handle on their identity, but not in a calculated WU LYF-ian way: Death At Sea are merely a close group of friends who want to make every aspect of their output as good as possible. And, what’s more, they’ve a clear vision for where they want to go with it. Currently working on their debut EP, Life And Youth, the self-confessed perfectionists are poring over every last distorted guitar whine and snare hiss in the final mixing and recording process. “We hope to have the EP out online in early February,” asserts Owens. “I mean, it’s 99% done, to be honest. We just need to re-do some of the drum parts for some tracks and finish the final mixing, but that shouldn’t take long. Then we wanna get out and play it live.” This is something to get seriously hot under the collar about, even on the basis of the two roughlymixed tracks thus far, which contain the most minimalist drum parts since Bobby Gillespie sat down for the Psychocandy sessions. A fulltime drummer has been recruited – Carl Davies (Jazzhands, Hot Light Fiesta) – as well as Peterson’s former bandmate in Bells For René, Neale Davies (Bass). With this new rhythm section, they have been able to expand their sound from those initial recordings, and with Owens’ penchant for lo-fi Sonic Youth, and turning the distortion up to max,


the prospects are tantalisingly delicious. Drag has since been deconstructed and put back together again during these sessions, and the band are as excited about the new line-up as we are to hear the EP. “Carl’s such a good drummer, we’re delighted to have him on board,” nods Kinsella. “It’s given us another dimension.” Owens builds on this enthusiasm by looking beyond the immediate impact of the new band members. “We’ve got these five songs now that we’re working on for this EP. But we’ve got a whole load of songs that we’ve written or demoed but just haven’t got round to finishing off yet. There’s definitely an album’s worth in there. And we’ve scrapped a few tracks during this recording process that we’ll re-visit when the time is right.” A February online release for Life And Youth remains their priority, to coincide with launching their new website, but don’t they want something more? “Yeh. We’d really like to do a limited edition vinyl run on the EP, make it look gorgeous and use some of the designs we’ve been working on,” confirms Peterson. “But we’re lazy and we’ve got no money!” laughs Owens. “We need someone to light a fire under our arse to get us moving. Maybe if we had a record label that’d fund it...” As I sit there listening to a sneak preview of their latest song, a more insistent, motorik, ‘fun’ track that still manages to get pulled back towards bleak melancholy through Kinsella’s lyrics, I’m struck by the fact that this is only the third song of theirs I’ve ever heard. Have I been a bit hasty? Is this a reckless infatuation that will make me look a fool? Quite frankly, I don’t care. Death At Sea are the best band I’ve heard in a long time, and their soaring noise will undoubtedly blow a hole in Liverpool’s unsuspecting music community. Stick that in your list. The EP Life And Youth will be available online from 14th February. This month’s exclusive Obscenic Session with Death At Sea will be online at from the weekend of 28th January.

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Bido Lito! February 2012

Take Tom Petty, a healthy dose of Nancy and Lee, throw in a double helping of the Byrds and a healthy slice of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac and you have, in a loose sense, the essence of THE Words: P.Lee SUNDOWNERS. The sound that Alfie Skelly (Guitar & Photography: Barrie Dunbavin Backing Vocals), Fiona Skelly (Lead Vocals & Guitar), Niamh aside really, because it all Rowe (Lead Vocals & Guitar), Tim Cunningham (Bass) and Jim Sharrock comes down to the tune. You also need to have an ego, (Drums) create may seem simplistic, but much of the time the simple things are because you’ve got to be pretty confident to get up on stage in the first place.” oh so hard to master. Unique is a term that fits. Not only the twinned vocals of Fiona and Niamh, but in the way in which they rest heavily on Tom Petty and Byrds’ sensibilities The Sundowners come from Hoylake. They have a sound which is not traditionally Scouse, not much in the way of mop-top, Beefheart, or shanties whilst at the same time sounding contemporary and up-to-date. It’s all too here, but still with record collections heavily weighted in the retro. This seems easy to be influenced by the past and sound retro, but that’s not the case here. to be a theme with music lovers from this quiet corner of the world; they know Does Ryan Adams sound like Dylan? No, he sounds like Ryan Adams. Does Amy their stuff when it comes to music. The great American folk, R&B, and Blues Winehouse sound like Etta James? No, she sounds like Amy Winehouse. Do Viva came down the river from our Yankee cousins and it’s pretty obvious that some Brother sound like Blur? Erm, bad example… washed up on the Mersey’s less famous coast. There is a depth to The Sundowners. The subject matter in some of the lyrics The band are all too aware of our rich musical heritage and the fact that implies a darker and more troubling element, covering topics such as loss Merseyside residents tend to produce great music. The Sundowners: “The place and isolation. For instance, in Wild One (“you take me or else I’ll take you”), where music is made is everything. If you look at Manchester and the whole Hummingbird (“fly little humming bird, through the pouring rain”, “fly little Northern Soul thing, it’s quite similar to round here with the Beatles. We live in hummingbird, through the blackest night”) and Gone Into The Sun (“you’re not a musical place where music is important to people. You know every Beatles the only one looking for a place to hide”). Pretty bleak in parts, but you could song by the time you are five and you move on from there.” be forgiven for thinking otherwise when they’re delivered with such charm. This Our great artists have the ability to take the best parts of the past and create duality is a tricky feat to master, so I ask, who writes the songs? music that is undoubtedly unique. The Sundowners have first-hand access “We all do really. Somebody will bring a tune and by the time everything has to a large chunk of our recent musical lineage as Alfie and Fiona Skelly have been done on it, it’s a group. It’s usually Fiona, Niamh and Alfie who write the some pretty famous brothers who you may well have heard of. But this should lyrics but we all pitch in to make the song what it is.” never be considered a trapping; good musicians will become good musicians It’s great to hear of a band whose members all have a cumulative creative in their own right. Think the Wainwrights and Marleys. They have grown up input; a factor which may go some way to explaining the diverse nature of the around music and shaped their own music in the truest sense, amalgamating music. The songs are The Sundowners rather than any one individual. their favourite parts of the past to create a sound which is engaging and Recent shows at the Zanzibar, MOJO and the Bido Lito! New Year’s Eve Party contemporary. But don’t just take my word for it, recent NME Tip of the Day and rounded off a busy end to 2011. They came off the back of a show at London’s South Fred Perry Subculture features say the same thing. Bank with Faris Badwan’s Cats Eyes; a double night residency with Cherry Ghost in Growing up around musicians, I ask them what qualities they think are Manchester; and a session for our very own podcast, recorded at Elevator Studios important to look for in the people with whom they make music. (head over to and give it a listen). It’s clear that there’s something “There are loads of good players, but people can do too much to a song. If stirring over the water. Are The Sundowners set for a big 2012? Don’t bet against it. you’re jamming you can do what you want, but when it comes to a song you need to play tasteful and keep it simple. Also, patience is a virtue. Everybody Go to now for an exclusive extended gallery from Barrie Dunbavin’s needs to have their opinions heard at the end of the day, and we all do that. It photo shoot with The Sundowners..

