This Feeling / Zanzibar Club, Liverpool | September 29th 2017

This Feeling / Zanzibar Club, Liverpool | September 29th 2017

Well, well, well. What do we have here then? A lunar glow cracked the ground and the mist faded in the ether to reveal 4 live acts, the brave warriors stood and played their hearts out for a compact crowd at Liverpool’s acclaimed Zanzibar club. Ladies and gentlemen, I salute you. We got down there to scope out some of the local talent. First, the venue. The Zanzi is pretty run of the mill as far as edgy music clubs go with one main ace in the hole; the live sound is enchanting. Major props to the sound man, it made the whole evening come together.

 

Opening the night were the quirkily titled The Mono-LPs. This four-piece were a joy to listen to all the way throughout, radiating fuzzy, blues inspired, indie-rock to the audience. Also, Cello alert, Cello alert! I was sceptical about the use of a classical instrument at first, but it gave these guys a bizarre edge that made everything more interesting. The drummer had clearly taken inspiration from Bonham, with perfectly executed triplets massaging our ears all-set-long. Mono LPs can really play and were easily the most technically proficient act of the night. A personal favourite was You give her love, where frontman Ste Reid delivered a stunning vocal performance. What the band can produce as individuals, was not available through synergy and I think to move forward, they should focus on their song writing- that’s just me! Their debut album Cherry Red Lips is available for purchase.

 

Second in the line-up were Himalayas, hailing from Cardiff. These gentlemen treated us to a beautiful intro before decapitating audience members with angst-inspired, punk driven, turn it up to 10, kick you in the balls, mayhem guitar tones and powerhouse bass work. Clearly a young band at the genesis of their career- but there were signs of serious musicianship in the air. The Welsh indie boys knew a thing or two about effective dynamics to lure the unsuspecting audience in and even had truly beautiful, ambient moments in their set. (Especially through the use of an on-stage synth in their last track). There were elements of all your usual favourite indie bands: The Strokes, AM, Kasabian, even Royal Blood and something a little bit Never mind the bollocks pricked my ears up; especially on the track I thank God that I’m not you. For a band with such energy in the music, I was expecting a touch more from their interaction and physicality. A solid performance nonetheless.

 

The penultimate act The Jjohns simply blew us skyward. Sonically, the Liverpool quartet provided charming, honest, 90s inspired pop-rock at its finest. This band understands a simple concept that many overlook; it’s the song that counts. The audience were fish hooked in, time and time again by sing-along choruses and infectious melodies. The mood surrounding this group was a mix of excitement and adoration with girls and guys dancing, seemingly uncontrollably, to almost every song. Beyond that, there was a strange presence in the air that I can only hope was reciprocated by other audience members. It felt like you were a part of a new movement. If Liverpool was ever in need of a Merseybeat renaissance, these guys would be the forerunners. A standout moment was the performance of Queen of County Road which somehow, already feels like a timeless classic. Make sure you catch this band.

 

Concluding the evening were SHEAFS who frankly, seemed to wield a disproportionate amount of zeal for an up and coming band. I saw crowd surfing, multiple ‘Indie-pits’ (like a mosh-pit but meh) and the front man literally held up in the air by each leg whilst chanting the slogan from their latest single: This is not a protest. I’d later stumble home humming the tune in my head. The energy from this band was monstrous and the riffs emanated a little nastiest that the collective seemed to enjoy massively. The juxtaposition of calm, 90s dress sense and new-wave inspired angst certainly caught my attention, especially on the track Show you what I mean which gave me the odd ‘Pixies’ vibe. To summarise, whilst I enjoyed the vitality, SHEAFS fell just slightly short of winning me over on the evening. Their fans however, seemed to worship them which alludes to a marmite dichotomy being attributed to this five-piece. The evening was extremely fun and affordable which highlights the superb nature of DIY original music. Best of luck to all acts involved.

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