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Liverpool Sound City Preview Dogshow Conan www.bidolito.co.uk bidolito bidolito.co.uk

Dogshow by Luke Avery

Issue 22 May 2012

FREE


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Fri 27th Apr ‡ SOLD OUT Mountford Hall

Bombay Bicycle Club Fri 27th Apr ‡ £10 adv Stanley Theatre

Charlene Soraia

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Sat 19th May ‡ £20 adv Mountford Hall

Cast

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Newton Faulkner

-AVERICKÂŹ3ABRE

Tues 23rd Oct ‡ £12 adv Stanley Theatre

Benjamin Francis Leftwich


Bido Lito! May 2012

Editorial After last month’s column I promise you, I’ll be leaving Ronnie Moore’s miracle alone. There will be no mention of his Houdini-esque reinvigoration of what seemed a sinking ship. All that needs to be said is Ronnie, we salute you. And as the current terrace favourite goes, for me he can indeed dance the St Louis Shag with whoever he wants. What was particularly itchy for me this month was having to endure Jeremy Vine’s sniggering derision of Wirral Council’s Tranmere sponsorship, ably assisted by some crow from the ‘Tax Payers Alliance’ - an organisation whose Christmas party must be something akin to Dionysus’s stag do. Clearly a local football club that invests heavily in terms of education and support of the local community, a flagship organisation that spends every other weekend in a different corner of the country promoting the Wirral, a key asset of our region’s cultural make up is a sinner's retreat, a huddle of morons, an unfit suitor to a council’s bounty. We’re rightly incensed by Liverpool Council’s disregard for our cultural assets in their position on the noise debate and the banning of live music at Static Gallery. In the context of Tranmere, this is Wirral Council benefiting from, supporting and celebrating their cultural assets. They should be applauded. Fuck off Vine. Another flock who should be applauded are the thoroughly good heads at Liverpool Sound City, as their annual hoedown rolls into town. I’m still wading my way through a line-up that represents a hugely exciting prospect. Personally, I’m looking forward to WILLIS EARL BEAL, whose chilling fusion of US gospel and hootenanny folk has provided an early highlight of 2012. Fuzz pop sisters BLEACHED show further promise: a group set to pick up the baton unfortunately dropped recently by Best Coast. Rising local star MELE (featured way back in Issue Two of Bido Lito!) is tipped as one of Time Out Magazine’s DJ Stars Of 2012 and should also be an interesting prospect. As will ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER, the flying solo Fiery Furnace whose My Mistakes (taken from last year’s debut solo LP) leans tantalizingly on Sorrow by The McCoys, an utter classic. I’d also like to let you know that Bido Lito! are to team up with BBC Introducing on Merseyside and Dave Monks. Each month I’ll be dropping into the studio to chat through the latest musical goings on in the city and will be taking along a few records. You can listen to the first instalment on 29th April (8pm-10pm) or listen back on iPlayer. Craig G Pennington Editor

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

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CONAN

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

10 LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY

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

12 MISS STYLIE

Proofreading Debra Williams debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

14 THE WILD EYES

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

Words Craig G Pennington, Christopher Torpey, N. Philip, Richard Lewis, Lisa O’Dea, Pete Charles, Jonny Davis, Jessica Spencer, Thomas Jefferson, Clarry M., Joshua Nevett, Sushmi Shyam, Charlie Lashmar Photography, Illustration and Layout Luke Avery, Mike Brits, Marie Hazelwood, Matt Thomas, Keith Ainsworth, Aaron McManus Adverts To advertise ads@bidolito.co.uk

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News

Bido Lito! Dansette

Our pick of this month’s Sound Cityapproaching wonders…

Edited by Naters Philip

It’s A Pool Of Creativity If you’re a web designer desperately seeking an app developer, or an illustrator looking for a publication to feature your skills, then the monthly CREATIVE LIVERPOOL meet up is where you’ll want to be. Held in the Elevator Bar on Parliament Street it’s a good opportunity to do some networking over a beer and some tapas. The next meeting will be Thursday 3rd May and for information head to meetup.com/creativeliverpool

Musical Futures Through Progress On 8th May, Rock n Roll title contenders FUTURES will be headlining an event at the O2 Academy with all proceeds from the night going to TREKSTOK, the charity supporting young people affected by cancer. The event is hosted by team of LIPA students PROGRESS MUSIC and it’ll be a great night for music and charity with tickets available from ticketweb.co.uk. Further details can be found at progress-music.co.uk or follow them @progressmusic

New Record Label...That’s Lazy Genius They’ve long since been flying the flag of support for local talent, and over the past couple of years they’ve put on a run of excellent shows and now LAZY GENIUS are launching their same name record label. Having started with a bang on their first release with the debut EP The Green Door from Liverpool’s own GET BACK COLQUITT, you can expect great things over the coming months from the label. Search Get Back Colquitt on Soundcloud for a cheeky listen.

Merseyrail Unsigned Finalists Announced After a huge amount of interest and an unprecedented influx of entries the finalists of the MERSEYRAIL UNSIGNED COMPETITION are announced: BEACH SKULLS, PORT SUNLIGHT, ESCO WILLIAMS (pictured) and CAROUSEL. The final takes place on 31st May at The Cavern, with a judging panel consisting of Liverpool music scene luminaries. The winner will receive a weekend’s recording session at Rockfield Studios. Tickets for the final are available now at bidolito.co.uk

Leaf Hosts Iconic Photographer Kevin Cummins On 30th May one of the world’s most idiosyncratic photographers, KEVIN CUMMINS graces Leaf with a night in conversation, alongside Liverpool author Kevin Sampson. They’ll be discussing Cummins' book, Manchester - Looking For The Light Through The Pouring Rain which features his work for legendary bands, THE SMITHS, JOY DIVISION and other too numerous to mention. Tickets are available for purchase now from Waterstones on Bold Street.

COMPETITION!

It’s only four weeks until LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2012 and the line-up has been finalised with some fantastic listings including: TOY, POND, MICHAEL KIWANUKA (pictured), PROFESSOR GREEN and over 350 more artists. So we’ve teamed up with our friends at the Sound City offices to offer one lucky reader a pair of wristbands for the whole weekend. To be in with a chance of winning answer this simple question: What is the name of Michael Kiwanuka’s new album? a) Born Again b) Live Again c) Home Again Email your answer to competition@bidolito.co.uk. The closing date for entries is Monday 14th May. All correct answers will be placed in a pink hat, the winner drawn at random and notified by email. All the best!

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

Toy Motoring HEAVENLY RECORDINGS TOY fuse together krautrock rhythms, 80s Moog-laced warbles and Britpop insouciance in this, their motorik behemoth of a third single release. Layers of Stereolab and neo-psychedelic post-punk are buried beneath the blank vocals; nice hair too.

Slow Club The Dog MOSHI MOSHI Twee seems to have been the most popular description of this Sheffield duo’s work so far, but this single proves there’s far more to them than that. One of 2011 album Paradise’s ballsier moments, The Dog fairly races along on a thumping drum beat, building the tension for soaring harmonies in the chorus. Neat.

Bleached Searching Through The Past SUICIDE SQUEEZE A pure blast of scuzzed-up sunshine rock from these two LA sisters, that is in equal parts Best Coast stonerism and Veronica Falls jagged post-punk. Former members of hip outfit Mika Miko, Jessica and Jennifer Calvin prove that lo-fi can be so much more when it’s done with this much zeal.

Death In Vegas Trans-Love Energies PORTOBELLO RECORDS Richard Fearless’ electro-psych-rock group have had a few guises over the years, and their fifth album Trans-Love Energies sees DEATH IN VEGAS basking in a sea of electronica. Roping in Austra vocalist Katie Stelmanis has added a ghostly edge to the heady trippiness showcased on Your Loft My Acid. Acid


The Music Consortium Presents LIVE AT THE VINYL EMPORIUM Exclusive FREE in-store acoustic gigs during Liverpool Sound City, in association with Bido Lito! magazine.

ALL WE ARE THURS 17TH MAY – 6PM

BIRD

FRIDAY 18TH MAY – 6PM

DANNY ROBERTS (The Sixteen Tonnes) SATURDAY 19TH MAY – 3PM

A big thank you to everyone that supported WOW. It was a big success and tour dates will be announced soon.