The Sundowners A Warm Slice Of Suburbia

takes time to get it right. When it comes to the song, you need to put everything

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Sun 29th Jan


s £15 adv

(of Wu-Tang Clan)

Mon 5th Mar

s £14.50 adv

Sun 11th Mar

s £12.50 adv

Sun 11th Mar


Reel Big Fish Fri 3rd Feb

s £10 adv

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

s £23 adv

Sun 8th Apr


s £18.50 adv

Mon 9th Apr

s £10 adv

Mon 9th Apr

The Jayhawks

Rise To Remain

s £22.50 adv

Big Country

s £17 adv

The Maccabees Thurs 15th Mar

Sat 5th Feb


s £10 adv

Black Stone Cherry

(Johnny Cash Tribute) Fri 16th Mar

Sat 11th Feb

s £22.50 adv

Lightning Seeds Sun 12th Feb

s £10.50 adv

The Big Pink Fri 17th Feb

Wild Beasts

s £10 adv

s £13 adv

Thurs 22nd Mar

Sun 26th Feb

s £15 adv

The Drums

Sat 4th Feb ‡ £10 adv Stanley Theatre

Young Guns

Tues 14th Feb ‡ £16.50 Mountford Hall

Sun 25th Mar

+ Rolo Tomassi Fri 13th Apr

(Wet Wet Wet)

s £13.50 adv

Charlie Simpson

s £15 adv

The Drums

s £17.50 adv

Sat 14th Apr


s £9 adv Mon 12th Mar s £17 adv

The Maccabees

s £8.50 adv

Sound Of Guns Tues 22nd May

s £7 adv

Fri 25th May


s £20 adv

Peter Hook & The Light Perform “Unknown Pleasures” A Joy Division Celebration

Sat 10th Mar ‡ £16.50 adv Mountford Hall


Sat 24th Mar ‡ SOLD OUT Mountford Hall

Fri 24th Feb ‡ £16.50 Stanley Theatre

Sat 31st Mar ‡ £20 Mountford Hall

You Me At Six

+ Kids In Glass Houses + Mayday Parade + The Skints


Sun 26th Feb

“Human’s Lib” & “Dream Into Action”

The Skrillex Cell Grey Daze Tour Shelby Lynne

s £20 adv

Howard Jones In Concert

Dick Valentine

s £8 adv

Graeme Clark

s £12 adv


Sat 21st Apr

A Night Of Queen With The Bohemians


The Big Pink

UK Group Therapy Tour 2012

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Sun 18th Mar

Sun 12th Feb s £10.50 adv

s £15 adv

Emeli Sande

Above & Beyond

Nazareth Sat 17th Mar

s £24 adv

Sat 14th Apr

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s £12 adv s 10pm - 3am

James Lavelle Fri 24th Feb

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Los Campesinos!

The Stranglers

Mon 12th Mar Sat 4th Feb

Tues 27th Mar

Eyes Set To Kill

s £15 adv

Thurs 2nd Feb

Fri 3rd Feb

Fri 2nd Mar

Sat 17th Mar

s £12.50 adv

Wild Beasts

Sat 21st Apr ‡ SOLD OUT Mountford Hall

Bombay Bicycle Club

Fri 27th Apr ‡ £10 Stanley Theatre

Charlene Soraia

Words: Craig G Pennington Photography: Brian Roberts The final months of 2011 saw a series of dramatic shifts in the landscape of Liverpool’s music community. The closure of The Masque was followed by the demise of the Contemporary Urban Centre and the announcement that Static Gallery, one of the city’s emerging live music spaces, had been served a Noise Abatement Notice from Liverpool City Council, ordering no further ‘Loud Amplified Music’ at its city centre premises (see Static Director Paul Sullivan’s guest column on page 20). Then came the announcement in mid-January that MOJO would no longer be hosting live music. These events arrive in a wider social landscape of spiralling unemployment (with further job losses to come) and an arts funding agenda that is set to provide a grave challenge to the sector. Do these challenges sound the death knell to a current music scene that, as many would enthuse, has blossomed over the past two years?

According to Club Evol’s Revo, this doesn’t appear to be the case. “Despite the ‘climate’ we still have shows selling out, well attended atmospheric shows, and we have a variety of strong promoters that are catering for all areas of the music industry. I see a growing community with an entrepreneurial spirit and a ‘true’ spirit for the most part. I’m not going to glaze over the fact that people are going through hard times and are out of work but there’s a determination there. People can do things for themselves and sometimes it takes a bleak period for them to see it.” “The music and arts community in Liverpool has never been stronger,” says Paula Stewart, who was The Masque’s Promotions Manager up until its closure in December. “There are more people giving it a go, from fanzines, magazines, bloggers, writers, promoters and performers. There are new ideas all the time coupled with Liverpool’s collection of experienced creatives. People stick together here; that’s what’s great about the city and that’s what will see

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us through.” The view that Liverpool’s sense of creative community is likely to provide a key asset in the face of the current challenges is one shared by Mike Stubbs, the Director/CEO at FACT. “The cultural scene is very strong and I feel like the city leaders genuinely recognise the value of the cultural economy. I believe this is deeprooted, beyond 2008, they ‘get it’. We are lucky to be part of a community of producers, thinkers, musicians, galleries and venues which is very joined up and talkative; despite the generic rough times, we are resilient and will rise to the challenge.” It is a challenge indeed. The closure of The Masque provides a high profile example of how interlinked Liverpool’s music micro-economy is; from the sound engineers, promoters, PA companies, designers, street teams, DJs and zines who will have lost substantial revenue with the venue’s closure, to the sizeable full-time staff who have lost everything. Ben Murray works as a freelance sound engineer for Liverpool company Total Control:

“As I was acting as Head Engineer at the time of The Masque’s closure, it affected me quite heavily. To come three weeks before Christmas, with no notice whatsoever, left a bit of a dent for me personally. Because I was technically freelance, I wasn’t due any kind of compensation for the December shows. I also feel sorry for the management, bar staff and other members of staff who worked hard to keep the place running for so long.” “I’m really gutted about the loss of The Masque” says Paula Stewart. “It seems that everyone and every business is struggling at the moment. I’m not suggesting all venues will go down the pan, but we saw three go at the end of last year, so it’s evident that the economic climate is making things difficult. We suffered the same fate as thousands of other businesses around the world. Quite simply, money was the factor in the closure of the business. If it wasn’t for that, we’d still be there creating new memories.” It is evident that these testing economic times will scrutinise the

Bido Lito! February 2012 This is all well and good, but for the balance sheets of businesses across our sector, just as they will do within staff who lose their jobs when a venue closes or the freelancers who lose any other, and it seems that this their main source of income, there reality eventually caught up with remains the day-to-day necessity of The Masque, to disastrous effect. Revo: “For almost three years the securing a living, something which venue made continual losses on poor Ben Murray believes may result in “driving people into other vocations shows; it was buttressed by Chibuku and Circus. No one has a bottomless with a more secure structure.” pit of money to continually support Roger Hill: “There are fewer jobs something that doesn’t make any but not necessarily less work. Selfmoney when the intention is to make employed individuals have a real money. It wasn’t because people incentive to make work for themselves. didn’t want to watch bands there; Depressions lower morale but we have the bookings from Evol showed this; been working with morale-lowering there was a willingness to see great circumstances on Merseyside for live music in there. The Theatre room decades. Creativity will continue. is a fantastic room; who walked away Community will continue. I only hope from The Maccabees with a poor people aren’t tempted to sell out their experience? No one. But I’m afraid it creativity for some fallacious ‘Get Out was a case of too little too late, the Of Jail Free’ offer.” damage had already been done.” One of the main challenges to So, is The Masque’s closure a sign the wider creative economy is the of events to come, emblematic of centralised slashing of arts funding. the outlook for our city’s venues? However, given pop music’s traditional BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Hill, non-reliance on such revenue, it could whose PMS show (the longest provide somewhat of an advantage. running alternative show on UK radio) According to David Parrish, author of is current under threat as part of the the book, T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide BBC’s Strategic Review, doesn’t believe to the Business of Creativity, and a so: “Not at all,” he tells me. “There will consultant who works with many always be venues if there are bands Liverpool creatives: “The music and solo artists to play them.” community isn’t totally dependent on “It doesn’t necessarily mean funding; it can survive. In fact it can the demise of the live scene, just thrive: we just need to think creatively a shift in emphasis,” suggests Mat about resources, money and the way Flynn, Lecturer In Music at LIPA. we organise our enterprises in the “The announcement music community.” “People can do of the opening of Revo: “From my things for themselves viewpoint people the Epstein Theatre proves that, even in who depend on and sometimes it tough times, when takes a bleak period funding to develop one door closes for them to see it” their ideas tend to another opens. In follow the funding, Revo, Club Evol addition, a change in like an arts driven the structure of the live performance wagon train. I’ve seen plenty come spaces in the city centre invariably and go over the past few years, so if means activity will migrate to the the well dries up we’ll see some mass fringes, where it will germinate and movement. You only have to look at bring about a response.” Given the rise the funding mammoth that was the of venues such as the Wolstenholme CUC, the money was cut (and we’re Creative Space, Static, and the growing talking a lot of money) and then they number of warehouse spaces in the whimpered back down south with Baltic Triangle being used for shows, their tails between their legs.” we can already see this migration Mat Flynn is in agreement when bearing fruit. he suggests that, “Creativity in and of


