Issue 72 / November 2016

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November 2016 issue of Bido Lito! Featuring HOOTON TENNIS CLUB, ZUZU, FUSS, AMADOU & MARIAM, MUSICIANS AGAINST HOMELESSNESS, THE LAST WALTZ, DIFFERENT TRAINS, LIVERPOOL PSYCH FEST 2016 REVIEW and much more.

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Issue 72

November 2016

Hooton Tennis Club by Nata Moraru

Hooton Tennis Club

Zuzu

FUSS

Musicians Against

Homelessness

The Last Waltz


WED 19 OCT 7pm

WE ARE SCIENTISTS

FRI 21 OCT 6.30pm

LISA HANNIGAN

+ HEATHER WOODS

SAT 22 OCT 7pm

THE HUMMINGBIRDS

THU 27 OCT 7pm

DINOSAUR JR

FRI 28 OCT 7pm

THE BIG MOON

+ TRUDY AND THE ROMANCE

+ V Y N C E

SAT 29 OCT 7pm

CLEAN CUT KID

SAT 29 OCT 7pm

AMBER ARCADES

+ FERAL LOVE + AGP

+ BATHYMETRY

SUN 30 OCT 7pm

LET’S EAT GRANDMA

+ HAARM + LUNA + MARY MILLER

TUE 1 NOV 7pm

DREAM WIFE

+ PINK KINK + SEAWITCHES

+ WHITECLIFF

TUE 1 NOV 7pm

GOGO PENGUIN

WED 2 NOV 7pm

ABATTOIR BLUES

+ ELEVANT + INDIGO MOON

+ QUEEN ZEE AND THE SASSTONES

FRI 4 NOV 7pm

HIGH TYDE

SAT 5 NOV 10pm 18+

ETON MESSY -

IN:SEASON TOUR

WED 9 NOV 7pm

MOTHERHOOD

+ HER’S + SUB BLUE

THU 10 NOV 7pm

THE MEN THAT WILL

NOT BE BLAMED

FOR NOTHING

+ ANDREW O’NEILL

FRI 11 NOV 6pm

REN HARVIEU & ROMEO

(THE MAGIC NUMBERS)

+ THE GOAT ROPER RODEO BAND

+ TOM BLACKWELL

WED 16 NOV 7pm

APPLEWOOD ROAD

THU 17 NOV 7pm

WADE BOWEN

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THE VAPORS

SAT 19 NOV 10pm-4am · 18+

FUTURE HOUSE MUSIC PRESENTS

CHOCOLATE PUMA

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+ HIGHER SELF

SUN 20 NOV 7pm

FICKLE FRIENDS

WED 23 NOV 7pm

PURSON

THU 24 NOV 7pm

BY THE RIVERS

AND WILL & THE PEOPLE

FRI 25 NOV 7pm

NICK HARPER

& THE WILDERNESS KIDS

SAT 26 NOV 10.30pm-4am · 21+

TREVOR NELSON

CLUB CLASSICS UK TOUR

SAT 26 NOV 7pm

MOTORHEADACHE

(A TRIBUTE TO LEMMY)

FRI 2 DEC 7pm

EMMY THE GREAT

SAT 3 DEC 7pm

IAN PROWSE

& AMSTERDAM

+ THE SUMS (DIGSY)

SAT 3 DEC 7pm

THE NIGHT CAFÉ

FRI 9 DEC 6.30pm

GALACTIC EMPIRE

SAT 10 DEC 7pm

UNCLE ACID

& THE DEADBEATS

FRI 16 DEC 7pm

THE MOUSE OUTFIT

SAT 17 DEC 7pm

SPACE

+ THE BOSTON SHAKERS

SAT 21 JAN 4.30pm

CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH.

ALL-DAYER FT. THE FALL

+ HOOKWORMS

SAT 25 MAR 2017 7pm

CONNIE LUSH

ALL-DAYER

SAT 21 ST JAN 2017

LIVERPOOL ARTS CLUB

DOORS 4:30PM TILL LATE

£30 TICKETS

TICKETWEB.CO.UK

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Bido Lito! November 2016

5

Bido Lito!

Issue Seventy Two / November 2016

bidolito.co.uk

12 Jordan Street

Liverpool L1 0BP

Editor

Christopher Torpey - chris@bidolito.co.uk

Editor-In-Chief / Publisher

Craig G Pennington - info@bidolito.co.uk

Photo by Keith Ainsworth

Media Partnerships and Projects Manager

Sam Turner - sam@bidolito.co.uk

LET’S SWAY, WHILE THE COLOUR LIGHTS UP YOUR FACE

Editorial

A couple of days after my 17 th birthday my sister took me to see Doves at Mountford Hall, my first gig. The heat, the nerves, the hubbub of the

crowd, the mixed smell of sweat and beer, the slightly uncomfortable proximity of the lads behind me singing along to every song, the worry that

I’ve misjudged the dress code and I look like a wally, the adrenalin rush when the band come on: these are the things that I remember most vividly

from that night, the experience rather than the action. As I was drinking in this alien environment’s simultaneously unnerving and exciting goings

on, I was subconsciously re-setting my own personal boundaries. The crowd were speaking to me, and I was listening intently. The thrill of shared

experience had gripped me. It’s funny that those feelings that had me nervously gulping down my first pint of weak gig booze from a plastic cup

almost 15 years ago are the same feelings that I look forward to experiencing when I go to a gig now: being part of a crowd is part of the whole

theatre of live music that I love, that makes it feel more real. And I still worry about what to wear when I go out.

I was pitched back into this memory recently at Liverpool Psych Fest, when my older sister brought her three children along, partly to get them

out of the weekend routine of Xbox, telly and lazing around, and partly to expose them to something new. It’s hard to explain what Psych Fest

actually is to a hardened gig-goer never mind three adolescents – it’s just one of those things that has to be seen, heard, smelled, felt. I was hoping

that it might be the thing to open their eyes to the worldly possibilities that exist outside of their bedrooms, and that the older of the three (15)

would be so taken by the experience that he’d want to accompany me to even more gigs, another initiate into the world of live music. And I had

high hopes: their parents are both keen gig-goers, and all three display remarkably psychedelic imaginations in coming up with answers when

we’re playing Consequences. Imagine my horror, therefore, when I found that only the youngest of the three, Jean (10), had made it past the front

gate, while her two older brothers were cowering back in the car trying to hide from “the hippies”. And we’re not 100% sure if it was the offer of a

pizza or the prospect of catching Ulrika Spacek that swayed Jean into taking the plunge; I suppose I’ll have to wait to pass that particular baton on.

There’s a parallel here between concert audiences and sporting crowds, and it was in reading Adrian Tempany’s brilliant book And The Sun Shines

Now that this similarity jumped out at me. Tempany’s book considers the developmental journey that football has taken since Hillsborough, and

how the Premier League’s ascent has mirrored societal and cultural changes in the UK. One thing that he speaks positively of is the idea of terraces

at football matches playing a large part in developing structures where a shared culture can be experienced by previously unconnected people in

a community, and where traditions are learned, passed on, modified. Mixing with other fans on terraces, Tempany argues, is an important rite-ofpassage

for younger fans, where they can feel part of something bigger. My early memories of attending Tranmere matches on the terraces with

my dad and brother aren’t as vivid as my first gig memories, but they share a similarity in that it was the sights, sounds and overall experience that

struck me more than the specific details of what we were there for. It was the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself that enraptured

me, and still does to this day. Tempany, a survivor of the Hillsborough disaster, puts this notion forward as a reason for bringing back terracing – to

help knit our society of isolated individuals back together – while also cautioning that safety must be the ultimate priority.

In essence, there’s a form of tribalism at the heart of both of these formative memories of mine, that something deep in me was resonating with

that cultural experience of being part of a group with a shared vision. It’s hardly Lord Of The Flies, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel

part of a tribe – it’s ingrained in our human psyche. Nor should we be scared of tribal alliances, be they football club, band, political party, religion

or whatever. All the members of these ‘tribes’ is doing is desperately groping for some kind of identity in our disconnected Big Society. The real

issue is trying to break down the barriers that get thrown up between various ‘tribes’, pitting one group against the other. And we have the best

tool to combat this inside our tribalistic human brains: knowledge.

Christopher Torpey / @BidoLito

Editor

Reviews Editor

Jonny Winship - live@bidolito.co.uk

Interns

Elliott Clay, Evan Moynihan

Design

Mark McKellier - @mckellier

Proofreading

Debra Williams - debra@wordsanddeeds.co.uk

Digital Content Manager

Natalie Williams - online@bidolito.co.uk

Words

Christopher Torpey, Bethany Garrett,

Alastair Dunn, Orla Foster, Tom Bell, Matt

Hogarth, Del Pike, Damon Fairclough,

Stuart Miles O’Hara, Scott Smith, Glyn

Akroyd, Sam Turner, Elliott Clay, Andy Von

Pip, Kieran Donnachie, Richard Lewis, Paul

Fitzgerald, Jules Bennett, Evan Moynihan.

Photography, Illustration and Layout

Mark McKellier, Nata Moraru, Chloé Santoriello,

Georgia Flynn, Keith Ainsworth, Tommy

Graham, Robin Clewley, Natalie Williams,

James Madden, Mike Sheerin, Stuart

Moulding, Glyn Akroyd, John Johnson.

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The views expressed in Bido Lito! are those of the

respective contributors and do not necessarily

reflect the opinions of the magazine, its staff or the

publishers. All rights reserved.

bidolito.co.uk


6

Bido Lito! November 2016


Hooton Tennis Club

7

Words: Bethany Garrett / @_bethanygarrett

Photogrpahy: Nata Moraru

Ah that hard, old, oft-fabled nut in the music

biz that is the tricky second album. With the

wonderfully organic, character-driven, colourful

debut that was 2015’s Highest Point In Cliff Town neatly

tucked away in their back jeans pockets, how would

the four best mates collectively known on these shores

as HOOTON TENNIS CLUB cast themselves adrift on the

tide and sail into the sunset with their second offering?

With their trademark ease, lack of pretence and knack

for melody, some added pop sensibilities and the help

of one Edwyn Collins, it would appear, after they washed

up in his Clashnarrow studio at (almost!) the highest

point in Scot-Town, Helmsdale.

“I think there was enough space in-between writing

this one, wasn’t there? Not to be confident, but to be like,

‘Alright, this a new thing, let’s do this’,” James (Guitars,

Vocals) offers when I rendezvous with the four-piece in

Ye Cracke’s leafy beer garden to talk through their second

album, Big Box Of Chocolates. Wary of the tendency of

some artists to take a complete left turn at Avenue Album

Two but equally wise to the perils of making “Highest

Point in Cliff Town squared”, the Heavenly-signed group

have struck a balance between being themselves and

adding a good, healthy dollop of pop to proceedings.

“There was a big effort to be more pop… Poppy as in

out of the sludge of our first album,” James reassures.

Pop here is no dirty word; it entails a world of cleverlycrafted

Beatles references, infectious melodies and

swinging, sophisticated 60s go-go guitars à la Jacques

Dutronc. “Yeah, pop as in classic 60s pop – I think it was,

like, a backlash from sort of being labelled a ‘slacker

band’, which I don’t think we ever really thought we

were,” Cal (Bass) chimes in before Ryan (Vocals, Guitars)

adds: “We all just thought, ‘We’re not like that; we’re

gonna show them!’ We had the idea in our heads that we

were gonna be smart and wear suits and work on it like

it was a proper job. Recently, the hashtag is that we’re

#GoingPro.” Behind the jokes, however, there does lie

a genuine sense of frustration in being tarnished with

the ‘slacker’ brush, as Harry (Drums) expresses: “We try

really hard to play our instruments and record songs

and everyone says, ‘Oh, it’s slack’ – [but] it’s just that we

can’t play! We try really hard; we’re just not that good.”

