The Phantom Band at The Kazimier (7 Oct ’14)

This is an extended version of my review of this gig for Getintothis – a director’s cut, to be pretentious, or just made a bit longer and with more stuff about beer and t-shirts if you’d rather.

I got to the Kazimier shortly after doors opened, arriving to the glorious sounds of Clinic’s second album “Walking With Thee”, with Liverpool Organic’s Bier Head on tap once more after its disappointing absence for Jungle Brothers the week before.

First up were local band LIVES, who stepped onto the stage all dressed in black and made a tuneful indie rock racket, surprisingly loudly so for a support act. The main focus was their lanky, somewhat simian singer who menaced the microphone in a friendly way – so, kind of like of an Ian Brown who can actually sing. The heartfelt vocals (such as “you can text me when you’re drunk and my eyes will light up”) sat nicely on top of the very solid band who also contributed a lot of ‘woo woo’ backing vocals, as you can hear for yourself on the two tunes they have on their Soundcloud.

LIVES

Main support were Gulp, whose core duo are bassist Guto Pryce from Super Furry Animals (a dead ringer for former Newcastle United midfielder Rob Lee) and his partner Lindsey Leven, who reminds me a little vocally of Cate Le Bon, which I initially worried could be deemed the lazy comparison of a non-Welshman, before I discovered that she is actually Scottish. She brought sunflowers onto the stage which suited their psych-edged, woozy indie pop with a hint of Stereolab. Guitarist Gid Goundrey and ex-Race Horses drummer Gwion Llewellyn (who reminded me of Saint Etienne’s Pete Wiggs) completed the line-up. The silent lulls between songs were forgotten each time they started up another tune, with the occasionally slightly twee hippie-ish lyrics fitting in quite well.

Gulp

A Young Marble Giants influence on their music came across much more live than it does on their debut “Season Sun” album, most notably during the intro to “Vast Space”. The lovely album-closing “I Want To Dance” was followed by “Seasoned Sun”, the most obviously ‘flower power’ number in the set, and then the darker “Play” which suggested the presence of some Jefferson Airplane in their record collection. They ended with the slightly plinky plonky b-side “Diamonds In The Sky”, closing out a very enjoyable support slot.

The six members of The Phantom Band from Glasgow strode out in front of a disappointingly still only half full Kaz crowd and launched straight into the pulsing rhythms and wailing chorus of “The Wind That Cried The World”, the opening track and first single off this year’s fine “Strange Friend” album. There were two impressive beards, as well as two caps and a woolly hat.

PhantomBand1

Their eclectic indie-based sound incorporates more folky arrangements, undulating Krautrock rhythms, psych elements and a healthy dose of pop tunes. This is backed up by a wide range of extra instrumentation including melodica, and laser noises on “Into The Corn” from second album “The Wants”.

Rick Anthony, who released the wonderful “No Selfish Heart” as Rick Redbeard last year, sings a bit like Nick Cave,
plays guitar and has a nice line in wry stage banter. The other members are Duncan Marquiss and Greg Sinclair also on guitar, Gerry Hart (bass), Andy Wake (keyboards), and Iain Stewart (drums), the new boy in the band who fits in very well.

PhantomBand3

A lot of older songs were interspersed amongst the best from their new release, including the motorik “Folk Song Oblivion” from 2009’s first album “Checkmate Savage” and the wonderful “A Glamour”, another off their sophomore release. Other highlights were the driving doo wop of “Throwing Bones” and the percussion-heavy “Burial Sounds”, underpinned by furious drumming, both of which are also off the debut.

PhantomBand4

They closed with the lengthy “Women Of Ghent” from “Strange Friend”, which works better live than on record, returning to encore with “The Howling” from their debut, followed by a lengthy instrumental jam based on the debut’s “Crocodile”, leaving the audience wanting more.

Tonight’s t-shirt
No easy choice again for this one, but I decided to wear my (yes) red Guided By Voices one. There was an even sparser array of t-shirts at this gig, with the only one I noticed being a Gulp one worn by one of The Phantom Band. Let me know if you can spot any more in this picture stolen off my Getintothis review here (I can be seen in shot if you’re eagle-eyed).

Phantom Band Crowd

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