itself has never been and never will Hayes of the Picket for some of the be dependent on funding.” 80s, so was pretty actively involved. I The 1980s in Liverpool was a time of remember some great gigs in support dire economic hardship and political of the miners, the Red Wedge dates, upheaval. It was also a time of the gloriously named ‘God Has Given musical and artistic boom in this city. Us This Leisure’ gig, and the final Liverpool’s response to adversity has County Council gig on St George’s always been to create, but will that be Plateau. I think the recent Justice tour the way it plays out this time? with The Farm, Pete Wylie, and Mick “I hope so,” Jayne Casey, who was at Jones shows what can happen when the centre of the scene artists and fans unite during that period, behind a cause.” “Depressions lower fronting Big morale but we have been The breakthrough In Japan, tells on a national level working with moraleus. “Liverpool of artists such as lowering circumstances on Outfit, Stealing became a bit Merseyside for decades. Sheep and Forest of a ghost town in the 80s. There Creativity will continue” Swords (to name Roger Hill, PMS were very few but three) can live music venues and provide huge optimism touring bands didn’t come to the city. on an artistic level as we head into I used to go over to Manchester on a 2012. Flick through this current Saturday night to see a band play and issue of Bido Lito! and it’d be hard I would entice them back to Liverpool to argue that there is not cause for a ‘party’ and then they would for a huge amount of enthusiasm. play for free on Sunday at a little The key will be us combining and Sunday Club I ran on Bold Street. The nurturing this talent through the Smiths, New Order, Pale Fountains, blossoming network, infrastructure The Bunnymen, everyone played. and community support of our scene. You can always find opportunities There are many more independent in a recession; you just have to be promoters of quality, alternative extra tenacious. Most importantly, performance spaces, magazines, as a musician if you are thrown a life blogs and emerging upstart labels raft you have to try and pull as many than there were even two years ago, people on board as you can. Wylie had so it seems we’re well equipped for a deal and he and I shared a studio the challenge. on Benson Street. This allowed me to Plus, let’s not forget that Liverpool set up an independent record label, has been there and done this before. which became the launch pad for lots We have faced, fought and conquered of different artists. I produced some these economic challenges with demos for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, creativity and style intact, as Jayne including the first recording of Relax. Casey poignantly reminds us: “In the When they became massive and 80s we left a road map behind for Relax was at number one, I released the next generation. We hoped you my little version on a compilation that wouldn’t need to use it but it’s there included lots of Liverpool bands and, if you need it, and we will be with due to Frankie’s profile, it sold over you every step of the way, trying to 100,000 copies, which was amazing support you all whenever we can. This for the other bands involved.” gives the city an advantage over other Kevin McManus (Former NME cites - there’s an old Chinese proverb journalist and current Director of ‘To know the road ahead, ask those Merseyside Creative Industries Agency coming back’.” ACME): “As someone who was around in the 1980s, I would definitely hope Agree? Disagree? Add your there is a creative response. I worked comments to the debate at now at the Trade Union Centre with Phil

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Bido Lito! February 2012


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Words: Samuel Garlick Photography: David Howarth If you gather obsessions easily then NINETAILS are not the band for you. Once you’ve been captivated by their sauntering guitars, ethereal soundscapes and beguiling melodies, you’ll find it near impossible to pull yourself away. Beckoned from a mutual affinity for Battles and alcohol, the dynamic quartet began their foray into the Liverpool music scene simply through LIPA’s freshers’ week. As Ed Black (Vocals, Guitar) states, “It’s pretty hard to not talk about how we started without dropping the ‘LIPA bomb’. It has provided us with some great opportunities and connections; it’s like a bubble from which some bands don’t escape and cliques can form.” Operating in tandem with other mercurial talents from the institute has clearly boosted Ninetails’ capacity, spurring them to blossom from a hotbed of ability. Within all scenes an emphasis on genre and labels is vital in establishing identities; however, with such an emphasis on clarification there is a shift from what bands sound like to whom they sound like. Math, experimental; attach whatever category you wish to Ninetails, their individuality instead lies within their ability to bleed genres and transcend boundaries. As Jordan Balaber (Guitar) explains, “We never wanted to be labelled exclusively as ‘math rock’ because we feel like that association completely misses the point of what our music is about. We’re more into emotion than technical structure, and I feel like that title implies that we have very little heart.”

As Theodor Adorno has stated, “Music assures a man that within the monotony of universal comparability there is still something particular”. With Ninetails’ genre-bounding approach, their particularity is a potent eclecticism. This can leave listeners either desperately trying to grasp at something specific, or basking in the excellence of their complexity. Fortunately, with Ninetails it’s absolutely the latter. Citing vastly different influences, each member has a pivotal, yet fundamentally diverse, role. As Jordan explains, “Ed is poporiented and has a fantastic ear for digestible melodies; Phil deeply reveres a good lyric; Jake has a precise ear for rhythm, which is probably where our label of ‘math rock with African melodies’ comes from; and I’m rooted in jazz chords and an eternal love for ethereal sounds. We all have completely different tastes, but these differences help us define our music.” The intricacy of their individual layers culminates in an astonishingly coherent product, which works so that each component of their sound complements every other, rather than fighting for space. Ed agrees: “It’s an interesting juxtaposition with our clean, angular and often-effected guitar parts, which is what gives us the bulk of our sounds as opposed to just using distortion. With each new song our sound is changing and developing.” So what’s next? Well, for both Ninetails and local hotshots Vasco Da Gama, a crucial moment in their careers will be supporting Errors on February 11th at the Kazimier, and it’s a stage that they’re both more than ready for. “It’s obviously a huge gig for us. I’ve been listening to Errors for time, so to support them so early on in our formation is a most auspicious piece of luck,” states Phil, modestly. Jacob King (Drums) agrees: “We’re not expecting a breakthrough, we’re just doing our thing. I think our Three Trapped Tigers show last year was our big arrival on the scene, but the Errors show will surely be our best.” Phil concludes by saying, “We’ve got a few releases scheduled for the coming months. It’s going to be a pivotal year for us as we work towards a first album.” So keep an eye on the stage for these virtuosos, as not only are they lucky to be part of such a vibrant scene, but we’re lucky to have them gracing ours. Rawdon Fever will be released on 27th February via Superstar Destroyer Records









17.03 27.03


Bido Lito! February 2012

Behind The Wall of Sleep Words: Pete Charles Illustration: Behind The Wall Of Sleep