6

Bido Lito! May 2012

Words: Craig G Pennington Photography: Luke Avery The conceptual fusing of sport and pop music has often presented a poisoned chalice, demonstrated painfully by the now customary biennial pop effort to inspire our nation’s footballers to victory. While the news that Underworld have been installed as Musical Directors for this year’s Olympic Opening Ceremony brings welcome encouragement - I for one can’t wait to see Renton and Spud, jumpers stuffed with loot, chased down by a pack of security guards around the track of the Olympic Stadium - if you ask me, they’ve missed a trick. I’d have suggested Seb Coe and the boys hopped, skipped and jumped aboard the Virgin Pendolino and headed up to Liverpool to meet DOGSHOW, a set of musical triathletes intent on Olympic glory. For those in the dark at this point I should explain. Dogshow are not your regular band, in fact the term ‘band’ feels wholly inadequate after experiencing Triathlon: a live spectacle like no other; an exercise in musical stamina; a fusion of nightclub and theatre. For Triathlon, the group - made up of brothers Sam (Keyboards/Gadgetry) and Laurie Crombie (Drums/ Triggers/Treadmill), along with longtime visual collaborator Venya Krutikov - essentially dissected the most demanding of endurance sports, composed a new collection of music to soundtrack it, and fused it with live performance in a way that only they and their colleagues at The Kazimier know how. “Originally I was thinking about the Olympics in general, then it got narrowed down to athletics, before we settled on Triathlon,” Laurie explains, when he and Sam meet us in an empty gallery space above Mello Mello. “With it being in three parts, each one has got a good initial inspiration: swimming being really dramatic and wet with hundreds of people all jumping in together; cycling has got a definite visual, mechanical and rhythmic thing to it; and running is just pure endurance.” “I think our sets generally take that kind of form anyway,” Sam confirms. “The idea with Triathlon was that we took elements of what we try to achieve with our music, like power and repetition and endurance. There will be a section initially where we’re trying

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

to find our feet: you can’t try to do anything too intense to begin with; you’ve got to create the intensity.” Musically, Dogshow have been described as live trance. Though overly simplistic, it’s a solid starting point, into which the Crombie brothers add various elements of dub, trip hop, psychedelia, even show tunes and the music hall. It’s a naturally theatrical sonic fusion, made even more so by Venya’s visual explorations and their adventures into lighting and set design; adventures that were pushed to the limit during Triathlon. Upon arriving at The Kazimier, athletes (or, more conventionally, audience members) were encouraged to take part in side-by-side bike races aboard two pushbikes wired up (Doc Brown style) to huge Victorian-style clock faces. Participants were ‘encouraged’ by Howard Be Thy Name (if you’re not familiar with him hit YouTube, trust us!) courtesy of a megaphone, who took the demeanour of Alex DeLarge meets Willy Wonka on sports day. Gatorade cocktails were served and a baying mass of vests, shorts and tennis rackets were treated to a visual display that included searchlight-style swoops of the venue by a digital stop watch, seemingly floating in mid-air; and what looked like UV tube pushbikes, spinning and whizzing along to the music. This was after a hilarious opening film depicting the group’s training regime in the run-up to the event, and before Laurie stepped aboard a treadmill rigged with drums, cymbals and triggers, on which he simultaneously ran and drummed (there was even a microphone beneath the treadmill, picking up the pounding of his feet in time with the music). “Drumming out of time with your feet becomes really difficult,” Laurie recalls. “I mean drumming on a treadmill is difficult anyway because you’re moving at odds to your feet, but if you’re not at the same speed as well it’s even more confusing.” And the concept was not only reserved for the performance itself, as Laurie and Sam tried to adopt the training practices of a triathlete in the run-up to the main event. “We tried to apply the whole

concept in the run-up to it with our training, with our rehearsals; getting in every day at ten and having structured sessions,” says Laurie. “At one point I sliced open my finger and couldn’t use my right hand. So I had to train my left hand and spent ages playing everything the other way around, which worked out really well and made my technique loads better. I think the idea of musical training is really interesting.” “I was doing warm-up scales until my hands just couldn’t play anymore,” Sam assures us, deadpan. So where does a band like Dogshow come from, and how do a group of musicians reach the stage where drumming live on a treadmill, as Laurie puts it, “seems like an obvious thing to include in the music”? Well, it starts in Sam and Laurie’s hometown of Oxford and a childhood listening to funk, obscure jazz and world music, courtesy of a musician father and an artist mother. It also starts with a learned scepticism of the traditional music industry, as Laurie explains: “With Dogshow there was always an aim to create something more multidimensional than a straight-up band. With the last band I was in, we were doing quite well, reasonably successful and all that. I used to make these kind of top hats with little windows in, looking through to little worlds inside. We had a kind of manager geezer, who was supposedly helping us out and when we met him he went off on this big rant about how I shouldn’t be spending my time messing around with these stupid top hats. I was fuming, and knew that if this was the way that the music industry was going to try and dictate my life then I can’t be fucked with it.” Musically, Dogshow is somewhat of a positive response to the labours of a regular band, something Laurie and Sam had “had enough of being in and all the issues that come with them; we wanted to strip it right back to us two.” “With us working with The Kazimier in the music industry, as it were, it seems like there are just too many bands in the world, too many bands doing the same thing,” says Laurie. “The amount of bands that email the venue everyday saying the exact same thing... I suppose from very early on we knew we wanted to do something different and more multidimensional. I think that’s potentially what a band needs to be doing now.” “When we came to Liverpool we got a practice room in the old Big Issue building on Duke Street,”


Bido Lito! May 2012 says Sam. “We had a space there in the basement; it was like a dungeon, totally damp. We just spent the first six months in there, working it out, forming the band. Then Loka moved out of the ground floor, so we took over that and it became a workshop, and was where the first Kazimier-vibed nights were.” Indeed, the links between Dogshow and The Kazimier are intrinsic: Sam, Laurie and Venya, together with Laura Brownhill and Mike Lill, are the driving force behind the venue and work collectively on Kazimier projects and productions. The fusion of theatre, dance and spectacle which is so central to The Kazimier’s work and aesthetic is also at the core of Dogshow. And with Triathlon, the group pulled together around the band to glorious effect,

as Laurie explains: “For this show, more than ever we worked to have the whole collective involved in the production. Laura directed the opening film (along with filmmakers Sebastian Brueckner and Jack Whiteley), Venya as ever was on projections and lighting, with Mike helping across everything, really. Previously it’s been like Dogshow has fitted into the bigger Kazimier theme, so we may have done something specific for a Kazimier night or an individual piece. But this was very much the same ingredients with the focus the other way around: Dogshow was the theme.” At a time when the UK’s musical compass is set towards Liverpool, and our music community the subject of national focus, it seems wholly essential

7

to celebrate Dogshow. The group are conceptually, practically and, most importantly, creatively operating in a different sphere at present, beyond the imaginations of many conventional bands. For some, that may seem convoluted or far-fetched, but surely that is precisely the point: to create something new, to challenge yourself as an artist, and to blow the roof off in the process. Suffice to say, Dogshow are miles ahead of the field. The Gatorade cocktails are on us. thekazimier.co.uk/records Go to bidolito.co.uk for an exclusive Obscenic Session with Dogshow and an extended Lens Gallery from Luke Avery’s photoshoot

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


Hail Conan Words: Pete Charles

If someone says the words “heavy metal” to you, what springs to mind? Hair, leather, sweat, misanthropy, Satan, more sweat and a big wall of noise? Music to scare children by? Liverpool has a reputation for leaving our practitioners of this dark art alone to ‘do their own thing’. Allegedly, they don’t bother us and we don’t bother them. Metal has remained confined to the chasms, cloaked in a shadowy veil and apparently reluctant to step into the light of the mainstream music press. But at Bido Lito! we don’t believe that is, nor should be perceived to be, the case. Liverpool’s demonic underbelly is an asset to our city’s scene, one that should be celebrated with as much fervour as the achievements of the latest melody-clad, indie export. Still, on our way to meet dark lords of sludge CONAN at their rehearsal space on Vulcan Street, it’s fair to say that we’re tickled with a touch of satanic, nervous delirium... So it comes as something of a relief to find Jon Davis (Guitar), Phil Coumbe (Bass) and Paul O’Neil (Drums) in jovial, self-deprecating mood, and casually lampooning bands that go out of their way to try and live up to fake personas foisted upon them by MTV et al. “We played this black metal night in Edinburgh,” says Jon “and found the guitarist of one of the other bands in the toilet with his guitar slung over his shoulder, doing his make-up and putting on a belt made of chicken ribs. Then he went to soundcheck his vocals and just went ‘DOOOOOOOOO!!!’ into the mic, then (affects squeaky West Yorkshire accent) ‘that all right, mate?’” His bandmates double up laughing. There’s a tangible camaraderie in the room and an unspoken agreement that Conan have got it pretty good at the moment. Understandably, they’re still riding high on being invited to play with sludge metal legends Sleep In Oslo on 15th May. Big news, we feel, but if you’re not particularly au fait with the genre, we should probably mention that this is the sludge equivalent of being asked to support Rihanna. “The promoter said he could either give us our own show or we could support Sleep,” says Jon, “so we went away and talked about it.” “Yeah,” finishes Paul with a grin, “it wasn’t a very long conversation.” Conan count Sleep and associated act High On Fire as major influences in their music. Their new album, Monnos, which is currently streaming on Metalhammer’s website, is a brutally heavy assault of distorted, down-tempo, fuzzed-up doom metal; operatic in arrangement, biblical in volume. Jon’s vocals are not sung; they are bellowed with distant, haunting sustain.