Don’t let this modesty or their flannel shirts and beatup

trainers fool you, mind. With BBOC, Hooton have

captured some of that 60s pop aesthetic without losing

their trademark fuzz and thoughtful lyricism. When

I observe that the record does sound very Beatles-y

indeed, Cal muses: “I wonder how that happened… I

wasn’t listening to The Beatles for, like, six months,”

before Ryan taunts his bandmate: “Not this story – not

at John Lennon’s favourite pub, Cal! Basically, Cal only

listened to Abbey Road for six months.”

Ah, so is that why the album sounds like it’s been

produced by George Martin – full of texture, imagination

and little quirks? “Yeah, that’s Edwyn’s great gear as

well, isn’t it? He’s probably got stuff that was actually

used by The Beatles; he bought stuff from Abbey Road,”

Harry offers. Gifted with a grotto of retro and analogue

gear – music geeks and freaks and Orange Juice/Edwyn

Collins superfans everywhere, brace yourselves – they

also made use of the BM fuzz pedal from A Girl Like You

and the Mu-Tron pedal from Rip It Up. And, between the

nitty gritty of recording when they could snatch half an

hour, they would devise hip hop alter egos on Edwyn’s

Kaossilator, a Gameboy-like four-track recorder. Here’s

hoping they get issued as B-sides.

As well as being so generous with his “Buckingham

Palace of music recording”, the band cite Edwyn’s ear for

melody and hook, his speed of working and his ability

to minimalise arrangements as integral to the process

of making the album. “There were a lot of times where

he’d just press the intercom button and he’d sing the

melody to someone and say, ‘No, it needs to be like this!

No, like this! No!’ And you’d do the melody again.” The

designated “tastemaster”, he would be the one to have

the final say on each take, keeping everything moving

along swiftly, and preventing the band from becoming

too “dithery”, during their two-week recording window:

“That was also what was so good about working with

Edwyn – we’d do a take and he’d be like, ‘Great lads,

great lads, let’s move on – what’s next?’ Whereas if it

was down to us we’d be painstakingly going over it.”

Collins would, though, follow this up with a booming

“and one more time for Jesus!” and have them play it

again, just in case. Collins’ catchphrase was of such

significance that they came very close to christening the

album with it, but were wary of its varied connotations

and it feeding into their rep as ironic, sonic slackers;

instead, you’ll find it etched into the sweet, shiny black

platter on the run-out groove of the vinyl release. Quite

literally making a mark on the album, Hooton assure me

that, “If you listen on some of the tracks, you can hear

Edwyn at the end going, ‘Wahey, that’s the one; it’s great

lads!’, dead quiet because he’d leave the tannoy on and

the engineer would be like, ‘Edwyn, you’ve just spilled

into the track!’ He still had that enthusiasm for some

songs that took 20 takes.”

The band absolutely glow with adoration and

appreciation as they assimilate their experience of

recording there. To hear them describe the studio itself,

perched overlooking the Moray Firth is a marvel: “His

house is at the bottom of the hill, and then you walk

these 50 steps or so up this hill and there’s the studio

and the artist accommodation that he’s built with it, and

then behind is a shed, a big, huge outhouse, which is

his equipment base.” Ryan likens it to Tracy Island from

Thunderbirds, while James reinforces that, “Basically, the

whole strip from the sea up into the mountain, he owns.”

An immersive experience, when things were getting

a bit cabin fever, Grace, Edwyn’s wife and Helmsdale’s

resident angel, would take them on trips out in the

community minibus that she drives for residents of

the village. Cal recalls: “There’s a documentary about

Edwyn, The Possibilities Are Endless, and you know

where he goes down the big steps – Whaligoe Steps –

she took us there, and it was just like my life-affirming

moment; it was like looking around like, ‘Why am I here?

What’s going on? Why do I deserve to be doing this right

now?’.” Escorted down the steps by “Davey, the local

eccentric and master of the steps”, a friend of Grace and

Edwyn’s who invited the band to his garden and had

them attempt to ride a bike with backwards handlebars

successfully for 50 quid (“You’d steer right and it goes

left – he doesn’t tell you that the handlebars are the

wrong way round – and everyone falls over”), perhaps

the experience mirrors the profundity and playfulness

to be found in the album itself.

Growling, existential opener Growing Concerns and

gorgeous, emphatic closer Big Box Of Chocolates are

both very much on the profound end of this spectrum,

questioning the value of making art – although the

album perhaps answers this for itself. Bootcut Jimmy The

G, sounding like a character who’s just strutted straight

out of The Beatles’ Get Back (read: Loretta’s ‘high-heel

shoes and low-neck sweater’), is definitely on the silly

side – you won’t be able to un-hear the Lennon and

McCartney in James and Ryan’s vocals either, nor on the

go-go groovy of Statue Of The Greatest Woman I Know.

The album is awash with Big Star guitars and harmonies

(with a Mersey and Deeside twinge as opposed to

Memphis and the Mississippi) and Jonathan Richman

realism, wit and melody.

Discussing some of their loopy and lovely lyrics,

James explains that, “Usually they’re something that

springs to the top of your head and you think, ‘Oh, that

could be funny to explore’ or, like, a certain character

or a certain time or something you’ve experienced. So

most of the songs are about 30% non-fiction,” before

Ryan finishes his sentence for him, “and then you make

a story around it.”

With a high non-fiction content, the infectiously

playful Lauren, I’m In Love! is an ode to 6Music DJ Lauren

Laverne, so it’s only fitting that it has a melody that’ll roll

straight off the radio, burrow into your brain and make a

little nest next to your pineal gland – a faux serotonin fix

to keep you happy, warm and full-on fuzzed-up through

winter. Sit Like Ravi and O, Man Won’t You Melt Me are

deeply heartfelt and cosmonaughty, and Meet Me At The

Molly Bench and the familiar recent single Katy-Anne

Bellis are heliotropic wonders, shimmering jingly-jangly

golden odes that’ll have you forever leaning towards

the sunny side of things. Bad Dream (Breakdown

On St George’s Mount) sounds like Blur at their best,

Frostbitten In Fen Ditton has a little Gilded Palace Of

Sin about it, while Lazers Linda is fast-paced, fizzy rock

‘n’ roll fun.

All in all then, quite a pretty peach of a second album

and one that is quietly rooted in Helmsdale, their

hometown for a fortnight. But don’t just take it from

me; let them talk you through their take on all 12 tracks

themselves overleaf.

soundcloud.com/hootontennisclub

Big Box Of Chocolates is out now on Heavenly Recordings.

Hooton Tennis Club play the Invisible Wind Factory on

9th December.


“Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.”

We had Hooton Tennis Club tell us some of the quirks, characters, stories and sentiments behind each track on Big Box Of Chocolates – here’s what they came out with.

1 Growing Concerns

James: “I adlibbed the vocal bit,

the tannoy thing – Ryan

phoned me and said we’ve

got this…”

Ryan: “…gap of two bars – and

I didn’t tell him, I just

pressed record and he came

out with this story about

travelling around the Romanian mountains. We redid it

in the studio with Edwyn’s Tannoy that sounds like an

old BBC-backed speaker.”

2 Bootcut Jimmy The G

R: “We were invited

to a birthday

party for Jimmy

f r o m

T h e

Kazimier but we didn’t know who Jimmy was and didn’t find

out. There was this one guy in the middle of the room going

for it, throwing the moves, really such a groover and he was

wearing these bootcut jeans and like a shirt from Next, just

a really ordinary looking kind of dude who was completely

immersed in himself.”

J: “There was no one else dancing so we assumed he must be

Jimmy. He wasn’t!”

3 Bad Dream (Breakdown

On St George’s Mount)

J: “Bad Dream was written about

three years ago – I guess

maybe it’s about when you

have someone close to you

and you think would they be

better off without you because

you’re just not good enough.”

R: “It’s that relationship thing

and that’s why I really like it

because it’s not shy of that proper classic pop song – you

know, girl meets boy.”

4 Sit Like Ravi

Cal: “We were in South

Germany on a day off on

tour and we got really

high. It was the night of

that big red moon, the

supermoon, so we got

cosmic.”

Harry: “Ry started playing guitar

dead high up like it’s a

sitar, sitting on the floor

cross-legged.”

R: “Pretending to be psychedelic. We were out of our comfort

zone vocally but in the studio, Edwyn was like ‘let’s keep

the harmonies!’”

5 Katy-Anne Bellis

R: “Ah, Katy-Anne! She lived in the Garlic

Mansion – she’s such a good person,

just really creative and enthusiastic.

She’s one of those people who just

wants to help, doesn’t mind, she never

wants anything back and so when I got

to know her for a little bit and then she

left, I was like ‘ahh I wanted to know

more about her’ – her name worked

really well as a melody and the rest is just literal!”

6 O, Man Won’t You Melt Me

R: “Edwyn does the backing on this one.”

H: “He comes in and sounds like God

with this big, deep voice: ‘Oh it’s not

me!’”

J: “We were really scared about asking

him as well.”

H: “Yeah, we asked Grace first.”

R: “And he was just like ‘can you write it down for me?’ and

then he was holding it all day practicing it so he got it really

right.”

7 Statue Of The Greatest

Woman I Know

H: “It’s got one of my favourite bits on the

album, which is Ryan’s vocal when he

goes into a bit of a Scouse accent.”

R: “Gerrrreaat-est! That part ‘I painted the

kitchen, I painted the top of the stairs’ is

something I heard my dad say to my mum

in a silly argument: ‘I’ve bloody painted

the kitchen and painted the stairs, what

else do you want me to do? Cut the grass?’

It was a good little nugget of married life.”

8 Meet Me At The

Molly Bench

C: “It’s about a bench in

Mollington just outside

Chester.”

J: “It’s equidistant from mine

and Ry’s house and it’s

where we used to meet on our bikes.”

R: “The bike bell, why did we choose to put that in?”

H: “It was in the right key, we didn’t have to pitch shift it at all,

and it’s a song about bikes. In the studio, you couldn’t hold

it without muting it so you had to attach it to a drumstick.”

9 Lauren, I’m In Love!

C: “It could be taken in a certain way,

as like a lustful thing, but it’s not,

it’s about our appreciation of her

and what she [Lauren Laverne]

does for 6Music.”

H: “And about 6Music in general.

That sounds even more suck up-y

but we went in to do a session

and I just remember thinking ‘What are we doing? We’re

in 6Music doing a live session and we’re just four – four

dickheads is what we always say’.”

10 Frostbitten In Fen Ditton

H: “Originally it was just going to fade out with

the chords and Edwyn said try something

different and we came up with that ending

in the studio.”

R: “We were going for that country and

western, jangly kind of sound.”

C: “We were listening to like a lot of Americana

music like The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lee Hazlewood…”

J: “… And trying to get that atmosphere on the track with

Edywn’s lap steel.”

11 Lazers Linda

R: “We wrote the most throwaway lyrics we’ve ever tried to

write.”

J: “We fictionalised a character in

our heads didn’t we? Linda is a

reference to It’s Always Sunny In

Philadelphia, but we made her

this guru who can help you.”

C: “And we argued for ages about the track title – it should be

an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’ but we just thought in the end ‘z’ looks

better, it’s cooler.”

12 Big Box Of Chocolates

J: “I think the greatest bit

in this one is where Ry

sums up what it’s like to

create something in front

of the ocean, cos we were overlooking Moray Firth.”

R: “To say, like, ‘I’m trying to make this art but I mean look at

that, I’m never gonna make anything better than that’.”

C: “It definitely influenced the album just being there and

having this view.”