“Every time we’ve put on a show, it’s pissed it down. Seriously, we’re the rainmakers!” says Sam Wiehl of Liverpool’s premier psych rock promoters BEHIND THE WALL OF SLEEP, with the merest hint of exasperation. A gloomy outlook, but despite many of their previous gigs being marred by inclement weather, the six-strong collective look to have taken a successful gamble on a positively balmy post-Christmas period by booking a hat-trick of gigs, with more in the pipeline. Frustrated by the fact that all their favourite bands’ tours tended to gravitate towards the veiny sprawl of Manchester rather than coastal Liverpool, a group of friends - Jason, Sam, Adam, Clifford, Bilso and Mark - began to throw around the idea that it didn’t have to be this way, and that their mini fleet of promoters would have the muscle and broadness of taste to attract high quality touring

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bands from the world over. The magnetic effect of Manchester has for years been the bugbear of many a fledgling Liverpool promoter, but BTWOS have proved that it’s one that can be overcome. All it takes is hard graft, a positive attitude and some nifty poster art. Fast-forward a year and BTWOS have filled a

yawning gap in the market. In December they hosted Premonition 13, fronted by the quasi-legendary doom rocker Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich. Fans came from as far afield as Newcastle to attend the band’s only northern show. “I think it works because we’ve all got each other’s backing and don’t treat it like a job,” explains Adam, “and if one of us has faith in a particular band, we’ll back them 100%.” It’s an incredibly trusting attitude to take, but since it was a love of similar styles of music that brought them together, the risk is diluted somewhat. Jason, best known as bassist with psych rockers Mugstar, explains the importance of “keeping the line-up as varied as possible” and Sam, poster guru and Mugstar projectionist insists that there is “a definite spectrum of eclecticism within the tiny world we inhabit.” If there were a grain of homogeny running through all BTWOS shows, it would be one of the avant-garde, the psychedelic and surreal, their macabre poster art providing an extra ‘ooo!’ factor. The element of mystery in the designs reflects the music, and the level of detail is enough to draw you in for the couple of seconds that it takes you to ask yourself: “why is that pyramid wearing sunglasses?” or “why is that dog playing with a human skull?” Three of the troupe have a background in graphic design and, despite their suggestion that there are very few places in Liverpool to advertise shows, Sam is passionate about the need for posters, even in the digital age: “It may not make economical sense to print off a load of posters when there’s nowhere to put them, but we still make them for the same reason bands still press vinyl - to create a lasting, physical medium. Plus, Behind The Wall Of Sleep is not a brand, it’s a bit freer than that.” With the aesthetics taken care of, there’s the actual formality of putting on the gigs themselves, which all members agree can be the most trying of tasks. Adam is rankled by the turmoil of balancing the finances. “Trying to keep the cost of putting on shows to a minimum is the hardest thing about it. You’ve got venue hire, accommodation, guest list and we always try and feed the bands... it’s hard work.” Sam is keen to stress that on the rare occasion they make a profit, they will either use it to put on a free show (as they did in August last year, booking Mogwai’s touring guitarist RM Hubbert in Bold Street Coffee) or simply cut the headliners a percentage: “It’s not because we’re really nice or anything, we’re just crap promoters!” Headlining the next show on 23rd March at the Kazimier are NYC space rockers White Hills. Signed to Thrill Jockey Records, they are all smouldering guitar solos, earth-moving fuzz bass and stoner wig-out atmospherics. With Mugstar and Mind Mountain in support, it should be a corker. So what’s the secret to putting on a successful show? They look humbled that I would ask such a question: “We haven’t found that yet!” jokes Jason. But it depends what you class as success. If it’s picking the latest buzz band off the industry production line and using them to sell out an 800-capacity venue, then BTWOS certainly haven’t found it, but if it’s getting your favourite bands to come from all over the world to play a show on your own stomping ground, then we reckon they’re on the right track.

TINARIWEN Wednesday 11 April 7.30pm Award-winning poet-guitarists from the Sahara desert. These soul rebels toured with Red Hot Chili Peppers and have been remixed by Four Tet. Fighting for freedom, the guitar is their weapon.

Tickets £18.50, £24.50

Box Office 0151 709 3789

‘A brilliant live band ... infectious, pounding fusion of desert blues and the styles of the nomadic Tuareg people of the Sahara’ The Guardian


Bido Lito! February 2012

ENDECI It’s an all too familiar story. You and a couple of mates congregate in a chosen bedroom or garage with assorted instruments, intent on musical stardom. A few haphazard practices ensue, before deciding the guitarist’s ego is ruining your creative endeavours, you’ll never gather the pennies to record anything, and you’d probably be better off focusing on that IT course, much to your parents’ relief. Fortunately, not all garage band ventures end this way. From the unassuming borough of Maghull, Winter Here is a lo-fi wonder, an album born of a cold and snowy stint in a garage by newcomers ENDECI. Dan Schulze (Guitar, Vocals) and Josh Mansell (Drums) formed the band through mutual friend James Rice (Bass, Vocals), and recorded the album as a project stemming from previous bouts of writing and recording. After rejecting the term ‘modest garage rock’ from their Soundcloud profile on the grounds that “You can’t be modest and say you’re modest,” they settled for ‘lo-fi winter rock’. Lo-fi seems to describe the album perfectly, epitomised by its simplistic nature, prompted by a lack of professional recording equipment. “It was lower than lo-fi, we had no-fi,” says Dan. When the snow thawed and the album was complete, Endeci distributed CDs, before embarking on a daunting wait for potential curiosity. Interest came in the form of a gig supporting She Keeps Bees for a Harvest Sun show, and attention has spiralled from there. Endeci’s members seem pleasantly

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Words: Clarry M Photography: Mike Brits

surprised by the reaction, as Josh humbly claims: “It’s not the most accessible music in the world.” Throughout the album, uplifting riff-based hooks act as a guide, whilst prominent basslines and forceful drumming contrast with James’ high pitched vocals. Some songs feel introverted and personal, whereas This Is High Art and The Burning Cradle see Dan singing with a Guided by Voices or The Fall style of rock laziness. The epic wailing chorus of ‘ohs’ in Home urges an anthemic singalong that Coldplay would envy. The opening track on Endeci’s album, Angela’s Ghost poses an intriguing juxtaposition. Just guitar and vocals, sinister, frail and somewhat unsettling, this sound is energetically blown away as it flows directly into Valley of the Dolls. Dolls When played in isolation, Angela’s Ghost is a curious oddball of a song, but when adjoined to the rest of the album it falls into place and acts as a breaker of expectations. Endeci admit that, “It’s kind of grown into one song over time.” However unintentional, it serves as a captivating and compelling unconventionality. There is more than a hint of alternative 90s rock, embraced by the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Sparklehorse, to Endeci’s music. Dan reflects that, “In those days, bands just didn’t have the means,” which aligns with Endeci’s DIY nature. Josh explains: “We recorded it in a garage and it was a bit trashy and we didn’t have any violins or cellos.” Perhaps this recent tendency in bands like Yuck and The Vaccines to adopt a more DIY sound is the result of the increasingly under-equipped,

never-been-to-Brit-School generation, and the beginnings of a more basic, less produced sound. Dan concurs: “I thought it was going to happen a few years ago; we thought there was going to be some kind of lo-fi renaissance, with the recession.” Perhaps Josh is right in saying, “Some people try too hard.” The key to Endeci appears to be that “We just don’t punch above our weight,” creating a refreshing, more natural sound. Less is more seems to be Endeci’s mantra. A further refreshing element of Endeci is their nonmilitant, more relaxed promotion strategies: “We hate the whole thing of bands pestering people”. A free download of their album on their website bodes better than tedious Facebook reminders, which often become tiresome to the point where hearing of a band through any other means seems increasingly appealing. Whereas the birth of 60s garage rock and its various revivals encapsulates the amateur-like, raw nature of music rehearsed in garages, GarageBand now more likely conjures up the AppleMac application allowing users to create music on their laptop. This seems to sum up today’s bedroom producer culture, and often over-computerised nature of music. Endeci, who boldly encompass the original sense of the term ‘garage band’, counter this with their back to basics production, a little modesty, authenticity, and not trying to be anything that they are not. Winter Here is available now from