Photography: Matt Thomas

By placing conceptual subject matter such as minotaurs, unicorns and mythological realms at the heart of what they do, Conan avoid uncomfortable introspection in their song-writing and, by extension, exude a humility rarely seen in metal bands. Jon, who appears to be the main creative force in the band, sees this as a positive thing; liberating even: “It’s easy to write about stuff that you can’t attach yourself to personally,” he says, “because you can’t be self-conscious about it. I mean, some of our lyrics are just fucking stupid, but when we’re all on stage just bellowing this ridiculous fantasy stuff, it feels great.” “I just like hitting things dead hard and not getting arrested for it,” says Paul. Naturally, such heavy music requires heavy equipment that is built to withstand a huge amount of punishment. “All this gear,” says Jon, gesturing mainly to Phil’s enormous bass cab, “it’s not necessarily expensive; it’s just well-made. I mean, that head was probably made in the late 80s. When we play live, we have twice as much equipment. I’ll have two amps, a Mack amp on top and then two two-by-fifteens to create that wall of sound.” Conan are setting off for Europe the day after our meeting to play a number of European dates including an appearance alongside Killing Joke at the Roadburn Festival in Holland. They say that there is no reason for having neglected home soil other than that there simply aren’t any established sludge/doom promoters in the city. Perhaps conscious of this anomaly, they have just agreed to play a metal festival at the Lomax on 30th June. “We’re looking forward to it because it’s an opportunity to play our own city,” says Jon. “Wherever we play, even if it’s London or Bristol, we like to drive home afterwards; otherwise it’s just more time spent away from home.” For the first time during the interview, Conan turn serious and nod with earnest agreement; suddenly we begin to understand what makes the band tick. There is nothing in their personalities to suggest that their visceral, pounding metal sound is influenced by their own experiences or worldview. They never set out to prove a point, follow a trend or offer a musical tonic to plastic metal fans who “go to gigs, stare at the floor and hurt themselves”. No doom, no gloom, just bonerattling volume. hailconan.com Conan play the Lomax on 30th June. Tell your Gran to give this one a miss.


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LiverpooL Liverpoo Sound City 10

Bido Lito! May 2012

Words: Jonny Davis

It’s that time of year again when the city’s veins are injected with sonic euphoria and Liverpool throbs and swells with a glorious, cacophonous racket. The Sound City juggernaut is rolling into town and by Jove there are some gems in the line-up. From psychedelic to sobering, piercing to transcendent, retro to futuristic, 2012 has it all. It’s a smörgåsbord, a comida à quilo, a Dessert Viking. Have it all or take your pick. Here we go. Fresh from supporting Wild Beasts at O2 Academy in March, ∆ (ALT J) return with their ultra-modern blend of crisp beats and skew-whiff vocals. The band are garnering a fair bit of attention and certainly polarize opinion. If you’re looking for a one-way ticket to tinnitus then look no further than the almighty TIM HECKER (pictured left). Known for his obscenely loud, visceral and ultimately beautiful sets, Hecker is an absolute must for those seeking some sublime noise. A touch less dissonant but no less beguiling is the soundworld created by local lad FOREST SWORDS, who will play his eagerly anticipated first live show at Sound City before jetting off to play at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. This is sure to be a busy one so get down early. Keeping it local and experimental, EX-EASTER ISLAND HEAD manage to make music that is equally emotive and cerebral. The brainchild of Benjamin D. Duvall, E-EIH follow in the footsteps of neo-classical composers in thinking laterally with instrumentation to create stunning minimalist soundscapes. The charming fairytale world of PRINCESS CHELSEA is just the right side of the quirky I-Monster sound to be an enticing proposition. For the James Blake inclined, check out Sydney-based OLIVER TANK whose treated synthetic vocals strike more than a few similarities with the young Londoner’s debut album. If chirpy summertime pop is your thing then be sure to check out Oxford-based JONQUIL. Swimming in the same river as Foals and Vampire Weekend, Jonquil offer an infectious journey into harmony-led, tropical alt pop. In a similar vein come the indomitable folk-pop group MYSTERY JETS (pictured top right). It wouldn’t be a push to say that they are approaching veteran status on the British guitar circuit with album number five getting a recent release with Rough Trade. From the wonderful city of Sheffield come boy/girl duo SLOW CLUB whose latest album, Paradise is a huge leap forward into the everpopular joys of anthemic folk. For a gothic pop kick give CHARLI XCX half an hour of your time and prepare to be humming her songs all weekend. Equally hook-laden are Canadian band YUKON BLONDE who employ feelgood ‘whoops’ at every given opportunity and to great effect. If you enjoyed the surf-pop gold provided by Best Coast in Liverpool last summer, then don your shades and revel in the lo-fi belters performed by LA band BLEACHED. As expected there is a whole plethora of distorted rock on offer, from the modern rockabilly showmanship of THE COMPUTERS to the loose 90s alt of THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE. A little closer to home but infinitely more far-out are local space rock heroes MUGSTAR who never fail to slay all in their wake. After sixteen years ALKALINE TRIO are still pumping out three-minute pop punk gems and by now surely offer a fantastic greatest hits set. Meshing blues, garage-rock and prog tendencies, WHITE DENIM make an unrelenting rock n roll racket. Since forming back in ’94 DEATH IN VEGAS (pictured centre)

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Bido Lito! May 2012 have remained a difficult act to pin down. Their songs wallow in psychedelic chugging guitar, electronic blips and melancholic vocals and are sure to be a real treat live. Leeds’ heroes THE WEDDING PRESENT return to play one of their only ‘non-Seamonsters’ sets of the year. With eight albums under their belt, these Peel favourites have an impressive discography to delve into and are bound to attract a diverse audience. TOY formed from the ashes of Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, but don’t let that put you off. Being mates with The Horrors tells you a lot about the sound of TOY – warm post-punk with a penchant for krautrock rhythms. Not content with being a mere Professor, PROFESSOR GREEN seems to be intent on dominating the airwaves and becoming the British Eminem. Swinging from grime-influenced electronics to Emile Sandé-featured ballads without a care in the world, this guy has the pop world in the palm of his hand. On the more pensive end of the rap spectrum, Mercury nominated GHOSTPOET seems to be next in line to the Roots Manuva throne and will be a highlight of the weekend. THUNDERBIRD GERARD will ensure that your head will nod involuntarily to his stuttered hip hop and is well worth a watch. As well as featuring many of our favourite Liverpool venues, this year's festival provides the added treat of showcasing some of its main attractions within the nooks and crannies of our city's back passages. Red Bull Studios Live @ The Garage, which encompasses the car park usually accessed from Wolstenholme Square and Duke Street, will be transformed into a slice of urban hedonism, providing host to performances from DJANGO DJANGO, CHEW LIPS and D/R/U/G/S amongst others over the weekend. As will the Liverpool Academy Of Arts, a huge space running from its ornate façade on Seel Street, right through to an entrance next door to the Kazimier on Wolstenholme Square. This space will be split into two, with the larger hosting performances from headliners THE TEMPER TRAP as well as SLOW CLUB and TIM HECKER. The smaller space hosts the returning and consistently fantastic Screenadelica: an exhibition of gig poster art that has, since their debut in 2010, shone a light on the important relationship between art and music. Featured artists include Toby Whitebread, Luke Drozd, Army Of Cats and loads more, with the space hosting live music across the weekend, including the performances by MUGSTAR and FOREST SWORDS. Keen to provide an inclusive atmosphere and offer a gateway into the most seductive of habits, Sound City has arranged a series of 14+ shows, including the aforementioned PROFESSOR GREEN and ALKALINE TRIO as well as KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES, LOWER THAN ATLANTIS, ARCANE ROOTS and more. So there you have it – a sneak peek of just some of the artists to look forward to; but don’t take my word for it, get out there and take a chance on someone, anyone. You never know, they could turn out to be your new favourite band. If all else fails, just go and see Tim Hecker. liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk Weekend and Daily Wristbands available now from bidolito.co.uk Be sure to pick up your copy of The Bido Lito! Sound City Daily Magazine out each morning of the festival and packed full of reviews, previews and festival news!

