A top-notch value for money gig at the Kaz Garden, as Getintothis celebrated its relaunch with a free event! Getintothis is the top Liverpool-based music website, originally funded by the Liverpool Echo, but now standing on its own two (or more) feet. In the interests of full disclosure it should be noted that I’ve written a few pieces for the new site. I can be spotted in this crowd shot here…
First up was Lo Five, a one man band (Neil Grant) featuring guitar and Apple laptop, who reminded me of a slightly funkier version of The Durutti Column, who I quite enjoyed, along with a nice pint from Liverpool Craft Beer.
Next on was the apparently seventeen year old Sophia Ben-Yousef (who either still is or was until recently a pupil at Merchant Taylors’ in Crosby) who performed a set of soulful pop. She certainly has a good set of pipes on her, a bit like Kylie at her smoochiest, but I found her rather bland, with some horrid synth piano backing. I’d never really realised before how much I dislike synthesised piano – now I’m very happy with any kind of synth keyboards sounds, but for some reason the fake piano just rubs me up the wrong way. She seemingly comes from Libyan stock, but I got no hint of that in the music, which might have livened the sound up a little.
The evening weather was pleasant, and I had a decent spec sitting on the edge of a raised seating area – at least I did until a couple of girls came along and shifted my coat while I went back to the bar for a lovely drop of Revelation from Dark Star.
Peter Guy, Getintothis’ main man, then introduced a special guest in the form of the solo Bill Ryder-Jones as “the best Evertonian in the world”, that hotly contested mantle. The ex-The Coral guitarist played four tracks off his 2013 album “A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart”, scattering snatches of riffs from other songs in between, including The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” before his final number. It was pleasant enough, but he didn’t do enough to encourage me to seek out his album.
The music in between bands was being spun (I think) by Bernie Connor, with some highlights coming after Ryder-Jones, including “Pentecost Hotel” by the original 60’s Nirvana, something off Woods’ “With Light And With Love” that got me ordering the album the following day, Be Bop Deluxe, who I’d not heard for several years, and Culture’s “Two Sevens Clash”.
I went for Flying Dog’s Pale Ale to accompany Queen Maud’s total weirdness. Highly treated vocals and ominous background keyboard washes met pulsing percussion and sparse beats. They certainly wowed Mr Guy, who raved about them to me after they had finished, making me feel (only very slightly) bad for not being able to share in his enthusiasm, but there just weren’t enough tunes for me.
The penultimate act were the duo called D R O H N E, who were made up of a very young-looking guitarist/keyboardist (Richard Craddock) and the taller Luke McCulloch in a $lut t-shirt. They really did nothing at all for me, and just came across like the most boring kind of electronica, picking up once with a more driving song, but then my interest waned.
The Dark Star was now off, so I finished off the night with a bottle of Snake Dog IPA, another from Flying Dog. The final band was Strange Collective, who I throughly enjoyed – they sounded to me like a cross between West coast psych (a la Allah-Las!) and DC hardcore punk. Their bassist was gloriously MC5-esquely coiffured, the singer was suspiciously be-capped, while the guitarist was sporting a gloriously terrible shirt. They had all, inadvertently or not, co-ordinated with lovely looking dark red instruments. I also detected a subtle surf influence, and a swampy Scientists-like sound. I’d love to see them again, and was sad to have to miss their support slot for Sean Lennon’s band The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, who played the Kaz a week later.
The DJ then went off on a tangent from their set superbly by playing Donovan’s gorgeous “Sunshine Superman” as I headed off home.
I wore a red (surely not!) Big Star tee tonight, whose glorious power pop sounds contrasted nicely with the night’s music. There were only a few band shirts in evidence tonight, including Parquet Courts and Bob Marley, as well as a hipper-than-thou William Burroughs one. One guy in the crowd looked like a Bangladesh-era George Harrison. In fact, there were considerably more beards than band t-shirts, by some distance! It was that kind of hipster crowd. If a bomb had fallen on that spot, then half the businesses on Bold Street would surely be out of business by now.