Bido Lito! February 2012


Edited by Richard Lewis -

BETH JEANS HOUGHTON Backed by The Hooves of Destiny and on the road touring imminent debut album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose BETH JEANS HOUGHTON comes to Eric’s in February. Described by The Guardian as ‘Vashti Bunyan crossed with Nico and Laura Marling’, her off-kilter sound continues to win over new converts. Eric’s – 21st Feb – Tickets from

KING CREOSOTE AND JON HOPKINS Last year’s Mercury nominated Diamond Mine LP, which was featured on scores of end of year lists, is being played in its entirety by the soon to be defunct KING CREOSOTE AND JON HOPKINS. With the duo expected to revert to their solo incarnations after the split, their appearance at The Capstone Theatre will be an ideal opportunity to sample the album in its full glory. The Capstone Theatre – 7th Feb – Tickets from


The War On Drugs

Arriving on these shores riding on the crest of a wave of critical opinion, THE WAR ON DRUGS tour their superb Slave Ambient LP. Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, the Keystone State’s finest source classic US rock ala Springsteen, Petty and Dylan, mixed up with MBV style ambience and a slew of strong melodies. Their juxtaposition of rock n’ roll’s passion with shoegazing’s muggy sensuality across the disc’s eleven tracks saw them become a high-ranking fixture in seemingly every critical arena. The album also saw the band decisively move out from the shadows of former founder member Kurt Vile, who had a similarly brilliant 2011. Released on the excellent Secretly Canadian label last year, the album was the band’s first release since Vile’s departure for a solo career. The songwriter’s flit in 2008, along with two other members, left the band almost the sole property of co-founder Adam Granduciel. Regrouping with new members, the changes seemingly did little to damage the band’s progress, as Slave Ambient became their highest profile release yet. Hosted by the good people at Harvest Sun, the gig will almost certainly be a sell-out, meaning interested parties are advised to secure tickets ASAP. The Kazimier – 23rd Feb – Tickets from

Off the back of ace 45 Waveforms DJANGO DJANGO’s return to the city couldn’t come soon enough. On the road to plug their highly anticipated eponymous debut LP (due at the end of January), those who missed their Sound City appearance are strongly advised to be in attendance. The Shipping Forecast - 21st Feb – Tickets from

JAMES LAVELLE Once described as ‘the Hunter S. Thompson of DJs’, JAMES LAVELLE is currently airing his turntable skills on the road. Responsible - along with DJ Shadow - for one of the most memorable albums of the 1990s, UNKLE’s Psyence Fiction, Fiction and founder of the MoWax label, Lavelle’s Academy set is highly recommended. O2 Academy 2 – 17th Feb – Tickets from

JONATHAN RICHMAN Lead singer and founder of The Modern Lovers and writer of the seminal Roadrunner - credited by film director Richard Linklater as being ‘the first punk song’, JONATHAN RICHMAN makes a rare trip to Blighty. A bona fide legend, this show will be the perfect setting to see him up close and personal. The Kazimier – 26th Feb – Tickets from

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Threshold Festival

Returning for its second year, the THRESHOLD FESTIVAL boasts an extended line-up for 2012. The loss of the Contemporary Urban Centre late last year has entailed some logistical re-jigging with the festival now being hosted by several venues over the 10th – 12th February. The events remain focused around the Baltic Triangle area with The Picket, Warehouse 59, Elevator Bar, Camp and Furnace, The Nordic Church, and The Blade Factory all pressed into service. Static Caravan Records signing LAURA J. MARTIN - who played a stunning show at the Nordic Church last year - is one of the event’s major draws. Debut album The Hangman Tree is soon to be released, featuring Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci linchpin Euros Childs, and supports with Misty’s Big Adventure and Hannah Peel are logged. Elsewhere, THE THESPIANS, THE RIALTO BURNS, THE MONO LPS, MINION TV, CAROUSEL, STEALING SHEEP, THE HUMMINGBIRDS, ALL WE ARE, TIBI AND HER CELLO and many others feature across the stages. Panels and theatre workshops will be held across venues including The Lantern Theatre, and there will also be a clothes’ fair, courtesy of Pillbox Vintage. With other stages currated by labels Antipop, UpitUp and Debt, sonically there is something for everyone. More acts are to be comfirmed over the coming weeks. 10th – 12th February – Visit for more details


Bido Lito! February 2012 Rants/Comment

Guest Column Paul Sullivan, STATIC Director

At the start of December 2011, Static Gallery received a Noise Abatement Notice from Liverpool City Council: a statutory notice requiring Static to NOT allow any further ‘Loud Amplified Music’ in its city centre premises. In light of receiving the Notice, Static Gallery have decided to host a debate on the 2nd February 2012 in order for the key issues to be aired in a public forum. Static were issued the Notice after

the city council received a number of complaints from two or three residents about live music events held in the gallery. The definition of ‘Loud Amplified Music’ is not quite clear; however, what is clear is that if a place like Static can’t hold live music and experimental sound events within the remit of its licence, then there needs to be a serious debate about what exactly we want our city to be. There is a real danger that the city’s cultural ecosystem is being fundamentally altered in order for a new family/visitor-friendly vision of the city to emerge. This new idea for Liverpool Utopia is being driven by sections of the city council, police, local business and resident interest groups, who all buy

live music unique locations The Forestry Commission by arrangement with Primary Talent International presents




into the idea that by stopping socalled nuisance bars and by issuing Noise Abatement Notices to music venues, that somehow the city will then be much more family and visitor-friendly. What this consortium seems to have overlooked is that utopian visions are in the realms of pure fantasy, and that the city is a much more complex, dynamic and fluid entity. Great cities are places of creativity, of hustle and bustle, of colour, spectacle and noise. That is what attracts people to cities. However, the message that is emerging from the city council and its influential resident lobby groups is that they now want a new city centre, one where they can decide who is allowed to open a bar or a music venue. Yes, a place where residents have much more power not just in getting places closed down due to noise but where they can actually influence the decisions on what can

open in the first place. On one level this may be seen as a triumph for people power; however, the counter argument is that this new powerful culturally conservative coalition will lead simply to the gentrification of the city centre for those who can afford it and the gradual demise of the city’s rich tapestry of music venues, bars and clubs. A kind of managed decline. Who really wants the city to become an extension of suburbia? Noise Debate: Liverpool: Capital of Culture? Urban Metropolis or Suburban Hinterland? 6pm Thursday 2nd February, Static Gallery, Liverpool PLACES LIMITED DUE TO DEMAND Panel Chair: Doug Clelland (Architect) Panel: Daniel Hunt (Ladytron) Councillor Steve Munby (City Council)

Rants/Comment Bido Lito! February 2012

Nik Glover Biogosphere Having just read a press release from a certain well-known band that runs to four sides of closely-spaced A4 and describes everything from where their parents were born to how they feel about Eggs Benedict and what tips they might have for keen gardeners hoping to improve their parsnip crop, I felt pressed to begin this month’s column with an overlong, rambling sentence which doesn’t really lead anywhere and says much more about how much spare time the author has than it does about any novel creative ideas they might have been responsible for (I’d say that has nailed it). …which is an exhausting way of

saying that this month’s article is about band biographies, or ‘Biogs’. Promoters are busy people. They are forever saying things like ‘I’ll call you tomorrow’ or ‘Let’s put that on hold for the time being’ or ‘I’ll pay you when the 100 mates you said were coming materialise’. Being so busy, they haven’t got time to sit at a computer and write a solid 30 words about every act that is gracing their stage every night. Instead, they ask the band to write a little something about themselves. Invariably one of the musicians will have a keen eye for this sort of thing and will send back a Biog describing how the band formed, the biggest bands they’ve supported and maybe any festivals

appeared at or awards won. The composition of the Biog will depend on the style of music; for a band who draw most of their inspiration from current chart acts broadly of the Indie persuasion there will doubtless be a mention of one of two words; ‘angular’ or ‘anthemic’. For a band that basically rips off early to mid-career Sonic Youth, the word ‘art’ will appear. The Libertines just used to send out a picture of Ronnie Corbett dressed as the Cockney shopkeeper with the words ‘UP THE ‘AMMERS’ scrawled across it in blue biro. A good Biog is invariably short (we’ve toured with these bands who you might like, our album is out on such-and-such a date) and free from ambivalent phrases like ‘selfreferential’ or ‘tour de force’, which should never, ever be used to describe reverb and delay-ridden guitar solos.