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BEST OF THE REST Sound City ConferenCe

Sound City isn’t just about ear-drum destruction, as The Sound City Conference proves by offering a unique opportunity to discuss and debate a wide range of topics relating to music and the industry. This year’s themes cover everything you could imagine from the business end of music including Digital Marketing, International Sync Deals, A&R, Branding and Music Streaming Services. Keynote speakers for this year include Andrew Mains (COO, Mobile Roadie), Mike Smith (MD at Columbia) and hip hop legend Nelson George, alongside a mammoth roster of panelists including David Adams (SoundCloud), Nick Calafato (Last.fm), Ryan Fitch (Saatchi & Saatchi, NYC) and Phil Canning (Warp). If you’re looking for the opportunity to discuss things further with panelists, delegates and speakers then the Roundtable Sessions are a must, as is the drinks reception that closes each day at the Hilton.

Sound City expo expo

This year Sound City will launch their very first Expo, providing access for both consumers and music/digital professionals to the people, tools and services they will need as we move ever onwards in the digital age. Sound City Expo, held in the Echo Arena, will focus on the current and future intersection of music, art, business and technology - giving a real insight into what is possible in the modern age. The Music Hub will provide the opportunity to speak to a host of music production companies, suppliers and education services such as Dolphin Music, Access To Music, Adlib, Metropolis and many more. The DJ Hub will showcase the latest tech tools and gadgets for DJs and electronic music producers, represented by ADJ, American Audio, Denon DJ, Vestax, Pioneer DJ and more.

KiCKing CKing CK ing + S SCreening SC Creening

Guaranteed to be a popular addition this year is Kicking + Screening Football Film Festival. Dedicated to inspiring football fans and film enthusiasts, Kicking + Screening is a celebration and presentation of football culture including film screenings, special guests, panel discussions, gala parties, photography, football-themed literature and more.

Student MuSi MuSiC SC Si C AwA Aw AwArdS ArdS Ard rdS

Sound City has joined forces with Access To Music to present a suite of national award presentations hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Edith Bowman. The event aims to identify and celebrate new talent within music education. Taking place on 17th May 2012 at the Echo Arena, and with support from industry guests, the event will deliver an evening of presentations along the lines of other professional music industry award ceremonies, including headline guest Professor Green.

John peel world w Cup

The John Peel World Cup returns to Sound City, this year in association with Umbro and SPIEL Magazine. As ever the teams will be made up of bands, celebrities and normal folk battling it out to take home the trophy (including a Palermo FC style outfit from Bido Lito!, naturally). This year the event will take place in the middle of Liverpool ONE at a purpose-built venue in Chavasse Park. The tournament will commence on Saturday 19th May, 12 o’clock kick-off.

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Bido Lito! May 2012

It's become apparent of late that the Liverpool music scene is shape-shifting around my sister we would listen to reggae; my dad was a saxophone player and evolving. Band culture has reigned dominant, but now a stream of worthy so it was always jazz around him; Engelbert Humperdinck around my Grandad; successors are pushing their way to the forefront. So, step forward Jade ‘MISS and then Scouse House and RnB growing up with my friends.” STYLIE’ Jackson. The feisty freestyler from Toxteth is an integral part of the Jade confirms that they have all had a prominent role in shaping her music, flourishing grime scene that is currently creating a major fuss on the Liverpool but she is opposed to being categorised into any particular genre, stating that soundscape. Honing her skills from an early age, Miss Stylie began DJing and “you can’t put anybody in a genre anymore”; and this is certainly true for the MCing well before she could music that she is making. Infused cross the threshold of many with slices of electro and house clubs. Bubbly and vivacious in beats, it’s clear that individuality person, she admits that the is a key aspect in the making of word ‘can’t’ does not appear Miss Stylie. When questioned in her vocabulary, and it is about musical artists who have evident that this steely grit and been an inspiration, Jade lists determination is the driving Miss Dynamite and Drake to force behind her burgeoning name a few but is keen to point success. out that “I don’t really listen to Her debut single OMG, with female artists as I don’t want to be portrayed as somebody else. its gritty edge and feisty flashes I don’t want to be a prototype; I of dub step, has received huge just wanna make my own way.” local support and the track is With a 2011 no stranger to the turntables Glastonbury of some of appearance under the biggest her belt, as well as a nights in the performance at YoYo at city, including Notting Hill Arts Club Chibuku and Eat and regular treatment Your Greens. on BBC 1Xtra, Miss Also featuring Stylie’s debut EP, Heavy prominently Salad, is slated for in The Streets’ release on 25th May. Mike Skinner’s So, what can we recent DJ sets, expect from Heavy it’s clear that Salad? “Heavy Miss Stylie’s banter,” laughs sound is one Jade. “Imagine a that resonates bowl of salad – with a diverse audience. tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, Ridiculously addictive, it fuses everything thrown into a heavy Words: Lisa O’Dea witty lyrics and dirty street mix. That’s my mind 24/7 with Photography: Mike Brits beats. Jade herself admits, everything simultaneously on Location: Sapphire Gym, Huyton “There was no actual driven the brain.” Heavy Salad has seen Jade collaborating with legendary motivation behind OMG; my personality just came out that day on the mic… it’s banter.” Her well-crafted producer David Kahne (whose credits include Paul McCartney, Lana Del Rey, The Strokes and Regina Spektor), a man she describes as a “privilege to work with”. lyrics are inspired by her character - completely impulsive - and a genuine Friendly and hugely personable, Jade radiates playfulness but is serious for reflection of her outgoing and playful nature. a moment when she expresses how dedicated she is to her industry and her With a formidable sports background, it’s no surprise that Jade’s performances fan base, passionately assuring us that she will always be learning, honing are hugely animated and energy driven. Playing for Liverpool Ladies FC, being offered a basketball scholarship, and boxing up until the age of fifteen have her craft and keeping her performances fresh. “The industry is a never-ending story… that’s what keeps me inspired.” With limitless options and “heavy banter” all provided Jade with not only a physical level of performance, but the mental ahead, this is a story we can’t wait to see unfold. focus and aptitude to engage her audience. She is warm and emphatic about how much her supporters (and there are many) mean to her when she says, onesheet.com/missstylie “I don’t call them fans, I call them friends.” Their enthusiasm is a massive motivation for Jade who feeds off their fervid energy and reciprocates with her Go to bidolito.co.uk for an exclusive freestyle with Miss Stylie (courtesy of Freakbeat Films) and an extended Lens Gallery from Mike Brits’ photoshoot, all own passion and emotion. shot on location at Sapphire Gym, Huyton (sapphiremma.co.uk) There is also a strong family connection within her music. “When I was

LyricaLL UppercUts Lyrica UppercU Upperc Uts With LiverpooL’s LiverpooL Liverpoo L’s princess princess of of Grime

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Summer Highlights At Liverpool Philharmonic After 8