R: “You were just pinching yourself all the time – here we are,

10 years down the line, we’ve been mates since high school,

we try to make music and suddenly we’re in Edwyn Collins’

studio and it’s just like ‘fuck, what?!’ So then you feel like

you’ve got to make something good of it or you might waste

the opportunity.”

H: “Or at least, if not make something good, appreciate what

you’re doing while you’re doing it.”

C: “But then realising that there are bigger things than what

you’re doing.”


GET INTO

THE SPIRIT OF

CHRISTMAS at

LIVERPOOL

PHILHARMONIC

Box Office

liverpoolphil.com

0151 709 3789

Principal Funders

Fb.com/LiverpoolPhilharmonic

@Liverpoolphil

Book Now!


Last year we published an article highlighting the ongoing

issue of homelessness in Britain focusing on Liverpool,

which has one of the highest homelessness rates outside

of the capital, with recent government statistics showing that

hundreds are sleeping rough on our streets each night. We are

currently way beyond the national average for homelessness.

One of the main points raised in that issue (Issue 61, Dec

2015/Jan 2016) was that the local music and arts communities

appeared to be doing more to ease the growing problem than

the government, through organisations such as Hopefest and

We Shall Overcome, alongside independent support from the

likes of the invaluable Whitechapel Centre. Despite the work

of these groups, evidence suggests that the problem does

not seem to be going away, as any trip into the city centre will

immediately reveal. In revisiting that article we will see if the

situation has improved or not, and by speaking to some of the

people involved in helping the homeless find out

what still needs to be done,

and what you can do to help.

Bold Street, that great multicultural

boulevard of food, drink

and arts, is blooming and, in

recent years, despite intense

austerity, the thoroughfare has

seen a rise in bistros, cafes, bars

and alternative shops. Visitors to

the city cannot help but be stunned

by the range of international cuisine

on offer, and in the evening the glow

from each establishment appears

warm and inviting. It doesn’t take

long, however, to see the cracks, for

in the doorways in between lie

the stories of thousands of

broken lives. Huddled

in sleeping bags

and

newspaper

beneath

blankets live

Liverpool’s

homeless.

To many,

this is a

royal

pain in the behind – no-one likes to be asked for money, it is

awkward and ultimately depressing and how many of us have

harboured thoughts like, “If I give to one then I’ll have to give to

them all” or “If I give them money, they will only go and spend

it on drugs”?

It’s an all-too-easy way of ignoring the issue, but behind those

worn faces are people and, in most cases, it’s not ‘their fault’: one

instance of bad luck, a bout of bad health or a breakdown in the

family can be the one step away from living in a shop doorway.

Honestly, we don’t know how near most of us are from this often

sudden descent into despair.

One person who knows from experience what it is like to

find himself homeless and who is currently playing his part in

helping others is Bernie Connor. A constant figure

on the Liverpool music scene

since

the days of Eric’s,

Cream and beyond, Connor is proactive

when it comes to raising awareness and money for issues

close to his heart. As I enter Buyers Club during Connor’s Lunatic

Fringe event, I find him in his usual high spirits. The event is to

raise money for local food banks, and the admission price can

be either monetary or a bag of non-perishable foods. “It’s just

like punk,” Connor shouts pointing towards the band on stage,

describing how there’s no point sitting around but to get up

and do it. “Someone has to.”

“What we are doing is ostensibly a benefit for food

banks,” Connor tells me later on. “The idea

for the food bank benefit was the idea of

Jack Greene, lead singer in The Probes. He

thought it would be good idea as they’d done a

similar thing the year before and for obvious

reasons, I picked it up and ran with it.”

Connor’s intentions run deeper

than this, however, and he

has an understanding of

the people he is aiming to

help. “The challenge is

mighty. I’m not

ever going to

pretend I can put myself in a homeless person’s shoes. My own

experiences from having nowhere to live, due to a breakdown

in a relationship, were horrendous, and I had a network of

well-meaning friends and colleagues who were looking out

for me. I’m perfectly aware that most people don’t have that

network of support; in fact, I would go as far as guessing that

most homeless people have no support at all. Apply that to

those who are drug and alcohol afflicted and beset by clinical

depression – surely one of THE main symptoms of homelessness

and poverty – and the situation becomes clearly worse. Where

do you find the space to even think about your plight if you have

more pressing items to deal with?”

MUSICIANS

AGAINST

HOMELESSNESS

Words: Del Pike / @del_pike

Illustration: Tommy Graham /

tommygrahamart.com

Photography: Nata Moraru

This recognition of the fact that

depression is a major factor in individuals

becoming lost on the streets is vital to

the common understanding of the public,

as the plight of people left homeless is

often overlooked as simply laziness and

a reluctance to get a job. Depression

remains one of the most criminally

misunderstood human conditions;

Connor is clearly aware that this

situation is not improving. “I think [it]

gets worse every year. Poverty and

chronic housing shortage seem to

be mainstays of 21st-century British

society. There’s been a reluctance to

look these pertinent subjects in the

eye for many years.”

Looking at individual case studies provides an almost

Dickensian feel to life in this supposedly forward-thinking city.

Speaking to a homeless

guy on a wet Saturday

afternoon on Slater

Street, I realised how

diabolical life can

be. This particular

gentleman was in

a wheelchair and

clearly

finding

it difficult to

manoeuvre

around

the

hustle and bustle

of shoppers and

early-afternoon

revellers.


I gave him a pound, for which he was extremely grateful and

shook me by the hand: I’m told that not everyone is like me and

some people are “horrible”. “They take one look at me, they see

the wheelchair and they turn the other way.”

It is almost impossible to fathom how a disabled man, bound

to a wheelchair and clearly in need of medical assistance, can

end up on the streets, feeling unwanted and

ashamed. That his conversation is peppered

with endless apologies and thank you’s

suggests a man humbled beyond any pride

he may previously have held.

One group of people who have made an

incredible difference to life on the streets

is Reallove. Reallove was formed as a nonpolitical

voluntary street team in 2015 by

two founding members, Cathy Clements

and Martin Atherton. They began by

walking around the streets with bags

of clothes and food and a trolley with

soup and hot drinks, doing the best

they could to reach out to people living

on the streets and in need. Then Sian

Cuthbertson joined them, providing

more trollies, and the team became

more organised. Bit by bit, more people joined and a

Facebook page was set up to raise

awareness of the work they were

doing.

I spoke to Reallove about their

work, and they began by telling

me how valuable voluntary support

has been. “Now it is a team of 13 and

the public have shown us the most

fantastic support. Without them

there would be no Reallove. We work

alongside other amazing street teams

and kitchens and our aim is to work

closely to positively supplement all the

good work that goes on with the official

mainstream services, and to point people

in their direction. We are all working

towards the same goal, supporting our

homeless community.”

Reallove believe that “homelessness is a

world that most people can’t comprehend,

an alien existence.” We ask them to put it

into some sort of context: “Imagine having

to sleep rough because you have nowhere

to call home. It’s freezing, it’s terrifying

and it makes you ill. You are so tired

because you don’t sleep for days on end,

and when you do shut your eyes, you only

have one closed for fear of attack. Hate

crime on the streets is rife. Attacks on the

homeless are commonplace.”

“National statistics show that all

forms of homelessness, including rough

sleeping, have continued to increase,

and with further cuts to services and

welfare reform it has been predicted that they

will continue to rise,” Reallove continue. “Again, we have seen

through our own voluntary work that there appears to be more

people on the city’s streets, which is reflected in the amount

of provisions we get through now compared to 12 months ago.

Rises in all forms of homelessness are associated with changes

in government policy, and it is important that these figures are

measured in relation to these structural and policy factors.”

Here lies the nub of the problem: groups like Reallove and

The Whitechapel Centre are left to pick up the slack in providing

provisions for homeless people and rough sleepers when a

coordinated government response is lacking – and as long as

such groups exist, the government will continue to sit back

and do nothing. Further, the divisive and punitive measures

the government implements plunges even more people into

the situation where food banks and homeless shelters are the

norm, placing even greater pressure on the already creaking

infrastructure of support. Sadly, organisations like Reallove

and The Whitechapel Centre – often staffed

by volunteers – are becoming ever

more essential, particularly as the

winter months approach.

“It’s important to emphasise

that these figures must be

understood in the context of the

government’s austerity programme,”

says Reallove’s Amanda Atkinson.

“Reform/cuts to housing benefit

and the squeezing of local authority

budgets, the shortage of housing and

the expansion of the private landlord

sector with unaffordable rent prices,

funding cuts to homelessness, mental

health and substance use services, and

a reduction in the number of hostel/

shelter places – these have all played

major contributing roles to these rising

figures. Sadly, such figures are just the tip

of the iceberg, and have been predicted to

rise in light of further austerity measures.”

So what can we do to help, beyond

passing loose change to individuals

on the street? “It’s important that we

keep chipping away at changing public

perceptions of homelessness,” Reallove

suggest. “It’s easy to forget that anyone

of us could become one of them. They

are all someone’s son, daughter, father

or mother, and they all have families.

Something went wrong and it led to

them losing everything that they had

and ending up homeless.”

Practically there is a great deal we can do. “People can also

get involved by donating supplies to street teams like ourselves

or by setting up fundraising events.

There are around 15 street teams

and/or static kitchens that exist in

Liverpool that have been set up to

help meet the needs of those living

on the city’s streets or in temporary

accommodation. All the teams work

together and we coordinate our work

but we could not do this without

the kindness and generosity of the

people that donate. Whether it be

a pack of biscuits, a sleeping bag, or

toiletries such as baby wipes, these

items can make a positive difference.”

Please don’t ignore this growing

problem: it’s not just about giving a

handful of change away, it’s about

changing attitudes, and that is

something we are all capable of.

Head to bidolito.co.uk now to read a full version of this article,

including an interview with Alan McGee about the impact of his

Musicians Against Homelessness project.

Reallove’s exhibition Homeless: The Human Cost Of Austerity

is open between 19th and 27th November at Road Studios on

Victoria Street.

Following on from last year’s successful

campaign, which saw us raise over £2000,

we will be rolling out our #GuestlistGiving

project for a five-month period during the coldest

part of the year. Once again we’ll be teaming up with

Liverpool’s independent venues and promoters,

with the aim of raising a substantial amount of

money for the Whitechapel Centre, to help them

carry out the vital work they do in helping the city’s

homeless community.

The Bido #GuestlistGiving Campaign will run

from Thursday 20th October to Thursday 23rd

March, and will raise money by asking anyone who

is on the guest list at any affiliated gig or show

during this period to make a small donation to the

charity. Bido Lito! Editor Christopher Torpey explains

the reasons behind setting up the campaign.

“There’s a saying that you’re only ever two wage

packets away from being on the streets yourself,

which I think is a sentiment that a lot of people

in our city’s music community can empathise

with. Although the issue of homelessness is

something that needs fighting all year round, the

Christmas period throws it into sharper focus as

the differences between those

people who, through varying

degrees of misfortune, have

to sleep rough and those who

have the luxury of celebrating

the festive season indoors with

their families become even more

acute.

“With this campaign we not

only wanted to raise awareness

of the issue and highlight ways

in which we can help, but also

back it up with a sizeable chunk

of money that will help the

Whitechapel Centre keep up and

expand their work during this

period. Last year, through the

generosity of the public and our

city’s venues and promoters, we

raised some much-needed funds.

This year, let’s aim to double

that.”