It’s not surprising that most Biogs tend towards the formulaic. Translating your new flute-driven paean to the overgrown public byways of Shropshire into words that don’t make you sound like a towering gobshite is almost impossible. It’s tempting to state the facts dourly: dates, locations and full names of each contributor, tossing in a few just-below-the-radar namechecks (‘occasional guitarist for Euros Childs’), trying to make it all sound below you, or reverting to the suicidally obtuse The Music Speaks For Itself. “Not if I choose not to see you on the basis of your write-up it doesn’t.” make ‘THE BACKDOORS anthemic rock that sounds like the bastard offspring of The Doors and The Offspring, crowned by the soaring vocals of (insert name) and tour-deforce guitar work of (insert name).’



MUSIC 19/01 11/02 25/02 16/03





EXHIBITION FREDERIC PRADEAU + DIANE GUYOT (Late March 2012, dates to be confirmed)


Static, 23 Roscoe Lane, Liverpool, L1 9JD


Bido Lito! February 2012 Reviews

Capac (Mike Brits)


Sun Drums – Loved Ones – Supercell Everisland @ The Kazimier As Everisland’s first gig of the new year, expectations tonight are high, with a sumptuous line-up boasting film, music and multi-media arts. TEA & TWO SLICE provide us with a suitably eclectic opening, showcasing three films that range from cartoon shorts to politically-charged mini documentaries, all accompanied by tea and toast. Musical openers SUPERCELL impress on their first outing in Liverpool, combining expansive guitars with programmed beats, and JOHN MCGRATH silences the swelling crowd with his intricate and effect-laden guitar tricks. An evening of “devious occurrences” was promised but, conversely, the night’s major triumph is the steadily building positive atmosphere in the room, one of community. As a prelude

to the main musical events, THE HIVE COLLECTIVE are in the mood to subvert that positive atmosphere by scaring those superstitious souls who are unnerved by today’s date with an interactive performance of audio-visual imagery. It’s mindbending stuff. LOVED ONES have been causing quite the stir amongst Liverpool’s music press since the release of their first single Are You Hiding Out In Hell? in November last year. The public are catching on too, as the four-piece draw the biggest crowd of the night. Sweet, folk-driven melodies combine effortlessly with fuzzy electronic elements to create an impressive and expansive sound, especially considering the absence of a regular drummer. Everything about this band is well-conceived, and on tonight’s performance it looks likely that in 2012 Loved Ones could more than live up to the hype currently surrounding them. SUN DRUMS have been worryingly

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quiet of late: their last Liverpool show was back in October and before that came an extended break while the trio honed their sound. The results served up to us tonight prove that it’s been worth the wait, producing beat-driven ambience and ethereal vocals that leave you in a trance-like state from the first listen. Translating such delicate soundscapes into a live performance that does justice to the band’s complexity is no easy task and it seems tonight that Sun Drums are still struggling to match their recorded sound. On occasions the swelling synths and electronic beats are hauntingly beautiful and remind the audience exactly why we get excited every time they announce a show. Leaves Along The Stream is sublime, and the band’s vocal harmonies are beautifully constructed. Elsewhere, however, the echoing guitar and soft synth tones lose their distinction and clarity in a reverberating hum. CAPAC return to the city after defecting to London last year, but

any bitterness felt for that betrayal is washed away as the band floats onto the stage. It’s a change of pace and exactly what the crowd needs as temperatures rise, bodies start to move, and driving rhythms mix with slowly evolving synth melodies that build to create a wall of sound. The addition of vocalist Kate Smith gives the band an added dynamic as she slinks around the stage for See The Young. It’s on this track that Capac Young really shine, shimmering synths and break-beats rising and falling alongside Smith’s transcendent vocals, marking a triumphant return for one of Liverpool’s finest exports. Chris Chadwick


The Computers – Eagulls Wingwalker @ The Kazimier After being on the receiving end of what the hip-hop fraternity would call rival beef from a hardcore band that

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will go un-named, EAGULLS are back in Liverpool doing what they do best; pulverising audiences with blasts of furious, melodic hardcore-punk. Their’s is a name that is cropping up on the blogs at an exponential rate. The hype inevitably invokes a mixed feeling of intrigue and trepidation but in this case the curious are rewarded in spades. Infusing heavy rock with a keen ear for melody has allowed Eagulls to appeal to a wider audience without losing any credibility, and it is clear from their stage presence tonight that they not only love what they are doing but don’t care who else does. Singer George Mitchell rarely faces the audience and patrols the stage in a trance-like state, only lifting his head to bask in the guitar harmonies. You know when a cricketer launches the ball vertically in celebration of a wicket, seemingly without a care for where it lands? Well, THE COMPUTERS do the same but with spit, hocking cascades of phlegm into the air at every available opportunity. It’s pretty disgusting but effortlessly punk rock, and when soundtracked by such perfectly executed rock songs you can forgive the odd splatter. Dressed uniformly in white, The Computers offer a marvellously polished performance. If Eagulls’ roots can be traced to punk, then The Computers background is firmly in rock’n’roll, with the ethos of embracing the audience and ultimately entertaining them. As tour supports for tonight’s bill toppers, they offer precisely what a headline band want: a lively crowdwarming set of energetic twelve bar blues songs that will stay in your head just long enough for the next band to usurp them. The Kazimier is heaving for HOT SNAKES’ arrival, and as it is a winter weekend in Liverpool everybody in the crowd seems to be drunk. Comprising members of Drive Like Jehu, Pitchfork and Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes join the dots between post-hardcore and garage rock, maintaining a penchant for chanted choruses with a hint of reserved dissonance. This year’s reformation was clearly a tantalizing

prospect for many here tonight as the band are greeted with gracious warmth, an honour rarely bestowed upon what is essentially an ongoing side project. Through years of touring with multiple bands, frontmen Reis and Froberg have become seasoned professionals, and their dedication to offering a well-oiled hits set shows a necessary maturity three albums into their career. The show rapidly becomes a heady blur of sweat, fistpumping and beer-soaking. The line-up tonight is well chosen. From the heavily melodic rock of Eagulls to the entertainment of The Computers and the veteran professionalism of Hot Snakes, the evening offers a masterclass in rock authenticity. Jonny Davis


Musical Settings Part 3: Beneath The Ground @ Lutyen’s Crypt It is always a mystery what to expect when attending an A.P.A.T.T ORCHESTRA performance. In this Musical Settings series the collective have taken musical influence from the characteristics of specific venues across Liverpool, and built their performance (and some compositions) around the themes thrown up. Part 1: On the Earth took place at Sefton Park, and adopted an ‘everyday’ approach to music famously doing away with traditional instrumentation and transforming into a newspaper percussion group (yes, you read that right). Part 2: In the Deep was held at the World Museum and took the themes of vastness, distance and isolation to new levels of interpretation. Continuing this thematic tour, the orchestra are tonight checking in at Lutyen’s Crypt below the Metropolitan Cathedral for Part 3: Beneath the Ground. In this particular musical episode the concepts of depth, resonance and claustrophobia are the supporting acts, and from the