The Lady:A Lady: A Homage T Sandy Denny To Saturday 19 May 7.30pm £19-£27

The Imagined Village

Amelia Curran and Lizzie Nunnery Thursday 21 June 8.30pm £12

Alison Krauss & Union Station

Friday 25 May 7.30pm £19.50-£25.50

Saturday 14 July 7.30pm £32.50-£45.50

Dionne Warwick

Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival

Monday 4 June 7.30pm £28.50-£75

The Chieftains Sunday 10 June 8pm £35-£42.50

The Unthanks

with Brighouse & Ratrick Brass band Sunday 17 June 7.30pm £18.50-£24.50

Alif Ensemble Sunday 15 July 7.30pm £15-£22.50

Americana Weekend

Featuring Lazy Lester, r The Pineleaf Boys and more r,

27-28 July

Marc Almond Saturday 22 September 8pm £24.50, £30.50

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


The Wild Eyes Rock and Roll Visionaries Words: Richard Lewis After winning over seemingly everyone who has seen them live, THE WILD EYES’ recorded output thus far has been sparse. So when news broke that the band were set to unleash their debut single, all at Bido Lito! Towers were in raptures. A highlight of their kinetic live show, frenzied two-minute wonder I Look Good On You will be the band’s first A Side; the song’s nagging riff and singer Huw’s insistent lead vocal pack a punch equivalent to those thrown at a Miss Stylie photoshoot. In stark contrast to the contemporary approach of piling up thirty multi-tracked layers of axe-bashing that reduce the riffs to sludge, the group recorded the track in their rehearsal room to maximize the effect of being ‘sat in’ with the band. The flipside of the 45, meanwhile, showcases a completely different side of the three-piece. Basking in the rays of the finest sun-kissed delay pedal motif The Verve never got round to writing, the beatific Too Much unfolds gracefully; the two songs complementing each other brilliantly. “We want to reconcile the two aspects of the band,” drummer Sam explains of the stylistic difference between the two songs. “I wouldn’t want us just to be known as a garage band. This release is gonna represent where we’re at; we want the next one to be completely different. It’s the classic way, isn’t it? The A Side shows what you’re doing now and the B Side points the way to where you might be headed next.” Released by Holy Are You Recordings, The ‘Eyes are justifiably proud of their firstborn: the beautifully packaged limited edition 7” wrapped in artwork by

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Photography: Marie Hazelwood

noted designers Smiling Wolf; while the video has been helmed by former Arctic Monkeys collaborator Gavin Wood. “We’re of the world where a band will put out 500 copies on Fierce Panda and we can’t get a copy ‘cos we’re not in London, and writers go mad over it,” Sam states. “If you’re asking people to buy it then it has to be good. If you buy a record, you care about it,” Huw emphasizes. “When someone does something you don’t like, I get really disappointed. I hate it when artists let you down.” The band’s distinctive Venn Diagram logo that adorns their gig posters - aside from its eye-catching simplicity - neatly sums up the their ethos: the three members of The Wild Eyes are not interchangeable or merely along for the ride. “We’re locked into our way of how we’re gonna approach things. If you bring a fourth element in, it could completely throw it and send you off in the wrong direction,” Huw says, with Sam and bassist Neal nodding in agreement. “It took us so long to get a drummer ‘cos we realised ultimately one of us had to do it,” Sam explains of his switch from the guitar to behind the kit a few years ago. “It’s so hard to break into our little circle. We’ve grown into the songs together; it’s like tuning three radios at the same time, it takes a while until you’ve got a clear reception on everything,” Neal adds. Indeed, the self-imposed limitations of remaining as a trio have allowed the band to fully define themselves. “There’s a certain sound we’re striving for but you can only work with yourself,” Huw

explains. “The live stuff is a huge part of us, but I find it hard to play the more downbeat songs on stage,” he says, referring to the band’s preference for visceral numbers when playing live. “For me, a lot of what I enjoy, if you’re playing a gig it has to have that elemental rock n’ roll thing.” “I don’t really get off on seeing a band play exactly like they do on the record; that’s rubbish - it’s not live music, is it?” Neal says. A portent that greater forces may be at work around the group arrives as the interview wraps up. Departing the pub, a middle-aged gent who has been sat quietly in the corner reading (and possibly listening in) shakes each of the trio by the hand. “I don’t know who you lads are, but I’ve got a good feeling about you. Definitely.” The book on the table in front of him is a well-thumbed paperback on Buddhism. As Buddhists and many Eastern religions believe the follower must develop their ‘Third Eye’ to see beyond the normal plane, a concept featured in treasured hippie tome The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the theory is especially fitting for the present trio. The signs clearly point to this being The Wild Eyes’ year, and after you’ve heard the single, you won’t disagree. facebook.com/thewildeyes I Look Good On You b/w Too Much is released on Holy Are You Recordings 14th May, with a launch show 12th May at Mello Mello. Re-visit April’s Bido Lito! Podcast for an exclusive live session with The Wild Eyes


ASTRAL COAST ARE LOOKING FOR THE BEST NEW BANDS & ARTISTS TO PLAY AT OUR INAUGURAL FESTIVAL IN NEW BRIGHTON THIS JULY The festival will showcase the region’s finest young musical talent alongside VERY SPECIAL GUESTS VISIT ASTRALCOAST.CO.UK FOR YOUR CHANCE TO TAKE PART


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Bido Lito! May 2012

Previews/Shorts

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

ISLET Two of the city’s promotional big hitters Evol and Harvest Sun have teamed up to bring ISLET back to Merseyside. Described as ‘a model of how a left-leaning rock band ought to conduct themselves in 2012’ and with the much-lauded debut LP Illuminated People under their belts, this show is highly recommended. The Kazimier – 25th May

JAMES BLACKSHAW Touring new LP Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death, Death 12-string acoustic guitarist JAMES BLACKSHAW has been compared to folk legend Bert Jansch, worked with US underground figurehead Michael Gira, played at All Tomorrow’s Parties, and won praise for his hypnotic output from publications as diverse as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and The Times. Ex-Easter Island Head offer able support. MelloMello – 6th May

PORCELAIN RAFT

Writing On The Wall ft. Pauline Black

Now entering its eleventh year, WRITING ON THE WALL returns to celebrate the power of the written and spoken word. The month-long series of events - held at various venues across the city - boasts their biggest ever roster of speakers and writers. The festival’s events are centred around six distinct strands: New Writing, Young Writers, Hidden Histories, Radical Writing, Linking Communities and Empowering Women. The centrepiece of this year’s WoW season is a show by PAULINE BLACK, lead singer of groundbreaking 2-Tone ska act The Selecter. Held at The Rodewald Suite, Philharmonic Hall, Pauline will be performing a selection of readings from her acclaimed autobiography Black By Design, Design plus an acoustic set of Selecter classics and solo numbers. Other music highlights include SCOTTS ON THE ROX, Manchester’s premier performance poetry collective, who pay respects to the Master Gil Scot-Heron with interpretations of a choice selection from his vast catalogue. Derry/Londonderry - So Good they Named it Twice meanwhile features novelist and playwright DAVE DUGGAN, poet GERARD MCKEOWN, and singer-songwriter ALAN BURKE, for a night of talking, readings, listening, poetry and music looking at all things Derry - past, present and future. Various Venues - April 28th – 31st May - writingonthewall.org.uk

The project of Italian-born, NYC-based Mauro Remiddi, Secretly Canadian's PORCELAIN RAFT visit the city for the first time. Debut LP Strange Weekend has been the subject of excellent reviews, alerting many to his sumptuous ambient/dreampop hybrid. Faded Gold and Boy Friend complete the bill. The Shipping Forecast – 8th May

LightNight ft. Light & Sound LITTLE PANTHER & MILK: PRESENTS # 001 For their first show outside their HQ, Milk:Presents have teamed up with Little Panther to assemble an embarrassment of riches. The line up includes LOVECRAFT, WET MOUTH and SO SEXUAL, with live projectionists and UV paints also included. Those throwing the party have promised a ‘sensory overload’ for attendees. Binary Cell – 11th May

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW Described by The New York Post as ‘Speed Dating for the rock n’ roll set’, travelling festival THE INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW returns to Liverpool. One of only two dates in the UK, sets run from noon until midnight. Attractions include THE LADYKILLERS, MIKE BADGER, MIDNIGHT PLAYGROUND and dozens more. Eric’s, The Cavern – 15th May - 22nd May

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With its biggest ever programme planned for this year, LIGHTNIGHT have confirmed that 2012’s events will take place across a massive sixty venues. In collaboration with Liverpool Sound City, LightNight are hosting a one-off celebration of kaleidoscopic audio at the Liverpool Academy of Art, entitled LIGHT & SOUND. An after party to celebrate the exceptional arts, culture and live music on offer in the city, the line-up includes CLINIC DJs and a performance by the reliably raucous KAZIMIER KRUNK BAND. Kicking off at midnight and winding down at 4am, the bash rounds off Friday evening’s events in style. Attendees will be in store for a fantastic visual lightshow from TVLUX and Mak-UH, as well as giant luminescent projections and magical lines of light when the event stages the world’s largest light painting. Entrance is free, simply show your LightNight programme or Sound City wristband at the door. Elsewhere, The Bluecoat holds the Galápagos exhibition with special activities and unique shops, while FACT journey into the future with Robots and Avatars. The Metropolitan Cathedral stages a candle-lit Labyrinth, Red Wire are holding an open studio featuring art, crafts and creative zines from resident artists, while Arena Studios and Gallery presents the Andy Warhol-inspired Factory where you can create a unique piece of art with the assistance of Arena’s art workers. 18th May – Various Venues – lightnightliverpool.co.uk