Ruth McCaughley, The

Whitechapel Centre’s

Fundraising Manager, says “The

#GuestListGiving campaign

has been a great way for us to

reach a wider audience across

Liverpool, encouraging latenight

clubbers and gig-goers to

call our No Second Night Out

telephone number to let us know

about people who are sleeping

rough. We are really grateful to

everyone who donated, as well

as the bars, clubs and bands who

have promoted this campaign –

it has raised a fantastic amount

of money which will help us to

get people off the streets and to

prevent others from becoming

homeless.”

Head to bidolito.co.uk for a full

list of affiliated shows in our

#GuestlistGiving campaign

#GUESTLISTGIVING


Words: Orla Foster

Photography: Georgia Flynn / georgiaflynn.com

Z

U

Z

U

ZUZU is a name you may have heard bandied around a

lot lately. A musician whose unapologetic take on indierock

captures the excitement and ennui of modern life,

she’s quickly making waves with her crisp guitar stylings and

relatable lyrics. Raised in Mossley Hill, Zuzu moved to London

at 18, where, after a few years cutting her teeth on various

projects and record deals, she formed her current band and

started getting some traction.

Take note: her music is accessible and fun. It’s a little

power-pop, with echoes of Elastica, the slacker appeal of

Pavement, and harmonies to rival the La’s. Evidently, it’s time

to start paying some more attention to Zuzu, and a move to

Birkenhead means we could be seeing a lot more of her in the

coming months. But what triggered the return to Merseyside?

“It’s not that there isn’t a scene in London, but I feel our

band is more welcome here,” the singer/guitarist explains.

“There’s so much electronic stuff in London at the moment,

whereas a lot of real bands are coming out of the North West,

and that’s what I’m into. I love guitar music.

“And maybe it’s because I’m home, but people are really

keen to be supportive and we always get such a nice

welcome.”

A case in point is her support slot with Courtney Barnett

at the O2 Academy in December 2015, coming not long after

she’d move back home. The support, it transpires, went both

ways, with Barnett showing up in the audience and making

plans to hang out.

“I think when you’re playing in front of bands that you

really look up to, there are always a few nerves there, as

confident as you might act. When Courtney Barnett was

watching us play, I felt so nervous. It was surreal. But at

the same time it was a lot of fun.”

Those lucky enough to have caught the show may have

observed a link in their songwriting style – a deceptively

breezy, devil-may-care insouciance which masks a darker

neurosis. Barnett will dash off lines about getting “cheap

stuff at the supermarket” and “crying in the kitchen.” Zuzu,

in turn, will share tales of catching the bus in the rain or

sitting up all night watching TV.

“By the time we supported her, I was already a huge

fan, super fan, superduperduper fan. She had us in for

pizza before she watched our set. She was so kind that

I basically cried the whole way home. And I stuttered! I

don’t ever stutter, but I stuttered in front of her. I was so

nervous. But it was definitely a highlight for me.”

I find that I’m enjoying talking to Zuzu as a music fan,

so we carry on discussing bands and gigs for a while.

She tells me about seeing Conor Oberst at Manchester

Cathedral a couple of years back.

“It was one of those really intimate gigs when you

just love the band and know every word. And they’re

there right in front of you! That was the first time I’d seen

Conor Oberst, and I’ve been obsessed since I was 14. I

find it amazing that he can go into such depth about

something when he’s halfway across the world, and

yet I feel exactly the same sat here.”

I admit I missed the chance to see Bright Eyes while

queuing for money tokens at Benicàssim. But I can

understand how her work relates to the rawness of

Oberst’s material, as well as the idea that sharing

details weirdly unique to you can resonate with

strangers in ways you didn’t expect.

“Yeah, definitely. I always try to stay as close to the

bone as possible, because I feel like the more honest

and more specific you get, the more people relate to

it. I don’t like to mince my words; I say exactly how

I’m feeling and make it rhyme.”

Deciding which single to release took serious

consideration, but ultimately the band agreed Get Off was the

one for the job.

“We’d lived with it for a while and all really enjoyed playing

it. But I wanted to make sure it was as honest as possible. It

freaks me out how easy it is to regret things these days. Once

something’s out there, it’s out.”

Watching the video, which features the band in their rehearsal

space, it’s clear they’re pretty close. While the music is very much

Zuzu’s personal project, she acknowledges a special bond with

the people helping her make it happen.

“Those girls are amazing. So is Kurran [guitarist], obviously,

but the girls are incredible. It’s weird; beforehand I never really

knew any other girls that played music, and I was always in

bands with guys. Not that it was an issue, but it’s nice to meet

like-minded girls who play and just care about playing and

nothing else.”

One thing you’ll notice about Zuzu’s output is the 90s influence,

both sonically and visually. I mention a stray Beanie Baby I spied

towards the end of the video, and right away she spins her laptop

around to reveal an immaculately-curated shelving unit housing

an army of plastic figurines, novels and Beanie Babies. It’s the

perfect nostalgia hit, which seems appropriate given her love

for the era.

Back to band stuff. Even the most garlanded new act can fold

under the pressure of conflicting personalities, unforgiving work

hours, or even just trains. What keeps Zuzu motivated?

“It’s weird; my band discuss this a lot. I don’t know how to

explain it. It’s like there’s some drive inside you that makes you

wake up and write songs every day. That’s it. I’ve been doing it

since I was a child.”

What about the bad days, when inspiration doesn’t come?

“Yeah, of course I throw away loads of songs before I even

demo them. The band help me sieve through – they’ll tell me

that’s a good one, or that one isn’t, because I don’t really know.”

She frowns. “I mean, I know if something’s too depressing,

but that’s about it. And I feel like some stuff is too sad. Too sad

to even show the band. I just like to be quite self-deprecating

that’s all. It’s funny. And if anything, that’s probably what I am

keen on in songwriting, the bit of humour that comes with it.

Because everyone’s a bit sad, aren’t they? And I feel like laughing

about it helps.”

I’m about to say my goodbyes when she spots the Rushmore

poster above my head and lights up all over again. “I love that

film! Have you ever seen I Heart Huckabees?” I tell her I missed

that one too. Not because I was queuing for paper money,

but because I have a gap in my film knowledge the size of the

equator. I was 20 before I saw Free Willy.

“Well, watch it! The character Jason Schwartzman plays —

he’s just like me. He’s so self-deprecating, and just like, ‘Fuck

everything’. I don’t know how interested you are in existentialism,

but it’s a super-twisted comedy and it’s pretty funny considering

it’s such a trippy idea. The opening scene is like, my life.”

Later that night, I watch the scene she’s talking about. As

promised, there’s Schwartzman locked into a hand-wringing

internalised monologue: “What-am-I-doing-I-don’t-know-what-

I’m-doing-maybe-I-should-quit-DON’T-QUIT”. Just as tuning into

other people’s doubts can strike a chord with all but the most

hardened crank, surely it’s this same looming fear of failure

which informs the best songwriting.

Not that fear is something you’d associate with Zuzu’s tight

live shows, or the sanguine frontwoman hammering out lines

like “Whether you like it or not, you’re gonna see me a lot!” Zuzu

is clearly going places, and this time we get to tag along for

the ride.

soundcloud.com/thisiszuzu

Get Off is out now via Hand In Hive. Zuzu supports Hooton Tennis

Club on their UK tour in November.


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Thanksgiving Day, 25th November 1976. The Winterland

Ballroom, San Francisco. The day The Band called it

a day.

And what a way to bow out, after 16 years on the road, a final

concert, entitled THE LAST WALTZ, aided and abetted by a guest

list to die for of musical luminaries and friends – Muddy Waters,

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton to name

but a few – and all captured under the direction of zeitgeist filmmaker

and music aficionado Martin Scorsese, whose film of the

concert has done much to preserve its legendary status. But the

road keeps a-calling and 40 years on a young Irish troubadour by

the name of Dave O’Grady, aka Seafoam Green, is set to present

his own celebration of The Band’s legendary blow-out in his

adopted home of Liverpool.

I caught up with O’Grady in late summer just as he was about

to embark on a six-week, 20-date tour of the US. I asked him, of

course, about his earliest musical memories and sure enough

his parents had a great collection of vinyl. Guitar-led music, such

as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Band, was on heavy

rotation. “I liked the music since I was four years old but I didn’t

play until I got my first guitar at 12 and then everything else

went out the window, I just loved it, it blew my mind; as soon

as I struck a chord it was, ‘Wow, I did that’.” However, it wasn’t

until his early 20s that he really ‘got’ The Band. “I think you need

to be a bit older to really get a group like The Band; I mean, you

can like the guitars n’all, but the fighting, the loving, the beers,

the drugs, you need to have a little experience to really get those

references.”

O’Grady started playing live at 14, taking buses and trains,

walking or hitching a ride, telling his parents he was somewhere

else. “I’d try to get on early so I could get home with a believable

story,” he laughs, eyes twinkling at the memory of evenings

spent jamming in pubs and folk clubs all over his native County

Kildare. “If you had the confidence you could walk up to the bar,

look them in the eye and order a pint of Guinness… and I was

confident, you know.” If you consider that even when he was

still at school he’d be playing four or five times a week and that,

now in his late 20s, he plays over 200 gigs a year you get some

idea of the experience O’Grady has built up over a relatively

short space of time.

Having honed his live performances, O’Grady found himself

recording backing vocals in Nashville in 2011 where he met Rich

Robinson of The Black Crowes in his guise as producer. They

struck up an enduring friendship and O’Grady has supported

Robinson on US and European tours, following which they

agreed that Robinson would produce the first Seafoam Green

album. The songs on the album were 10 years in the making but

were polished in the days immediately before recording, spent

at Robinson’s LA home, a hubbub of creativity and collaboration

as Robinson prepared not only for the recording of the album

but for an exhibition of his paintings. O’Grady credits Robinson

as a major influence in the development of his songwriting. “I

wrote a song in the first person, I was putting myself in a slightly

elevated position, and he said, ‘Why are you the centre of this?

Why are you the important person?’ He was right, you shouldn’t

be writing songs just to make yourself feel amazing; you could

write your own movie but you’ve got to be honest, otherwise

stop wasting people’s time. Now it’s a much better song.”

The album, Topanga Mansion, is released on Mellowtone

Records on 1st November. O’Grady talks about the organic

nature of the recording process, of documenting a moment.

“It’s a psych-folk record, with some rock ‘n’ roll; it’s quite spacey

in parts. One song [Sister] is nine minutes long because we

just felt it when we were playing and took it somewhere, we’re

not even looking at each other, it’s heads down and someone

might drag and we slow down or there might be a spike and

we go somewhere else. When you listen to it you can be sure

that that vibration existed at a time and place on this Earth.

It’s not a drummer in New York sending a track to a bass player

in London. It’s a bunch of musicians in a tiny studio in Santa

Monica, talking Chinese food and jokes, and taking the piss out

of each other and getting mad at me for fucking-up takes, but

that can produce something because if the drummer’s mad at

me he’s going to hit his drums a little harder and that might be

the thing that makes it special.”

Topanga Mansion, in its style, its songwriting and its

musicianship has the feel of classic Americana; it rides the

hills and valleys with beautifully nuanced tempo changes and

reveals O’Grady to be a man who can conjure up the sweetest of

melodies alongside the grittiest of guitar riffs. Soulful backing

vocals and funky organ licks sit alongside the prettiest pedal

steel and fragile piano melodies. O’Grady’s rich, resonant vocals

are equally at home singing ballads or rock ‘n’ roll and Seafoam

Green serve up the sort of aural melting pot that The Band

themselves were noted for.

The ideas and opinions pour from O’Grady as we talk. “I’ve

gone off on a tangent,” he says on more than one occasion,

but O’Grady’s tangents are always interesting and illuminating.