Reviews Bido Lito! February 2012 moment I enter it’s clear that the portrayal of these concepts is the key to the evening’s great success. Descending the spiral staircase before the main room, a member of the Orchestra is there to serenade all newcomers on an old wooden harp, completely immersing us all in the atmosphere of the event. No introduction is made before the opening piece, Howard Skempton’s Air Melody Melody, this in keeping with the rest of the apparently spontaneous performance. Unlike most orchestras, the a.P.A.t.T Orchestra rely heavily on the individual performer’s own feeling for the music, rather than it being fully scored. With lots of looping, sustained notes and unusual time signatures this brings a challenge not only for the players but also for the audience. The suspense of the orchestra’s music is defined by the musical writing, and enhanced by the unique, churchreverberating acoustics and dramatic visualisation of the Crypt itself - think of it as a minimalist’s 3D movie. With orchestral performances,


The a.P.A.t.T Orchestra (Keith Ainsworth)

the musicians performing in front of you can often seem a little disinterested, having practised the pieces repetitiously in rehearsals and previous concerts. This being a

one-off performance, however, the a.P.A.t.T Orchestra feel fresh and full of energy and personality, if a little under-rehearsed. In a positive way though, this helps to create a feeling

of unity with the audience – we’re all immersed in it together. This intimate feeling with the orchestra played a big part in a particularly touching moment of the performance: Howard




Bido Lito! February 2012 Reviews Skempton, the composer of three pieces on display, one of which was written especially for this moment, receiving unanimous and deserved applause from the appreciative audience at the climax of his final piece. A heart-warming moment to end what was meant to be a cold and claustrophobic evening inside a Cathedral Crypt. Rob Dewis






label curated by Ralph Alfonso

The Fifth Movement - The Edwardian Picnic – David Barnicle Eric’s Tonight is all about one act and Eric’s is alive with electric anticipation; BIRD have been the toast of Liverpool for the past twelve months, gaining widespread acclaim from critics and peers alike. So it’s no surprise that tonight’s audience is here for one thing and one thing only. Which is a fact that makes DAVID BARNICLE’s job of opening the night a whole lot harder, as he walks on stage and introduces himself over the chit-chat of an audience clearly still warming up. His shuffling, lowkey performance does little to raise any eyebrows or even any heads in his direction, his understated delivery hints that he’s quite happy to pass by un-noticed. A definite lack of stage presence and fragility means that as he leaves stage it’s to the exact same sound that greeted him, muted applause. THE EDWARDIAN PICNIC hit the stage with a bustle of energy that quickly envelops the now-full room. Tonight is their first gig but the way they command the stage and sweep through songs you’d think they’ve been doing this for years and the crowd love it, revelling in their feel-good, soul-nurturing, acoustic power-folk. Lead vocalist Phil Collier is a revelation on the mic, leading the rest of the band forward with a sumptuous display of vocal control as he parades across the stage with an infectious vigour that’s impossible

Bird (Marie Hazelwood)

to ignore. For a first outing it’s damn impressive to witness. As THE FIFTH MOVEMENT’s sweeping string section echoes around the room the audience is once again lulled into an almost hypnotic state as their almost apocalyptic sound entrances everyone present. The Killer is a particularly poignant and powerful example of what this band are capable of. Finally the time comes, and as The Fifth Movement exit the stage the crowd’s expectancy rises. Bird’s vocalist Adéle Emmas takes centre stage flanked on each side by her band members, and they instantly erupt into the haunting harmonies of Tides; from that moment, they have you. Members of the audience sit down around the stage, already

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enticed, already hooked. It’s the band’s ability to play the silence as well as the music that gives them that power; they create tension and suspense in everything they do, leaving you wanting more at the end of every note rather than just every song. Lover Sleeps With Lions and a cover of The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog are particular highlights of the set as the band weave their spell upon the audience. Their enterprising and dynamic performance comes to a close with the crowd favourite Phantoms, and as the song comes to an end the audience joins in with Adéle’s “CLAP, CLAP....CLAP” in a fashion which is as haunting as the performance itself. Simply beautiful. Aaron Rose

Liverpool’s International Arts Venue March Terry Seabrook’s Milestones Play ‘Kind of Blue’

February Zoe Rahman Quartet 19:30 Saturday 4 February £12.50

King Creosote and Jon Hopkins

Liverpool Guitar Society presents Steven Joseph Hickey 19:30 Friday 17 February £10

19:30 Tuesday 7 February £12.50

John Godber’s Weekend Breaks

Rock the Boat presents Dracula

19:30 Monday 20, Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 February £12.50 (£6.50 concessions)

19:30 Thursday 9, Friday 10, Saturday 11 February £10 (£8 concessions)

Darius Brubeck Quartet: Kind of Brubeck 19:30 Friday 24 February £15

19:30 Thursday 1 March £12.50

The Neil Cowley Trio featuring Mount Molehill Strings

Neil Campbell’s The Bulbs

19:30 Thursday 22 March £17.50

20:00 Saturday 3 March £10

An Evening with Frank Carlyle

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)

19:30 Friday 23 March £8 (£5 concessions)

Andre Canniere 19:30 Wednesday 28 March £10

Judie Tzuke: One Tree Less Tour 19:30 Thursday 29 March £22.50

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

Sat 11th February, 7:00pm.

THE THREE B’S KENNY BALL, CHRIS BARBER & ACKER BILK Sun 12th February, 7:30pm. Sun 5th February, 8:00pm.


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



THE GRIMETHORPE COLLIERY BAND Tue 14th to Thu 16th February, 7:30pm. (Wed & Thu matinees, 2:30pm.)

CHINESE STATE CIRCUS YIN YANG Sat 18th February, 7:30pm.

ELKIE BROOKS LIVE IN CONCERT Sun 19th February, 2:30pm.



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.


BARRY CRYER BUTTERFLY BRAIN Sat 25th February, 7:30pm.



Bido Lito! February 2012 Reviews

THE FIELD The Kazimier

Three critically acclaimed albums in and THE FIELD (Axel Willner) is becoming an unstoppable force in electronic music. While bass and post-dubstep music is increasingly focusing on colder, sharper and ultimately more electronic production values, Willner is looking to rock music for inspiration. Now touring in band format with Dan Enqvist and Jesper Skarin he is keen to blur the perceived boundaries between laptops and traditional instruments, and in doing so he has created a monster of an album in Looping State Of Mind. The motorik repetition of previous offerings remains the basis for the songs, however, the loops are less urgent in feel and as such float along on their own rhythm, seemingly forever. The Kazimier is criminally quiet for such a well-loved artist but those who’ve snapped up this opportunity on a cold Sunday evening know that this is a special event. The band seem completely unfazed at the sparseness of the crowd, save for a wry smile from Willner as he sets his sampler on loop. Gradually the bass and drums build up momentum and settle into a steady rhythm and

it becomes clear that a The Field live performance is a completely different animal to The Field on record. The songs are stretched and extended to allow for prolonged tension and the releases offer grander crescendos as the drums are smashed with Joey Castillo-intensity. So long are the songs in fact that they only manage to squeeze four into an hour-long set; and it is when given this breathing room that they are able to reach their logical conclusion, which is ultimately pure euphoria. Over The Ice, from 2007’s masterpiece From Here We Go Sublime, is a clear highlight, as the middle section is stripped back to a bare-bones micro-sample, looped for an eternity until the snare drum calls time on the build-up and all hell breaks loose with gated synthesizers and shimmering cymbals. The formula is simple and marvellously effective. The twenty-strong crowd goes crackers in the knowledge that this is one of those rare experiences shared with strangers that will never be forgotten… until the next performance by The Field. Sublime indeed. Jonny Davis