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Bido Lito! May 2012

Reviews You’re Early Early, which sends the audience into a trance-like state of admiration. The announcement of their final song, the eclectic Creeping Creeping, is greeted by the biggest cheer of the evening from the audience, and brings an end to a hauntingly brilliant performance. Two sisters, one pretty awesome band stoner rock suddenly has a hell of a lot more sex appeal. Joshua Nevett

FREE ROCK AND ROLL FESTIVAL Mello Mello

2:54 (Marie Hazelwood)

2:54

Deaf Club – Stereo Virgins EVOL @ The Shipping Forecast With a dash of angst and a typically indignant expression, a new dawn of subtle sounds has begun to emerge and, more excitingly, fronted by a female contingent. Tonight is set to embrace this grunge-inspired disposition and display a wide array of female talent. STERO VIRGINS amble to the stage in the Hold of the Shipping Forecast to provide a fiery opening of bass-driven, D-tuned obscurity. A chilly air lingers as a range of soft tones are worked in between a barrage of self-indulgent guitar solos, greeted by muffled applause. A hint of a smirk or maybe an involuntary grimace surfaces from

the understated lead vocalist Rachel Alveston as an evening of “nice controlled fun” is promised. Five-piece DEAF CLUB initially come across as awkward in delivery, a clear lack of stage presence detracting from an atmosphere that seemed to be building up a head of steam. Presentation aside, they hurry through their set, which is a selection of catchy hooks and fuzzy interludes, predominantly pop songs with a gritty edge. Mirrors is a poignant example of their emphatic use of dynamics, watched appreciably by the dense gathering that has now accumulated in anticipation of tonight’s main act. Clad entirely in a punkish black and shrouded in a ripple of leather, desert rock duo 2:54 have risen to infamy with a steady release of lo-fi dirges. Sisters Hannah and Colette

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Thurlow have been heralded as gloomy counterparts to such artists as Warpaint, The Big Pink and The xx but with an apocalyptic edge that’s all their own. The origin of their numeric appellation, 2:54, is reference to a memorable track time in their joint favourite Melvin’s song A History of Bad Men - pretty edgy, huh? Endearingly shy, the pair take to the stage hidden behind unmanageable fringes as they launch into the menacing Cold Front. Their classic melodies appease the soul and lull the crowd into a silent congregation in utter admiration of their shimmering guitar tones. Limbs now start to flail uncomfortably, Colette a vision of purity garbed in an all-white flowing gown. Soft in speech, her monotone voice is an explosion of power and grace as they deliver new single

We’d love to feature every band that played the FREE ROCK AND ROLL FESTIVAL, commend the good behaviour of the attendees and report that the two-day affair ran like a slick, well-oiled machine; but of course, bank holiday knees-ups are rarely like this and it would be insulting to you, dear reader, to pretend that it was anything but a debauched, chaotic marathon session which involved unexpected power cuts, wizards, impromptu piano performances, cricket bats and possibly some of the most outlandish hairstyles ever seen at Mello Mello. Billed as “audio thuggery” at its best, dirty bass and drums urchins SUPER FAST GIRLIE SHOW are offensively loud, scary and devoid of tunes - like Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator crossed with an industrial accident. Freakish. You can’t go wrong with LOOSE MOOSE STRING BAND though, and


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Bido Lito! May 2012

despite losing a little volume with their ambient mic set-up, their toetapping fiddle hoedowns are the perfect tonic for a mid-afternoon slot. The humour comes thick and fast in the form of their hilarious version of R Kelly’s Ignition Ignition, which we guarantee, you really need to hear. Although the cricket bat-wielding GEOFFREY OICOTT have the best band name at the festival, we’re quickly reminded of why oi is probably the most phallocentric sub-genre of punk around. We’re not exactly bowled over by songs such as Lager ager Before Women, which bemoans your best mate getting a new girlfriend and promptly disappearing off the face of the earth for six months; and while they raise the odd chuckle, the joke is presumably wasted on the female contingent. PETE BENTHAM, ably assisted by Dinnerladies Marie Goldie and Gabrielle Fray Bentos, as well as John ‘The Caretaker’ on sax, injects yet more comedy into proceedings. Although the culinary concept is light-

Reviews hearted, this is a band with something serious to say. Fashionistas are on the receiving end of the hipster-baiting Part-Time Punk while Don’t Take Away The Truth is a poignant ballad. The merry jig of Do The Don’t reminds us that protest music can still be fun. Sunday. Round two, and we find PUSSYCAT AND THE DIRTY JOHNSONS punishing us for Saturday’s overindulgence with their thunderous concoction of glam-punk and downand-dirty psychobilly. If you’re not au fait with this band, their singer, with ears held unwaveringly in place with excessive amounts of hairspray, actually looks like a cat. No, really. She stalks around the stage, flicking her tail seductively and mewling into the mic about vampires, testosterone and date rape. Yikes. Against all odds, they are marginally trumped by WIZARDS OF TWIDDLY who are not, we confess, real wizards. But they are indeed twiddly. A longtime favourite of FRAR, the Wizards are an absolute bastard to pigeonhole. Imagine a bunch of guys who

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons (Keith Ainsworth)

are totally into their 80s metal, but who woke up one day realising their exquisite talents would be better served by playing progressive jazz. The delicious wandering bass line of Cardboard Banjo kickstarts the grooving. Halfway through the SHOOK-UPS’ set, and after two days of relentless punishment, Mello Mello’s electrical network buckles and we’re plunged into darkness. Twenty minutes after the outage, tensions start to rise, but this party is not going anywhere. These people want music and they want it now, goddammit. RAW BONES’ guitarist spots an opportunity to give Mello’s house ivories a bit of a tinkling, but there’s only so long he can keep it up, and the sobering reality is apparent on the faces of those filing towards the exit. Suddenly, a light. A chord. A roar of victory. Amplification, at last. Knowing how close they were to having to pull

their headline slot, EL TORO launch into an energetic, rapid-fire set. The joy in the room is tangible as they hammer out their macabre surf hits Down To The River and No Doctor, Doctor and glorious garage-pop gem Shame. With their patience rewarded, and buzzing on the adrenaline, the assembled put everything into the festival’s last waltz. Guitarist Chris Luna flings a mic stand in triumph as the last chords of No Doctor ring out, bringing an end to a festival to remember. Pete Charles

WHITE HILLS

Mugstar - Mind Mountain Behind The Wall Of Sleep @ The Kazimier The Kazimier gets a taste of the intergalactic this evening as cacophonous space rock trio WHITE HILLS roar into town, with support


www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk

Razzle and dazzle on a Friday night. LightNight Liverpool 2012

18 May 4pm — late

Liverpool’s one-night arts & culture festival


03

LMW presents HOWLER + fiN. £8 adv

04

Harvest Sun presents... ARBOURETUM + HUSH ARBORS w/ Barr Brothers + more. £8adv

05

EAT YOUR GREENS with Rack'n'Ruin + Mikal + Curtis Lynch feat Mr Williamz. £tbc

08

COFFEE AND CAKES FOR FUNERALS EP Launch w/ Manukah, Esco Williams, Jay Alexzander. £5 adv

09

Beat Club - live music and DJs playing Soul, Motown, Raregroove. £4

10

EVOL & Harvest Sun present THE TWILIGHT SAD + Three Blind Wolves + Death At Sea. £8 adv

11

Psycho Motel XII. Doors 9pm

12

THE DESTROYERS 15 Piece Mega-Folk + Support. £7/8 adv

13

FLAT EARCH SOCIETY (Belgium). The return of the 18 piece big band on Mike Patton's IPECAC Label. £TBC

17 - LIVERPOOL SOUNDCITY Feat. Death in Vegas, Toy, Alt -J, 19 White Denim + more TBC 24

Evol presents the return of SAINT ETIENNE. £16.50 adv.