We laugh about how much recorded conversation I will have to

go over – “I reckon if I listen back to this I’ll learn more about

myself than I ever knew; sometimes I say things and think, ‘Oh,

so that’s how I feel about that’. It’s the same with songwriting:

you write a song about something and subconsciously you’re

telling yourself this is how I feel about this. I can get closure from

finishing a song.” If songwriting can close doors on his own past

then his songs can, in turn, open doors for the listener. “I was

meeting people after a gig in New York and this guy waited in

the queue, looked like he’d had a moment, you know, and when

I shook his hand he told me he hadn’t spoken to his mum for six

Words: Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd

Photography: Natalie Williams


years and when I’d played My Oldest Friend he walked out,

called her and told her he loved her. That made me happy for

a year.” As Robbie Robertson says in the movie of The Last

Waltz, “It was the musicians in New York who were doing

the greatest healing.”

O’Grady’s 40th anniversary celebration of The Last Waltz

takes place immediately after the US tour and a further

three weeks performing in Ireland. Fortunately, the band

who will be accompanying him – Adrian Gautrey, guitar/

keys; Martin Byrne, bass; Ben Gonzalez, drums; Muirreann

‘Muzz’ McDermot Long, vocals; Jez Wing, keys – are well

versed in the songs and are long-term collaborators, and he

is pretty sanguine about the five-day rehearsal period. “We

all know it ‘cause we all love it, but we just need to know it

in the room. I don’t want to give it too much grandeur, but

we’re a real band honouring a real band,” he reflects, before

rattling off a list of guest artists who are to appear including

Edgar Jones, Nick Ellis, Mersey Wylie, Paul Dunbar and Chris

Nicholls. “We don’t want to recreate it. Some people have

done it where someone dresses like Dylan and the drummer

looks like Levon [Helm], but we just want to be honest with

the music. I wanted to use great local musicians; it would

be easy to get people in to play The Last Waltz at the Phil

but it’s about the local music community, people who’ve

dedicated their lives to the music like The Band did.”

The Band did so at no little cost to themselves and in

The Last Waltz Robbie Robertson opines that being on

the road “is a god damn impossible way of life”. “It is,”

agrees O’Grady. “We’re doing it for as long as we can. You

just do it and then… well, there is no destination.” I ask

him if he wishes he could sit still sometimes. “Oh I’d love

to,” he replies, “but I’m not supposed to. I’m so far gone,

man, the needle is so far in my arm, leave me be, save

yourself, stay in school, get a job, make money, be happy.”

He looks thoughtful for a second and then laughs. The

endless highway that The Band departed so memorably

still beckons for Dave O’Grady. The party isn’t quite over yet.

seafoamgreenband.com

The Last Waltz takes place on 25th November at the

Philharmonic Music Room, with Seafoam Green joined

by special guests in recreating the unique atmosphere of

The Band’s final concert. Topanga Mansion is out on 1st

November on Mellowtone Records.


Words: Alastair Dunn

Photography: Chloé Santoriello

The current crop of new guitar acts in Liverpool is as

varied and tight-knit as ever, and the sheer number of

shows each week that are populated by homegrown

acts backs this up. A supportive atmosphere is one that benefits

everyone, a sense of mutual encouragement that results in

great outpourings of creativity. One of the more distinctive

voices to recently emerge from this effervescent pool is FUSS, a

band who, over the past year or so, have seemed both slightly

elusive and yet ever-present on every good bill around. Mates

David Baddeley (Vocals, Guitar), Tony Dixon (Vocals, Guitar), Karl

Byrne (Bass), Cormac Gould (Synths) and Bobby Reardon (Drums)

are responsible for FUSS’ signature space-folk sound, and the

quartet are in a relaxed mood when we catch up with them at

Greendays Café on Lark Lane. It soon becomes evident, not long

into our chat, that they’re not short on ambition either. After all,

who wants to stay in a bubble forever?

“People are liking [us] and things are happening. Hopefully,

next year we can play bigger gigs and people around the country

will start hearing us, not just in Liverpool,” says David of the

band’s justifiably lofty ambitions. “We want to play all around the

world. I want band music to become popular in this country again

and us to be a part of that. I think it could happen, definitely. We

just want to keep making groovy tunes and see where it takes us.

If it takes us really far, then that’s what we want. That’s what I’m

looking for, to be honest, to go to the top. I think it does deserve

to, because I think the music that’s on top now isn’t any good.”

FUSS are hardly the first guitar band to declare their assault

on the pyramid that seems to tower above them – in fact, it was

once expected that bands of their ilk would spout statements

like this on a regular basis. What marks these comments out

more is the fact that you rarely hear grandstanding like this from

up-and-coming bands anymore, and we kind of miss it. However,

before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to know how these

South Liverpool lads got to where they are.

“I met Tony at a party about a year ago and after that we spent

pretty much every day together,” says David. “I asked him if he

wanted to make a band and it just kind of grew from there. We

started off with a different drummer, but once Bobby got involved

that was it, the sound was defined.”

That sound – a kind of nostalgic, dreamy gloop of shoegaze

and folk – is in the ‘psych’ ballpark, at least if you count Spectrals

and The Growlers as such. As for what the band are consciously

or sub-consciously groping for, that’s a little more difficult to pin

down. “You can’t really do what’s already been done, but you

can kind of re-create a vibe and a sound that’s of a certain era,”

David continues. “People have given us quite a few labels, like

dream pop, synth pop, psych. I don’t think we necessarily fit into

any of them, but when everything is put together it can come off

a bit psychedelic. I think that some of the sonic qualities of that

genre are definitely there.”

“All the songs are written acoustically and if you strip them

back they’re all basically just folk songs,” states Tony. “Last week

me and Dave were both playing in different rooms and we each

came up with a part of a song that fitted with the other. So we

put them together and it formed a really nice tune.”

They’re reticent to get bogged down splitting genres, instead

finding it much easier and more comfortable talking about their

processes. As usual, David takes the lead on the topic: “We

usually write realism. One of the songs we wrote recently is just

about the realities of life and being skint. But it’s put in a way

that sounds nice and not too heavy.” Interjecting, Cormac picks

up on this thread: “Nothing is too overly thought out. We just do

what we do and stuff happens. There are no rules. Everyone can

contribute what they want and the tunes just come out of that.

If it sounds good, it sounds good.”

Their appreciation of what sounds good has been spot on so far,

with each of their singles being accompanied by a quite distinctive

video - stand-alone pieces where the visual aspect becomes as

important as the music. “Each one is tailored to fit the vibe of the

song,” David, who makes the videos, tells us. “I think each single

feels like a document of where we’re at,” adds Cormac. “You can

hear a bit of progress in between each one. Right now we haven’t

got the money or the set of tunes to make a full album. So we’re

kind of just cataloguing.”

“It’s like a proper reflection as well,” adds Tony, picking up a

couple of threads. “Just being able to listen back to them and hear

them properly for the first time. When people hear us live it isn’t

exactly what we hear ourselves.” “Yeah, live it sounds massive,”

adds David – and we agree. The recorded tracks don’t do justice to

the heaving beasts that come to life when FUSS play live. It seems

as though the band are as surprised about this as us. “The first

time we realised it was when we played Leaf and it just sounded

huge. We weren’t expecting it because we practise in our house,

so it’s usually pretty quiet and restrained. But then on stage there

was just this big wall of sound. So it’s good to be able to go back

and pull the songs apart. To just hear them in a new way.”

The ambition, then, seems under wraps for the time being as

the four band members work out the intricacies of what they’ve

created. They’re not going to be deserting their fellow sloggers

on the gig circuit any time soon. “The local scene is fucking boss!”

exclaims Karl. “We’re mates with loads of the different bands and

there’s a proper sense of community there. Like, we love going

to gigs and playing gigs because we get to see all our mates.

Everyone just wants to support each other and enjoy each other’s

music.”

“The main thing for the band right now is just to make sure

we’re always making really good tunes and that they each have

their own little thing going on,” David confirms. “That’s the most

important thing and if that’s right then everything else will

hopefully follow. We’re not trying to fool anyone with anything

else or trying to make people like us for any other reason.”

“We’ll only make music that we’re sure is fucking good,” adds

Tony.

So, that’s what all the fuss is about.

@fussband

FUSS support Cabbage at The Magnet on 4th November. And watch

out for the video for Fluff on bidolito.co.uk soon.


19TH NOVEMBER

THANKSGIVING BBQ

WWW.THEMERCHANTLIVERPOOL.CO.UK


DIFFERENT TRAINS IIIIIII

The coming of the railway heralded the arrival of the

modern world and, as the source of so much narrative

potential, it’s no wonder that stations – and the

journeys that connect them – have also catalysed the creation

of memorable art. This was put into sharp focus in September

2016 when the London Contemporary Orchestra took on the

task of performing Steve Reich’s magnum opus DIFFERENT

TRAINS at Edge Hill station, one of the oldest passenger railway

stations in the world. Stuart Miles O’Hara was present for this

momentous performance, and Damon Fairclough managed to

catch up with legendary composer Steve Reich before the event:

together they explain how it all came together.

Photography: Robin Clewley / robinclewley.co.uk

Ten Minutes with Steve Reich

Now that Steve Reich’s Different Trains has steamed “What led me to working that way was the pieces I did back

through Edge Hill station, it’s easy to see the occasion in the 60s – It’s Gonna Rain and Come Out – which use bits of

for what it was. It was audacious, celebratory and a speech that are highly melodic. This is characteristic of all of us

triumph. But when I meet Reich in a Liverpool hotel bar the at certain emotional moments when we speak – it just comes

day before the event, I feel less certain about the way things out that way. We don’t intend it to, but it does.”

will turn out.

These two works are built solely from tape loops that slip in

Not that I doubt the quality of the music for a second; after and out of phase, creating resonant textures and rhythmic blips

all, Different Trains is probably Reich’s masterpiece. But will a from portions of everyday speech. But Reich traces the influence

working railway station really be the best place to witness a back even further.

work by one of our greatest living composers? I ask Reich how “The composer Leoš Janáček used to walk around Prague with

he thinks his music will cope outside the concert hall.

a music notebook writing down what people said – the melodies,

“It depends on the acoustic,” he replies, clearly sanguine not the words they spoke. Then he’d take these fragments and

about what the night will bring. “Music has to have legs; it has put them in his operas. He was listening to the speech as a

to survive no matter where it is. Sometimes the acoustics will source of melody. And, long before me, long before Janáček, all

fight against it and eliminate the qualities that are there, but if composers or makers of music were taking the speech that was

the music can’t stand up to that, there’s something wrong with around them, whatever the language, and it was having a very

the music.”

heavy influence on the music they wrote.”

No danger there, as Different Trains is acknowledged as a It’s just a few days before Reich’s 80th birthday, and the

contemporary classic, a piece that combines ghostly snippets of Liverpool performance of Different Trains is part of a global

oral history with a string quartet that mimics the musicality of celebration. I ask what he’s particularly looking forward to about

the speech. But what gave Reich the idea for this compositional the event, and he explains how pleased he is that the London

innovation, this excavation of melody from the words that Contemporary Orchestra, who are performing the piece, are

people say?

putting in considerable extra work.


IIIIIIIIIIIIII

Words: Damon Fairclough / noiseheatpower.com

“Usually, if you want to play Different Trains, you go to the

publisher and they send you the musical notes on paper along

with an audio recording. Different Trains is written for three

string quartets – one plays live and the other parts are prerecorded.

But it takes more commitment to say, ‘No, send us

the click tracks – we’re going to make our own recording’. That

shows real commitment on the part of the LCO. They really want

to dig in and do something. I respect that.”

And then, of course, there’s the opportunity to play the tourist.

In common with many city visitors, Reich has certain other music

on his mind.

“Everybody comes to Liverpool and wants to know about The

Beatles,” he says, “and I’m no exception. It’s a place that became

very famous and every American is aware of it.”