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Steve Pilgrim (Keith Ainsworth)

Jay Lewis

The Zanzibar Despite the office parties and gigs going on elsewhere, The Zanzibar is comfortably busy for two mainstays of the city’s music scene. JAY LEWIS, formerly of Crackatila and The La’s and now an acoustic solo performer, is wellreceived, the audience impressively hushed by his delicate songs. The pindrop silence is just as well as Lewis’ material is unlikely to take flight in noisy surroundings, instead custom built for

intimate gig surroundings. Concluding with an inspired retooling of Jimi Hendrix’s iconic Are You Experienced? alongside his own compositions, Lewis’ progress in 2012 will be well worth following. Best known for his role as a sideman for Paul Weller, for whom he has been sticksman for the past half decade, STEVE PILGRIM’s solo career has gradually blossomed over the course of three albums, improving with each release. New LP Pixels And Paper is by far the singer-songwriter’s strongest work to date, the album launch at the present venue a perfect fit, returning him to the club where former band The Stands started out in the early noughties. Opening his set solo, joined one at a time by his crack backing ensemble (akin to a roots version of legendary

Talking Heads’ live film Stop Making Sense), the full band approach lifts the quality of Pilgrim’s material into a higher league. With folk singer Rachel Wright providing harmony vocals for much of the set, How Many Ways and Lover, Love Her sound as magnificent live as on record. A vicious, extended reading of Firecracker marks the highpoint of the set, the improvised outro led by Martin Smith’s blazing mariachi trumpet work pushing the song’s energy level higher. With the LP purposely designed to be sharp and concise, Pilgrim’s live work benefits from a similar approach with none of the songs or the set outstaying their welcome, the show serving as the perfect entrée for the album. Richard Lewis

Bido Lito! February 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 / / Parr Street Studios /UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT / The legendary recording space has hosted Coldplay, Napalm Death, Elbow & more! / The highest quality at surprising prices / 0151 707 1050 / 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 / Sandhills Recording Studio / Features beautiful acoustics, SSL4024E console, mouthwatering collection of outboard, microphones & vintage backline / £165 per day / 0151 933 7379 / Crosstown Studios / City Centre recording and production studio / Experienced engineer / Lots of inhouse equipment / Flexible hours & reasonable rates / 07841 746 575 / Russell J. Cottier / Record Producer / Extensive commercial discography credits / 07906 376 701 /

Andy Fernihough / Sound engineer / Music production / Recording studio / Good rates, great results / Based at Crash Rehearsal Studios / 07929 603 456 / Crash Rehearsal Studios / Practice rooms hourly and long term / Backline & PA hire / Storage / Licensed bar / Liverpool City Centre / Previous clients inc. Lou Reed, Cast, Ian McNabb / 0151 236 0989 / 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 / 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 / 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 /

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

Rooftop Audio Ltd / D&B, Midas, Avolites Stockists / No job too big or small / Competitive prices / Call our experienced staff for a unique solution / 0845 224 0951 /

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 /

G HIRE GEAR Rooftop Audio Ltd / Now stocking the latest Pioneer DJ Equipment / Also hiring Drums, Guitar & Bass Amps, Keyboards / 0845 224 0951 /

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 /

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 / Words and Deeds / Proofreading & professional writing services / ‘Let me put your deeds into words.’ / 07783 997 129 /


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 / / The Music Consortium / Event & Production Management / Festival Crewing & Stage Building / Set & Show Design / Clients Worldwide, Liverpool Based / We work with best for a reason / McEntegart Legal Ltd / Experienced Music & Entertainment lawyers in Liverpool / Contracts, advice & negotiation services / 0151 255 0400 / /

P PHOTOGRAPHERS Luke Avery Photography / Promo shoots, portraiture, advertising, retouching / 07729 308 307 / / Jack Whiteley / Music Videography / Music Videos / EPKs / Live / 07707121507 / / Jennifer Pellegrini / Freelance photographer with an intimate & candid style / Promotional and live music photography / Bido Lito! Photo Editor / 07709 809 994 / jenniferpellegrini@ / Freakbeat films / HD music videos, promos and all that jazz / Previous work for The Loud, Dead Cities & Bido Lito!’s Lecky Lunar Sessions / /

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Bido Lito! February 2012 Reviews

The Horrors (Marie Hazelwood)


The Kazimier “It’s about time!” goes up the shout from the crowd as Faris Badwan and his fellow HORRORS slink on to the stage at The Kazimier, though what this refers to isn’t quite clear at first. Southend’s finest have amassed an impressive bank of effects pedals, samplers and keyboards now, through which they have perfected the intricate art of weaving their atmospheric web of gothic sound, and the set-up takes a while to finetune. More likely it’s a reference to the original postponement of this show, meaning we’ve had over two months to wait for this moment, during which time The Horrors and their latest album Skying have been acclaimed by all and sundry. It is with bated breath that the crowd fills the venue then, or is that just me? If you’re in early on and your eyes

are closed then you might think that your wait for Rotter and co. has been shortened when TOY take to the stage. Driving and dense, they do sound a bit Horrors-lite, but if the world of psyched-up, swirling guitars and delightful floral shirts is your thing then TOY should be whetting your appetite for the main event. Leaning on the same post-punk and new wave influences of their touring partners (Felt, Stereolab, The Cramps), it’s perhaps unsurprising that The Horrors have ear-marked them for greatness already. And, to be fair, on single Left Myself Behind they show that this praise isn’t just token, but that they have a substance to match the words. Joe Lean And The Jong Jang Jong they ain’t. The Horrors launch in to their opening salvo to a simmering anticipation from the crowd. Changing The Rain, Who Can Say and I’m Looking Through You make for an impressive opening gambit, widescreen, soaring garage rock with the faintest whiff

of theatrics. These tracks, fast-paced and urgent, see the band at their most appealing, and mark a great introduction to a band who are currently walking tall on a wave of admiration from converted press and fans alike. Nothing here tonight is taken from their debut album Strange House, which was roundly panned, and earned them a (then) deserved tag of gothic weirdoes with dodgy haircuts. 2009’s Primary Colours and the aforementioned Skying provide the sonic meat on the bones, showing just how far The Horrors have come as a band. OK, the dodgy haircuts are only marginally less so now, but even they and the still evident (though infinitely more subtle) edge of gothic weirdness have a sheen of cool about them. Admittedly not the über-slick cool that oozed from The Strokes in 2001, but it’s not a million miles away: if Casablancas and co. had been brought up in a derelict warehouse in Manchester on a diet of Simple Minds, the Bunnymen,

Joy Division and denim then this incarnation of The Horrors would undoubtedly be the result. Evidently that’s not to everyone’s tastes, as the crowd rarely moves beyond headnodding appreciation, until Endless Blue finally breaks to jolt them alive, followed by the night’s highlight in Sea Within A Sea. As much as this was set up to be the incendiary point of the night, it’s unfortunately left to the idiot at the front to light the blue touch paper. After the sprawling Mirror’s Image segues in to Three Decades, a fan right in front of the stage whips out his phone and shoves it in front of Badwan’s face. The biggest cheer of the night erupts as Faris clips the ruffian round the ear in admonishment, before the security removes him amid a flurry of sprawling legs. A blink-and-youmiss-it moment that does nothing to detract from the performance of a group on the crest of a creative wave. Worth the wait indeed. Christopher Torpey

Issue 19 / February 2012  

February 2012 issue of Bido Lito! Featuring DEATH AT SEA, THE SUNDOWNERS, NINETAILS, ENDECI and much more.

Issue 19 / February 2012  

February 2012 issue of Bido Lito! Featuring DEATH AT SEA, THE SUNDOWNERS, NINETAILS, ENDECI and much more.