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Harvest Sun & Evol present... ISLET plus special guests. £7

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GlassWerks Present THE FIFTH MOVEMENT + guests. £6

31

Harvest Sun presents THE HOUNDS BELOW + Cold Shoulder + OWLS + Sloe Panda. £8

from Liverpool’s own post-rock stalwarts MUGSTAR. The headliners prove to be just as incendiary live as their outspoken guitarist Dave W is when he’s on his soapbox. Warming-up are the entirely instrumental MIND MOUNTAIN. A side project of electronic rock outfit Gigantes, Mind Mountain are more guitar-based and lean towards classic rock influences, while taking a progressive approach to arrangement. One song is just a slow, tranceinducing rhythm with a four-minute guitar solo over the top. There’s also a dusting of prog metal here and there, drummer David Smyth’s delicate ghost notes recalling Opeth’s jazzier numbers. There’s already enough creativity in their heavy psych jams to warrant a complete departure from the ol’ knobs and dials, and we look forward to them committing some of them to record. Stay tuned. We return from the lav to find that the venue has been transformed into a giant kaleidoscope tube, and gawp open-mouthed at the shimmering walls before snapping out of it and realising that these are just Mugstar’s giant, seizure-inducing visual aids. The familiar circular chug of Ourobouros is absent tonight and it becomes apparent early on that they’ve chosen a more soporific set than the ballsto-the-wall noise-rock that we’re used to. Guitarist/synth player Pete Smyth’s head still spins furiously on his shoulders like he’s got a wasp stuck in his ear canal, and his simian shrieks are as spine-chilling as ever, but tonight we see a more refined performance. Hypnotic space jams such as Serra build more delicately, and Smyth layers on effects like a mad scientist trying to create the ultimate in menacing ambience. 3, 2, 1...click! We’re back in the room, and don’t have long to wait for White Hills, who open their account with Pads Of Light from their new record Rock which is given Frying On This Rock, a bold airing tonight. Like Mugstar, they constantly experiment with the dynamic possibilities of repetition, and if you ever wanted a lesson on how to

write a 12-minute song using just one note, you need look no further than the epic Robot Stomp. Stomp Mercifully, we get an abridged version tonight. Despite Dave W’s fierce political opinions, there is no banter, but some dissent comes through in the lyrics. You Dream, You See sounds like Bobby Gillespie trampling all over a Black Sabbath song and appears to attack the sinister underbelly of western aspiration. Dave has a mesmerizing on-stage chemistry with female bassist Ego Sensation - there’s an unspoken communication which lends them an air of control amid the squall and squeal of distortion and wah-wah effects. Dark, sinister and coursing with psychedelic energy, White Hills leave the Kazimier in thrall, and more than a little spaced. Pete Charles

MUTO LEO Kusanagi

The Caledonia A culmination of a productive few years on the local scene, post-mathrockers MUTO LEO’s first instrumental EP is celebrated tonight with an intimate gig at The Caledonia. Muto Leo’s EP launch is not merely a celebration of their own achievement, but also of bands of a similar ilk, the sometimes overlooked sub-genres developing in the city. This is instrumental rock at its finest. Support comes in the form of the wonderful Kusanagi, whose soaring set was pure post-rock goodness. With a huge sound that threatens to overwhelm the tiny confines of The Caledonia, they burn through dextrous, anthemic riffs reminiscent of Caspian or Japanese math-rockers Toe. They are positively cinematic. The small upstairs venue plays host to a dense crowd of friends and supporters, all of whom are appreciatively spellbound as Muto Leo launch into songs from their new release. Glass, arguably the standout track from Cascades, is completely


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Bido Lito! May 2012

transporting. Their set is a frenetic soundscape of complex, layered instrumentation; an explosion of tight riffs and ambient self-possession. They own the room and everyone in it. Like Mogwai on acid, or an agitated Foals, this is a fine example of how instrumental music can make a crowd shake. During Coup De Grâce, Grâce the EP’s intense closing track, the windows of The Caledonia steam up with the band’s exertions and the crowd’s jubilance. This is a celebration of everything they have accomplished so far, and everyone who has brought them to this point. Most definitely a family affair, the cessation of applause sees people pressing forward with congratulations, the band distributing hugs and heartfelt thanks among the throng. As they pose for a final group photograph, beaming out at the room, it is clear that this new release marks the completion of something good and, hopefully, the start of something great. Sushmi Shyam

Reviews

JUAN ZELADA Johnny Sands EVOL @ Leaf The lights of Leaf ’s loft are dim, its patrons sit in amicable bliss, and from the midst of sanguine conversation the figure of JOHNNY SANDS takes to the stage. The jagged, drone-like chords that he intermittently thwacks suggest a minimalist approach to song-writing and generally, such sparse guitar arrangements need something spectacular to accompany, providing a focal point for the listener. Fortunately for Sands, his singing does just the trick. His voice soars like a Love Is Hell-era Ryan Adams, tails off from phrases à la Thom Yorke, and is nothing less than captivating. It’s hard to make this point without gushing, but the songs are very, very good, and he engages effortlessly with the still seated assembly. JUAN ZELADA gains an early victory by immediately filling the chasm between stage and seats with

Juan Zelada (Aaron McManus)

eager, dancing bodies. After pleas to the audience to “Get up here and boogie!” the atmosphere changes instantly from languid jazz club to Lionel Richie concert. Whether or not you’re into this brand of Jamie Cullum/John Mayer jazz-pop, Juan Zelada is undeniably entertaining. It’s clear that he’s learnt a few things from cutting his teeth on the London restaurant circuit, and he wastes no time in playing his best known songs - Breakfast In Spitalfields and The Blues Remain - which both induce a gospel-like stupor in some of his more fervent devotees. This is a kind of music that really benefits from being seen live. As with any pop music, sheeny or sterile production can make you forget the immense musicianship behind it, and Zelada’s band have that in abundance. Each member is a pleasure to watch, and delivers their obligatory solo with passion, virtuosity and measured brevity. Having said that, there’s an unwritten rule about how many supercheesy, drawn-out song endings a band should have in their set, and Juan and co. are definitely in excess of that number. And though he’s a charming, confident and charismatic performer, he comes across as a little in love with himself, which in his case might be justifiable, seeing

as everyone else in the crowd loves him too. Charlie Lashmar

SUN GLITTERS Sun Drums

Harvest Sun @ Leaf From their opening track Nocturum, SUN DRUMS lurch straight in to the ambient, textural landscapes that characterise the rich and immersive swoons of their eponymously titled EP. A foghorn-like synth emanates through the dense fog of sound and swirling vocals, the track gradually erupting several minutes in, with bass-laden drum pads and staccato synths engulfing the senses. The set is layered with big synth waves, 80s echoey drum machine patterns that snap your attention back from the dreamlike swirling of effects. A lot of what they do is programming, but the effort and concentration that is evident on stage is clear to see as they transcend their creations from bedroom to live stage. They finish on a surprise acoustic-led number, proving that although primarily led by forward-thinking techniques, this also lends its hand to the more traditional. Dual vocals create a spooky effect, and subtle building synths work the


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BONGO BEAT

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ALSO ON BONGO BEAT BEA BEAT... T... T... RALPH THE DIODES KATRINA KA & THE WAVES AMANDA THORPE ANDY CREEGGAN KEVIN KANE THE FRANCO PROIETTI MORPH-TET MERYN CADELL AMERICAN DEVICES LAUREN AGNELLI and much more.... Distributed by Proper Music. Available: HMV.COM, iTUNES PLAY.COM, AMAZON, PLA PLAY YY.COM, .COM, etc BONGO BEAT

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label curated by Ralph Alfonso

Bido Lito! May 2012

Reviews

track into a swirling, cacophonous crescendo. As it peaks, Sam Twidale (drums, synths, backing vocals) switches off a lamp behind him and the music cuts. It’s an abrupt end to a largely compelling set that is an engulfing, sensory explosion. Well worth the wait. SUN GLITTERS is a far more typically DJ affair. Head down, Victor Ferreira is engaged in his craft from start to finish, stopping only to address the crowd once or twice, and thank his fellow performers and audience. Like Sun Drums, he deals largely in echo and reverb-laden vocals and deep synth basslines. Walls of swirling effects are accompanied by wave after wave of glitch beats manipulated in real time. With most DJ sets, the mass of sweaty bodies pressed around you doesn’t allow much time to observe the man making it happen, but tonight’s venue choice affords us full access. From the opening sun glimmer, the set is also enhanced by some trippy Alice In Wonderlandesque visuals, a constantly shifting miasmic sea that plays out on Leaf ’s burgundy curtains behind the stage, to offer some much-needed visual stimulation. It is a faultless set which, in conjunction with the rest of the evening, would usually be more suited to a room full of pulsating, sweaty bodies than the mellow heights of Leaf ’s upstairs. A novel experience for a ‘gig’, though not one I’m averse to. Thomas Jefferson

JUMPING SHIPS We Were Beautiful Where We’re West

Shakedown @ The Shipping Forecast It’s not often a Brighton band sallies this far north for a headline show, and so in celebration of their second EP release Standard Bearer Bearer, JUMPING SHIPS sail on up for the final date of their March tour, welcomed by a flurry of eager attendees.