And though I’m about to tell him there are other great bands

from the city too – the likes of Ex-Easter Island Head for instance,

a group whose percussive guitar drills carry his influence in

every interlocking pulse – my strictly-marshalled 10-minute

interview is up and, before I know it, we’re shaking hands and

saying our farewells.

The rest, as they say, is history; Different Trains at Edge Hill

was one of the most memorable nights of music I’ve ever

experienced. Whether the world’s oldest working railway station

will ever see its like again, only time will tell, but for those of us

who were there, it was a train journey we’re unlikely to forget.

Steve Reich – Different Trains

Edge Hill Train Station

As if on cue, with the first ebbings and flowings of trains are fanciful. They enthuse people who know nothing

Electric Counterpoint, two trains, one inbound, about engineering or telecommunications. Tonight, art

the other out, appear and disappear alongside the and technology meet until they’re one and the same, as

lesser used southern platform of Edge Hill Station. How those Victorian engineers probably intended. Indeed, the

many passengers are on those trains? A few hundred? A few Greek word techni means art, but forms the root of our own

hundred people on the way to or from Leeds and York who technology. With samples of steam trains and the testimonials

have no idea that they’ve just been soundtracked by guitarist of holocaust survivors providing the string quartet with their

MATS BERKMAN, accompanying himself nine times over with rhythmic material, nothing in this performance has a fixed

tape loops. This concerto for electric guitar, written for Pat status. If you’re far enough back in the crowd, you might not

Metheney (and appended to the Kronos Quartet’s Grammywinning

1987 recording of tonight’s main attraction) is as and those of the pre-recorded strings. Indeed, trains aren’t

be able to tell the difference between the notes played live

close to a warhorse as American minimalism gets, but it’s still any one thing either. As carriages, they aren’t fixed in location,

refreshed by such a locomotive environment and the outdoor use, or nature. They aren’t intrinsically bad or good and have

soundsystem that magnifies the nuances of Berkmans’ been both, whether transporting the victims of genocide to

playing: sometimes snappy, sometimes silky, and even their deaths or connecting the coasts of a continental nation.

descending to a clubworthy bass throb in the third movement. They are only as useful or useless as the function we decide

Why have we gathered here, heads a-bobbin’? Is this a club for them, like most human art and technology, and Morrison

night, a gig, or a concert? A happening? More importantly, why and Reich’s film shows them in both capacities.

is American composer STEVE REICH standing out in the cold By the end, it still isn’t clear what kind of event this was.

on a Victorian platform under the heavens on a September I have a feeling that, even if there was an answer to that,

night the week before his 80th birthday? Well, two similarly be it concert, gig, or whatever, it would simply label it, and

venerable institutions approaching major anniversaries is tell you no more. What this event is, is self-evident. The four

reason enough (the train station has a century on Reich. It LCO players onstage are probably conservatoire-trained

was built 180 years ago, on the first railway in the world, which musicians, who’ve performed Beethoven for a person waving

was just six years old at the time), but it’s also pregnant with a stick more times than you’ve had hot dinners. But they’re

the status of Liverpool as a centre for contemporary art – Edge still gyrating and moving with the music, bedding in the

Hill-based collective Metal, for whom each day at the office tempo changes with physicality as well as a superior sense

must sound like an eight-hour performance of Different Trains, of tempo. They move like you’ve seen drummers, DJs, and

have collaborated with the London Contemporary Orchestra to backing dancers move.

put on this one-off event during our Biennial. Oh, and it’s the When I arrived, hanging back across the street to lock up my

premiere of a film by BILL MORRISON and Reich to accompany bike, I studied the queue that stretched back towards the top

the performance. As such, it’s a real confluence of talent, not of Smithdown (and, closer to kick off, almost up to Matalan).

just nationally but transatlantically too.

Passers-by, mostly residents, kept asking what was going

“This is a piece about place and about trains,” says South on. They would have found out anyway (re: the soundsystem

Bank Centre boss and METAL founder Judy Kelly OBE (one above), but hopefully they won’t have minded an hour of

of the city’s most prolific exports as far as the arts sector is Steve Reich – more than a few of the curious had heard of

concerned). Trains are nothing without places to go to. It’s him. Extending the catchment area across L7, it’s great to have

been argued that the Eurasian road network, not the Great such a huge crowd for a truly Liverpudlian event, imbued with

Wall of China, is the largest artificial structure visible from history, but looking toward a future involving the rest of the

space. To go one further: it’s the railways – there’s no tarmac world. In short, well worth getting off at Edge Hill for.

between us and Europe. But these are flights of fancy, and

Stuart Miles O’Hara / @ohasm1


Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam

Doumbia are the Grammy Awardnominated

musical duo that make

up the musical force that is AMADOU AND

MARIAM. Affectionately known as “the blind

couple from Mali”, the duo spent 20 years

establishing their reputation in Mali and other

neighbouring West African countries before

eventually winning international acclaim with

their ground-breaking and genreless mix of

Malian music.

Drawing inspiration from far and wide, the

pair mix traditional Mali sound with electric

guitars and various world instruments such

as Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian

ney and Indian tablas to result in a unique

sound that they refer to as ‘Afro-blues’.

Garnering attention from early on in their

career, the pair have racked up an impressive

count of guest appearances, collaborations

and joint productions from the likes of Manu

Chao, Beth Orton and Damon Albarn to TV On

The Radio and Santigold.

The pair both lost their eyesight at a young

age, at a time in Mali when blindness was

considered an enormous handicap. Yet through

their love of music the duo overcame their

obstacles, donned their trademark sunglasses

and embroidered Malian dress and became

a musical force to be reckoned with. Their

2008 autobiography, Away From The Light Of

Day, further highlighted the inspiring artistic

path that the couple took, in light of the many

obstacles they had to face, and shows the

broader social change that they have effected.

Ultimately, their story is one of determination,

courage and absolute devotion to music.

Amadou and Mariam are set to make their

first appearance in Liverpool this December as

part of DaDaFest – an innovative arts festival

that produces opportunities for disabled and

deaf people to access the arts. The show will

be a highlight of a fantastic programme put

together by the festival, running from 17th

November to the Philharmonic Hall show on 3rd

December. On that night, Amadou and Mariam

will be joined by a sterling support bill including

selectors adept in music from all corners of the

world, Radio Exotica DJs, plus Somalian guitar

maverick Anwar Ali. Ali, whose idiosyncratic

style takes in influences as diverse as Swahili

wedding songs and Norwegian folk, will be

joined by Liverpudlian musician Dave Owen.

Completing the line-up is the Evolve Group from

the Young DaDa Ensemble, who will perform

original songs from their trailblazing project.

In advance of their performance, Scott

Smith caught up with Amadou and Mariam

to find out their influences growing up, how

they coped with their disabilities and their

experiences in the music industry.

Bido Lito!: Where did the story of Amadou

and Mariam all begin, and when did you start

playing together?

Amadou and Mariam: Our history started in a

meeting at the Institute for Blind Children in

[Malian capital city] Bamako in 1975, one year

after we started playing together, and our first

AMADOU

& MARIAM

Words: Scott Smith / @thinkscott

gig was back in January 1976.

BL!: You’re playing Liverpool as part of

DaDaFest; how important is the issue of

disability to you as performers and how do

you find British audiences?

A&M: It’s super important for us because

disabled and deaf people should have their

own place and importance in our society. We

are happy that DaDaFest give this opportunity

and place in arts and music to join audiences

together. [When] we were young we lived

[with] some discrimination. But after some

years when we became musicians we started

to receive the affection and admiration from

the audience. We are lucky to have played in

so many different countries. British audience[s

are] very warm and welcome; they enjoy music

and they know a lot about different genres and

styles.

BL!: During your recording career you have

collaborated with a variety of musicians from

around the world; how have these experiences

affected your songwriting?

A&M: When we were young we used to listen

[to] a lot of American music, and also some

British groups. We like a lot of different styles

from rock, blues, rap, but also some French

chanson and the Afro-Cuban sounds. One of

the very nice parts of collaborations [is that] it

gives us the opportunity to mix some sounds

and styles, to learn and create, always keeping

our African sound.

BL!: You’ve achieved so much in your career,

but you didn’t have the easiest start. Where

did you find the determination and courage

to dedicate yourself to music?

A&M: Our start was not that easy because a

proper music industry did not exist in Mali at

that time nor music producer and distributor,

so we were forced to move to Cote D’Ivoire.

We were super determined to share our music

around the world. We were – and still are –

confident about our sound and music, that’s

why we did this big step. We are grateful to do

what we love and that is to play music. Also,

we received a lot of nominations, recognitions

and awards around the world that give us

energy to keep playing.

BL!: What advice do you have for any young

blind, deaf or disabled aspiring artists trying

to make it in the music world?

A&M: They should be strong and have patience.

To be strong enough to feel that they are on

the same level and [have the same] rights as

all other human beings.

BL!: We are looking forward to your

performance in Liverpool.

A&M: Thank you so much for your time and

interview. We too look forward to seeing you

all at the DaDaFest!

dadafest.co.uk

Amadou and Mariam play Liverpool

Philharmonic Hall as part of DaDaFest 2016 on

Saturday 3rd December.


LIVERPOOL

PSYCH FEST v.1

Camp and Furnace and District

“To fall in hell, or soar angelic, you need a pinch of the

psychedelic.” So said the psychiatrist who coined

the term, Humphrey Osmond, way back in 1965. In

search of an expansion of meaning, sensation and experience,

I find myself in the belly of the multifaceted beast that is

Liverpool Psych Fest: the port for which many a sonic explorer

from around the world is to dock this weekend. With worldly

stories from euphoria to lament, what unites the artists found

within this small corner of Liverpool is a mission to explore

sound itself, to push melody and thinking to limits previously

untouched. The music that infiltrates the crumbling red bricks

of these expansive warehouses is set to refresh and rejuvenate

the scarred ghosts of industry and bring new life to these walls.

Having once been the home of many exotic goods, it seems

quite fitting that the former warehouse spaces of Camp and

Furnace find themselves home to a GURUGURU BRAIN showcase

on the opening day. Curating a sample of the – largely – hidden

delights of Asia’s most far-out sounds, the Tokyo-based label

excel in the sounds of mind expansion, and this Western audience

is lucky enough to witness the phenomenal PRARIE WWWW lay

down the first examples. The striking streaks of white which

adorn almost every stretch of naked skin dance in the shimmers

of light, which flare amidst the brooding darkness. Their tribal

aesthetic seems fittingly matched to the music found within

them. The hypnotic drum rhythms are what hold the performance

together, as guitars wane at a bow’s touch and synths abstractly

transpire with the occasional addition of some ritualistic chants.

From Japan to Denmark we cover a 5500-kilometre plane

journey in a matter of metres to sample the delights of

Copenhagen’s finest, THE LOVE COFFIN. Having fomented in

arguably the best post-punk scene in the world, it’s easy to see

how this fits into the overall ‘psych’ (or ‘PZYK’?) aesthetic when

the five-piece take to the stage. Their nonchalant swagger is a

beam that concentrates this band’s appeal, their slurred vocals

complementing the slightly off-kilter rings of jangling guitar.

Having stumbled upon yet more worldly psychedelic delights,

I push forward through the lysergic adventure to find the West

Coast foursome COOL GHOULS. The hazy, blurred-out images

that play up on the screens behind them prove a

welcoming accompaniment to the rose-tinted,

nostalgic rock of the group, who groove

through wistful 60s pop nuggets

complete with strong basslines

and eerily ghostly

harmonies

Transitioning between the gentle, the noisy and the melodic

is made easier by the bustling outdoor area where the festival’s

pilgrims congregate to catch their breath between acts, sharing

stories that transcend any and all linguistic barriers. Such a stop

allows me to ease nicely into SUPER FURRY ANIMALS’ headline

set. With a career which has spanned over 20 years it’s not hard

to see why the room is packed to capacity, with those in situ

hopeful of catching some of the enigmatic charm of the group.