Jumping Ships (Keith Ainsworth)

There’s a nostalgic and graceful air of grunge around baggy, checkshirted Formby group WHERE WE’RE WEST’s thrashy, trashy rumbling. From underneath a thick fringe, guitarist Andrew Parry’s sweet and seething Muse-like vocal quality resounds, yet fuzzier and rawer. Songs such as Sway accumulate in heavy, euphoric soundscapes, creating a sound deserving of a larger venue. Their raucous fuzz rock is underlined with precision and earnestness, as they emulate a confident and effortless presence. When We’re West appear

to have stepped comfortably out of whosoever’s garage they’ve been hiding in, and about time, too. Sweaty and fast-paced relief comes in the form of locals WE WERE BEAUTIFUL. With a fatal shout of “Hey Zanzibar”, it dawns on me what they are: Zanzibar graduates. Songs move into powerful, drum-orientated build-ups, instigating hardcore head rolling amongst the chattering buzz. Occasionally, components hark back to older, over-explored rock boundaries; however, sounds are made in all the right places, careering and crashing


RECORDING ARTISTS INCLUDE:

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SPACE/ STUDIO/ REHEARSAL/ ELEVATORSTUDIOS.COM +44 (0)151 255 0195 TWITTER.COM/ELEVATORSTUDIOS FACEBOOK.COM/ELEVATORSTUDIOS

BACK TO BROADWAY THE MUSICAL Sun 6th May, 7:30pm. Standard £19.00 Concession £17.00 Prima Donna £14.25 Soubrette £15.20

SWINGING AT THE COTTON CLUB ft THE JIVING LINDY HOPPERS & HARRY STRUTTERS HOT RHYTHM ORCHESTRA Wed 9th May, 7:30pm. Standard £18.50 Concession £16.50 Prima Donna £13.88 Soubrette £14.80

Sun 13th May, 8:00pm.

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

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

DAVID LONGLEY + JOHN SCOTT 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.


30

Bido Lito! May 2012

Reviews

Guest Column Jessica Spencer, Ad Hoc

John Lennon once sang the plea: “Help me get my feet back on the ground”, a startlingly sad line in one of the Beatles’ most famous pop songs. Unfortunately it seems that the situation has not really changed since the 1960s and it is musicians and artists who are still struggling to achieve stability in today’s society. With average housing costs in the city centre around £690 a month, it is not surprising that the creative members of society are being forced further and further away from the cultural centre of their neighbourhoods. It is crucial that creative-minded individuals can find somewhere to live close to town without having to pay a fortune. The city centre is a focal point for gigs, galleries and gatherings; all of which would be redundant without the innovative minds of musicians and artists. Housing should be affordable to everybody and there is no excuse for empty buildings to go unused, particularly those within walking distance of city life. One way to achieve this is through a Property Guardian Scheme. Guardians are not like tenants; they are specifically chosen to protect properties and to act as a form of security in place of overpriced CCTV or security guards. As the fate of the buildings on a temporary basis is undecided, Property Guardians are made fully aware that the longevity of their stay is uncertain. However, this is all reflected in the properties’ licence fees which are notably cheaper than any other letting agents’ at around £180 per month including all bills. Ad Hoc Property Management are one such company that does this. They take any property and turn it into a home for their Guardians, regardless of its previous use. Moreover they always offer alternative accommodation for their Guardians if necessary with a 95% rehousing success rate. Notably a former school close to Liverpool city centre has been transformed by its inhabitants beyond recognition into a modern-day interpretation of Woodstock with stunning prints, artwork and one-of-a-kind antique pieces filling each classroom. Certain property owners are happy to allow people to redecorate and make their space their own, which many normal letting agencies do not allow. If a building is left vacant for a prolonged period of time, it runs the risk of attracting squatters and vandals, which makes the atmosphere for all surrounding areas undesirable and dangerous. In addition, beautiful buildings can fall into disrepair if left unused, which is an inexcusable waste of facilities. A particularly poignant example of this is the former military hospital Nocton Hall in Lincolnshire. The stunning Victorian building is part of our cultural heritage yet it was left to be vandalised and is now on a list of the most endangered historic buildings in the country. It is essential that we develop an inventive and insightful way of looking at properties, subverting our stereotypes to create new ideas. With buildings such as former pubs, vicarages, schools and offices as well as residential homes and flats, Ad Hoc interjects a diverse range of housing that is affordable for all. They offer refuge for the city’s individuals against the monotonous and increasingly extortionate modern cityscape. adhoc.eu / 0151 236 6061

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

into breakdowns. Exuberant and with playful crowd interaction, We Were Beautiful display commendable support, as do their clutch of zealous and soon-to-be-more-numerous fans. Not to be outdone by their contemporaries, Jumping Ships pose as guitar-wielding maniacal slickers from the off. The surging crowd is rocked immediately into mass movement, led by singer and guitarist Mike Williams. Yearning and passionate vocals and considered lyrics compliment a loudly progressive and wholesome sound. Kai Smith (Guitar) and Rich Thorp (Bass) twist either side of him, leaning, crouching, tipping and rebalancing to an admirable standard, accumulating in a sleek and picturesque performance. Subtle, rapid riffs underlay ferocious drumming and sudden pace changes, occasionally quelled by calmer vocal drop-outs, such as in Bygones. Bygones The set is sweaty work, but any notion of tiredness on the audiences’ behalf is sliced clean away by the electrically energetic foursome. During the exultant last song Smith leaves the stage for a bemusing run into the loos, returning for an onstage jostle with Thorp. And thus ends a strikingly dynamic and lively performance, one that is professional, sleek and proud. The volatile hodgepodge mix of ‘alt-rockpost-punk-core’ genre persuasions alluded to at the outset erupted in various forms tonight, and I’m glad I was present. Clarry M

TINARIWEN Philharmonic Hall

TINARIWEN are a group of TuaregBerber musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali. Forming in the 1970s in refugee camps in Libya, the band returned to Mali after a cease-fire in the 1990s. The group first started to gain a following outside the Sahara region in the new millennium, upon the release of The Radio Tisdas Sessions. Their popularity

rose internationally with the release of the critically acclaimed Aman Iman in 2007. The band released their fifth album Tassili last year, gaining critical acclaim the world over and winning the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Their dramatic history is fascinating to say the least and hearing their evocative music performed live tonight provides a fitting soundtrack to their past. Fusing traditional Tuareg melodies with western rock instruments has been the key to their appeal. The guitardriven rhythms take on an effortless blues groove that at times verges on funk. The finger-picking style provides a fluidity that can seem out of time until perfectly matched by the taught tindé drum playing. The bass is as silky as their attire and often provides the most noticeable hook in their music. It is well documented that Tinariwen discovered western musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan via bootlegged cassettes that found their way into the desert, but the over-riding power of their native style manages to overpower this influence enough to render it barely audible, a fleeting blues-run here or a pentatonic riff there. The tapes have been mangled, played in reverse and are now mere atmosphere wafting over the sound of desert groans in an eastern parlance. Over the course of the evening their drone-like sound envelopes you with its hypnotic power, making you glad that the Philharmonic is a seated venue. The greeting “Welcome to the desert” is met with laughter but is indicative of the world that they create. Close your eyes and you can feel the heat of the sun and smell the aroma of hash on the air. Their world is certainly exotic to a westerner living with rain, smog and overcrowding but it has a past tinged with hardship and loss. The music of Tinariwen manages to ache with nostalgia but also provides hope for a future of unity in the desert. The fusion of eastern and western styles offers a humble olive branch that highlights our similarities and celebrates our differences. Jonny Davis


S E E TH E F I N A LI S T S O F

MERSEY R AI L UN S I GN ED L I V E AT T H E L I V E R P O O L C AV E R N O N 3 1 S T M AY

The finalists of Merseyrail Unsigned 2012 are:

Esco Williams

Carousel

Port Sunlight

Beach Skulls

Judges from Bido Lito! Magazine, Payper Tiger Records, The Music Consortium’s Vinyl Emporium and Liverpool band ‘Sound Of Guns’. The winning band will receive a session at the legendary Rockfield Studios. Tickets £3 available to buy at: bidolito.co.uk/gig-guide or on the door.

Merseyrail Unsigned



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