Dressed in the white boiler suits with which they’ve become

synonymous, the group spin a tapestry of songs which flaunts

the diversity and intricacy of their back catalogue. Despite

criticism that “the band aren’t psych”, Super Furries set about

smashing that statement to pieces with a mind-bending set of

radiant pop, trance-inducing electronica and, of course, Power

Ranger masks.

There’s no easing into Saturday, as I head down early to catch

perhaps one of the most fitting bookings this year. YE NUNS

are a tribute to the infamously anti-Beatles 60s garage rockers

The Monks, yet they’re far more than a tribute act. It seems the

perfect two fingers to the crowds of lazy music journalists who

fail to see past Liverpool’s biggest band. It doesn’t take long for

the habit-wearing ensemble to tear the place down by bringing

their own twist to I Hate You, Monk Time and Complication, all

equipped with the characteristic screams and manic organ stabs

that made the group a cult classic.

Having grabbed a pint of Guruguru Brain IPA I head off to

melt into the fabulous ULRIKA SPACEK. Perhaps one of the most

exciting bands to break through this year, their place on the bill

proves the festival’s ability to pick the freshest talent and place

them in front of an audience 10 times bigger than any they’ve

played before. The pedal-driven sounds of the group send

the audience into a state of catatonia, occasionally

displacing them with the likes of the visceral

She’s A Cult. With a blend of shoegaze,

noise rock and a touch of classic

psychedelia, the group prove

one of the most popular

of the day.

The metamorphosis from the primal raw punk of their first

album into the more delicate gothic post punk of Ullages

throws up an intriguing other face to EAGULLS. What remains

ever present in their live performance, however, is the brooding

intensity of frontman George Mitchell, who sways to and

through to the ominous drum beats as he dances through the

sound which feels much bigger than the four who stand on

stage.

Perhaps one of the most hyped appearances of the night

comes in the form of the synthesised glam rock of THE

MOONLANDINGZ, fronted by the Buckfast-fuelled space nonce

Johnny Rocket, the alter ego of Lias Sauodi of Fat White Family.

With a lipstick-smeared face and a mane of wild black hair,

Rocket terrorises the front row with a series of grotesque

grimaces and animalistic screams as his trusty band plough

through their sordid electro pop. It’s only as we mellow into

the animated chatter as people come down off the back of THE

HORRORS’s clubby, subby set, that we have time to reflect on a

festival unafraid to book the most obscure of bands without

the snobbery of straying into the mainstream every

once and a while. I’m utterly exhausted by the

ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Matt Hogarth

Photography: Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk

Two Trips

Inside The

World Of Liverpool

International Festival

Of Psychedelia 2016

A

blur, of sounds and sights and smells and memories.

That’s all that is left of LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL

FESTIVAL OF PSYCHEDELIA, along with a dull echo of

experience in our adrenalin-scorched veins. It was an utter blast,

that took in music brewed in Tokyo, Gdansk, Guadalajara, San

Francisco, Copenhagen and many more boltholes in between.

The PZYK Congregation poured their minds into the virtual

reality environments and live spaces, leaving indelible marks

on the scuffed surfaces of Camp and Furnace, Blade Factory and

District as they grooved, swayed and were swamped by the force

of the music that this broad church of a movement spewed forth.

It was a pure hit, which words and images only go some way to

describing; it’s something that has to be experienced.

Three of our intrepid explorers have attempted to assemble

their memories from the weekend here – across words and

images – to try and recreate a sense of what that PZYK experience

actually was. In essence there are a million different ways to

navigate this festival – here are some of those truths.


LIVERPOOL

PSYCH FEST v.2

Camp and Furnace and District

This is your headset; fit to eyes and ears, and zoom. To

self-generating brickwork, past stalls peddling credits for

energy units, and avatars of clipart of Golden State and Old

Grey Whistle Test. Past preambles/debriefs, past halloumi chips,

meat fetishists. Up a staircase, crab across and into a walk-in lava

lamp, then back to the throng. Is what’s behind you always there,

or only when you turn around? What really frames your field of

vision? Is a festival constant, or a moving cluster of auto-deleting

vistas? If this paragraph was bollocks, can you prove it?

Here’s some more bollocks. You’re in Blade Factory, absolutely

caning it to VAYA FUTURO, who are like ngkldj nmll;dsg; ngkldj

nmll;dsg; ngkldj nmll;dsg; ngkldj nmll;dsg; then like ngkldjjjjjh

nmll;g ngkldjjjjjh nmll;g ngkldjjjjjh nmll;g – so transcendent, you’re

right on it, you’re purring knowledgeably. Turns out they were just

fixing something. Retreat in disgrace into 10 000 RUSSOS, who

may have ingested copious Moon Duo and Fall, the repercussions

of which – a sense of their bodies rejecting it – a rammed District

gulps down. If those acts daze you with dots, IN ZAIRE – four

guitar-y fellas but somehow more like rust, magnified – are the

optical dragon that eventually charges out. In another room, a

Jamiroquai-like visage reveals who’s behind a popular parody

account in a made-up micro-realm; someone else here worked in

a warehouse with Coventry City’s Dave Bennett; next thing, there’s

a warhead growing out of your stomach. The virtual reality zone

supplies one of those clauses, but we supposedly leave the VR

and that’s Steve

Davis over there (DJ

Thundermuscle to his new

friends), stunning and screwing

through squelchy electro, snookering

you tonight.

In the PZYK PRYZM, the mirror-masked

BONNACONS OF DOOM are like Magpahi fronting

Chrome Hoof. Where some bands give both barrels then

regather, BoD only escalate, and you know that idea that you

can fold a piece of paper seven times – BoD keep doubling til

they decide to stop. It’s their reality. Ditto, in a low-end fog that

never clears, THE HORRORS – I think – and what tonight are magiceye

silhouette songs. We can trace these from muscle memory,

only the whole isn’t there. Joshua Hayward, in particular, is out

of earshot, yet this is a man who talks about striving for a loss of

sonic focus, who solders his own pedals, so let’s trust in it. Psych

shouldn’t fit accommodatingly into the known, any more than

amount to Californication and Technicolor.

I’m convinced this lot never nail A Sea Within A Sea. That

outro – that all-important outro – according to the record should

twitch and jerk and lunge. Live, it always marches. I consult

boozy pals and can’t get the theory across. But with them, as

with VR, or reality, you’re doomed if you complete; the sense of

accomplishment falls off a cliff. It’s a sea within a sea you have

to keep believing in vain can be glimpsed. “I know it will,” booms

Faris Badwan. “I know it will...”

Forward, to confirm that’s a very well-known character from

another made-up sphere, sport, psyching away unnoticed; my lips

are sealed. And drag back, and rotate under shapes that, whatever

your tonic (mac ’n’ cheese), are of another realm. The PZYK COLONY

AV realm, and you’ll have to jump between streams here:

“CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER. Warm synths bubble,

my wingman, Stevo, is at the controls cos

analogue hypnosis, beats are crisp. Enervating.

I’m getting rapid eye movement, deafening ticking,

Electronic, not digital. Sharp like a dance thing...

spinning 360s of rows and rows of drelbs.

Thanks Stevo – I’m birthed back, waxing about glorious hours

of prog-static that never occurred, or so they say. It’s semiapocryphal,

as it should be; it dithers into low-res Greenland

Street; a thumbnail captures a car; I must’ve pressed ‘sleep’ or

‘shut down’, I must’ve run out of tokens. I remember nothing.

Tom Bell

liverpoolpsychfest.com

Head to bidolito.co.uk now to see a full gallery of Keith Ainsworth’s

photos from Liverpool Psych Fest.


24

Bido Lito! November 2016

NOVEMBER IN BRIEF

PEACHES

Playing as loose with gender norms as she does with genre norms, PEACHES is an artist who truly represents the 21st century’s barrier-less approach

to self-expression. 2015’s critically-acclaimed LP Rub, her sixth, was produced solely by women and continued the Canadian’s trend of being ahead of

the rest of the industry in highlighting ideas of sexual fluidity and gender identity. A dizzying mix of electroclash, rap and disco, Rub reminds us how

the world needs Peaches now more than ever. A show not to be missed.

Invisible Wind Factory / 11th November

MICHAEL CHAPMAN

It seems like the 2010s is the decade for the renaissance of ‘lost’ artists from the 60s, as yet another folk hero enjoys their long overdue moment in

the sun. Self-styled old white Yorkshire bluesman MICHAEL CHAPMAN is one of the most underrated and accomplished British musicians of the last

50 years; his uniquely English, melancholic perspective and emotive guitar style first won him the admiration of John Peel – who declared Chapman’s

influential 1970 album Fully Qualified Survivor his favourite record of 1970 – and latterly Thurston Moore, whom he with toured in a duo.

Philharmonic Music Room / 20th November

WHITE LIES

After three consecutive top five albums, WHITE LIES took the time between switching labels to put some intense legwork into their latest record,

calling on some illustrious ‘friends’ to help them out. Friends, released in October by BMG, was recorded in Bryan Ferry’s private studio, with James

Brown, David Wrench and Ed Buller helping the trio freshen up their synth-heavy post-punk stylings. High demand has seen this show upgraded from

Arts Club to O2 Academy; all previous tickets remain valid.

O2 Academy / 26th November

MERSEYRAIL SOUND STATION FESTIVAL

The region’s premier grassroots music competition comes to a climax this month with the Merseyrail Sound Station Festival. The final of the coveted

Sound Station Prize will feature 10 specially selected artists playing a gig in front of a panel of judges. The eventual winner, following in the footsteps

of Blue Saint and Katy Alex (pictured), goes away with a year of music industry mentoring, studio time and free train travel. The festival takes place in

the unique setting of Moorfields Station. merseyrailsoundstation.com

Moorfields / 19th November

JON MORTER @ VENUE EXPO

Venue Expo returns to Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre for the third time in November alongside PA Expo, the North’s largest and most important business

and events exhibition. The free two-day event also hosts an expert panel of speakers, with one particular guest standing out as a must-see speaker.

Social media magnate/hellraiser JON MORTER will be delivering a candid How To Beat The X Factor Q&A session that lays bare his strategies in leading

successful viral campaigns, such as helping get the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and anti-X Factor singles to number one.

Exhibition Centre / 8th-9th November

THE BIDO LITO! SPIRITUAL BUNKER @ LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK

The shenanigans of Liverpool Music Week’s Closing Party are the stuff of legend, and this year’s multi-venue party looks set to add to that rich history

with a slew of home-brewed acts helping bring down the curtain on this year’s festival. CLINIC (pictured) headline at Invisible Wind Factory, with

dozens more acts pressed into action across venues in the North Liverpool docklands. And we’re hosting our own stage for it – the inaugural show at

new venue Muraki – featuring the amazing talents of STRANGE COLLECTIVE, VEYU, THE FLOORMEN, I SEE RIVERS, THE SHIPBUILDERS and more tba.

Muraki / 4th November

IAN SIEGAL

IAN SIEGAL, one of Britain’s most compelling blues artists, comes to Southport on 10th November. From his busking beginnings, Siegal has gone

on to receive numerous awards and critical acclaim. We are giving away two tickets to Siegal’s show at The Atkinson plus a copy of his album, One

Night In Amsterdam. For a chance of winning, answer the following question: What was the title of the album that won Siegal Mojo magazine’s

blues album of the year in 2009? a) Farside b) Broadside or c) Darkside. Email your answer to competition@bidolito.co.uk by 7th November for a

chance to win; winners will be notified by email.

bidolito.co.uk


Bido Lito! November 2016

25

PSYCHIC ILLS

Elizabeth Hart and Tres Warren’s fifth album, Inner Journey Out, finds the New York duo in a reflective mood as they tease around the country and jazz

edges of their laconic psych rock template. The three years since their previous release for Sacred Bones Records (2013’s One Track Mind) have been

spent testing the limits of these boundaries in what turned out to be an odyssey of songwriting, where they allowed their own sense of adventure

to lead them down soporific, fuggy avenues.

The Magnet / 29th November

TREEHOUSE OF HORROR

Remember that time when The Simpsons went all weird and Homer sold his soul to the Devil (who turned out to be Ned Flanders) in exchange for

a donut? That was one of the more memorable ghoulish twists the cult show took for its annual Halloween-themed Treehouse Of Horror episodes,

and Simpsons devotees will be delighted to hear that No Homers Club are planning a special evening dedicated to them. Featuring original artwork,

Simpsons karaoke, a donut eating contest and live music from OHMNS and Organ Freeman, this is the place to indulge your inner James “Hell” Brooks.

Constellations / 4th November

OFF THE RECORD

Manchester further strengthens its claim to be capital of urban festivals with OFF THE RECORD. The festival spans six venues across the city’s Northern

Quarter and will boast some of the country’s best emerging artists. There is also a conference element to proceedings in which 50 panellists will

chew the musical cud. The evening gigs benefit from the seasoned curation of such prominent musos Huw Stephens (pictured), John Kennedy and

Guy Garvey. For more info go to otrmcr.co.uk.

Various venues / 4th November

FIESTA BOMBARDA

The neon-charged BOMBARDA delights pitch up at The Florrie in November for an autumnal carnival. The Victorian hall will be splashed in colour for

the event, a riotous explosion of Afrobeat, dub and reggae sounds and seasonal set design. Soulful reggae star NATTY headlines the shindig, which also

features the Katumba drumming troupe, face paints, Equinox performers and all manner of vivacious goings on. Jamaican vocalist RANDY VALENTINE

and reggae bluesman LIAM BAILEY are also lined up for the latest FIESTA festivities.

The Florrie / 11th November

COFFEE CONNOISSEURS UNITE

Northern coffee quaffers can celebrate their love of the magical bean this month as the Manchester Coffee Festival returns. Formerly known as Cup

North, the event brings together expert baristas, coffee lovers and industry leaders to take in exhibits, films, workshops and talks all themed around

the world’s favourite wake-up juice. Bido Lito! have contributed to proceedings with the playlist Full Of Beans, a mix of some of the best emerging

artists from Liverpool and Manchester. Hear it online at bidolito.co.uk now.

Victoria Warehouse / 5th-6th November

HOMOTOPIA

A brilliantly eclectic bill of dance, photography, music, comedy and more makes up this year’s HOMOTOPIA festival. With the intriguing theme of

Forbidden – reflecting the fact that homosexuality is still illegal in 76 countries – the LGBT arts events welcomes artists from across the country to

perform at the Unity Theatre and other venues. The festival finale takes place at District on 25th November with a performance from the Rewind Fast

Forward project, Sandi Hughes’ (pictured) history of Liverpool’s scene.

Various venues / 20th October - 25th November

A REAL BRITISH MUSIC EXPERIENCE

The Cunard Building is set to host another stellar musical exhibition as it prepares for the arrival of Britain’s Museum Of Popular Music, a place

where you can revel in the soundtrack to the nation’s history. The Museum, which opens in February 2017, boasts an unrivalled collection of artist

memorabilia and footage, and charts the beginnings, rise and influence of British pop from 1945 to the present day. Learn how immigration

changed our musical landscape, hear how music challenged the status quo, and pay homage to some British greats who conquered the world

in an interactive studio. Full details can be found at britishmusicexperience.com.

LOVE SAVES THE DAY

New Brighton's alternative wedding boutique LOVE SAVES THE DAY is inviting Bido Lito! readers to put a twist on their special day. Love Saves The

Day specialises in vintage wedding dresses, veils, tiaras, fascinators and hats, catering for the most unique marital celebrations. If you or a friend are

planning such an occasion, follow the Bido Lito! Facebook page for a special prize giveaway this month. A lucky winner will be given £30 to spend at

LSTD by simply liking and sharing a post. For more information on Love Saves The Day go to lovesavestheday.online.

bidolito.co.uk


10 Artists

competing for the Merseyrail Sound Station Prize at the

MErsEYrAiL sOUND stAtION FEstIVAL

Live at Moorfields Station • Saturday 19th November • Free entry from 1pm

The final winner of the Merseyrail Sound Station Prize will be chosen by a panel of expert judges at the event. The successful artist

will receive one year of professional music industry mentoring, recording studio time and free train travel with Merseyrail.

Get There By Train

merseyrailsoundstation.com


[NIGHTGARDEN]

67 Greenland Street

Liverpool

L1 0BY

Future Forward Feasting

Every Friday

18:00hrs — Late

Free Entry

campandfurnace.com

@campandfurnace

0151 708 2890


28

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

Deap Vally (Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com)

DEAP VALLY

The Velveteers – Indigo Moon

EVOL @ The Invisible Wind Factory

Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory is certainly

an impressive location and, as one of the

newest creative spaces in the city, it looks set

to firmly establish itself as a favourite on the

local music gigging circuit. And the new gig

season kicks off in fine style as LA power-duo

DEAP VALLY arrive to wreak their own particular

brand of sonic mayhem upon an adoring

audience with an inspiring, intoxicating and

enthralling performance.

Local quintet INDIGO MOON have been

steadily making a name for themselves over

the past year, and they take up the challenge of

the ‘difficult opening slot’ with style, swagger

and vigour. There is a tendency amongst the

regional music press to somewhat overstate

the ability of local artists, often employing

unjustified hyperbole based, it would seem,

purely on their postcode, but anybody who

has watched Indigo Moon’s development

cannot fail to be impressed by their continuing

evolution. It’s an action-packed performance

in which lead singer Ashley Colley exudes real

star quality – she also has the added benefit

of having the sort of stadia-filling voice that

could stop traffic.

Before the main event, Denver two-piece

bidolito.co.uk


Amadou

and Mariam

Fri 21 Oct

ENRG 02. Kinetic Energy:

The Black Madonna

Peggy Gou

Fri 28 Oct

Abandon Silence: Echoes

Jeremy Underground

Soichi Terada

Sat 29 Oct

The Voodoo Ball:

Return to Afrotopia

Fri 4 Nov

50 Shades of Pink:

Barberos Spandex Party

Sat 5 Nov

ENRG 03. Sound Energy:

Bicep ~ Or:la ~ Blehrin

Fri 11 Nov

Evol: Peaches (LIVE)

Faux Queens

Sat 19 Nov

Abandon Silence: Echoes Selects

Denis Sulta ~ Harri & Domenic

Sun 20 Nov

DaDaFest:

Burlesque from Biscuitland

presented by Martini Lounge

Fri 2 Dec

Evol: The Vryll Society

Rongorongo ~ Zuzu ~ The Mysterines

Sat 3 Dec

ENRG 04. Magnetic Energy:

Dusky ~ Bambounou ~ Blehrin

Fri 9 Dec

Harvest Sun:

Hooton Tennis Club

Part of DaDaFest

International 2016

Saturday 3 December 7.30pm

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

The Grammy award-nominated afro-funk

duo, bring their magical fusion of pop, blues

and Malian music to Liverpool for their only

UK tour date of 2016!

Invisible Wind Factory, 3 Regent Road, Liverpool, L3 7BX www.thekazimier.co.uk

Tickets from:

bit.ly/AMUK2016

0151 709 3789

www.dadafest.co.uk

@DaDaFest


30

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

brother-sister duo THE VELVETEERS led by

19-year-old Demi Demitro warm up the

audience with a compelling display of muscular

guitar riffs, hell-for-leather drumming and

Demitro’s soaring, blues-soaked vocals. They

are a band we’d suggest have big things

ahead of them, if they can replicate this sort

of commanding and gripping performance in

the future.

Deap Vally have already built up a solid

fan base in Liverpool due to incendiary

performances at The Shipping Forecast and Arts

Club over the last few years, and their latest

album Femejism, co-produced with Yeah Yeah

Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, is arguably their finest work

to date. It’s also an album that sees the duo

push themselves both sonically and lyrically to

another level and this is particularly evident in

their live performance. The pair exude a frenetic

energy and visceral power that mesmerises

the crowd. Guitarist Lindsey Troy owns the

stage, pacing up and down, crowd-surfing

and pirouetting whilst tearing distorted sonic

thunderbolts from her guitar that reverberate

around the walls of The Invisible Wind Factory.

There are choice cuts from their debut

album Sistronix in the shape of Bad For My

Body and End Of The World mixed with new

tunes from Femejism, such as the rip-roaring

Royal Jelly, Smile More and Litte Baby Beauty

Queen, which all sound even bolder and more

empowering in the live setting. Troy’s brutal,

ear-shredding Zepplin-esque riffs combine

with Julie Edwards’ creative drum patterns

to forge a monolithic wall of sound that is

powerful, uplifting and euphoric. At times it

is hard to believe that just two people could

make such a glorious life-affirming racket.

There’s absolutely no let-up in intensity as

the duo play with barely a pause for breath

across an epic 70-minute set. After they

complete a three-song encore, you only have

to listen to the rapturous applause and observe

the huge grins on the faces of the audience to

realise that this had been one of those extraspecial

nights that will live long in the memory.

A near-perfect gig from a band that Liverpool

has clearly taken to its heart.

Andy Von Pip / @VonPip

KRS-ONE

Predator Prime

Arts Club

If you haven’t heard of KRS-ONE​, you’ve

definitely heard him. If hip hop had a currency,

he’d be on the 100 denomination note, sharing

with Scott Le Rock, of course. Both made up

the original duo of Boogie Down Productions

(BDP), where KRS-ONE earned the nickname

the Teacha. Every MC today owes something

to the Blast Master (everyone has at least two

dozen pseudonyms in hip hop). Tonight, KRS-

ONE shows us just why he has the respect and

admiration of his countless peers.

First though, DJ PREDATOR PRIME ​comes

Deap Vally (Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com)

on alone, stepping up to the decks asking,

“Do you wanna hear that 80s shit or that 90s

shit?” 80s wins out, of course; we are here for

that, after all. He treats us to a mix of all the

classics, flipping between both golden eras

of hip hop. Hands are up, old heads are trying

their best to rap along. After his tour of the hip

hop early years, he calls out KRS-ONE​. The

icon bounds onto the stage and the Teacha

begins to speak, starting off with the first of

many freestyles. Here is where KRS displays

his true strength; there are rappers with more

prowess flow-wise, but he’s untouchable

when it comes to lyrics – deceptively simple,

accessible and smart. Songs from the BDP d​ays

are proto-gangster rap, about life in the Bronx

and inevitably about his encounters with crime.

It’s frank rather than glorifying, preaching

betterment through learning.

As the set shifts to his newer tracks, the

songs become more and more political.

This is distilled down into the anger-filled,

anti-imperial The Invaders, about America’s

annexation of Mexico. With its pro-immigrant

message, the song strikes a chord in a post-

Brexit Britain, and it certainly gets some fists

pumping. Not long after, he starts his lecture

on the styles of MCing, rapping over a variety

of beats for each. This is him flexing his hip hop

muscle, displaying his versatility and a little

showmanship too. He frequently comes back

to the two posters on either side of the stage,

displaying his various mantras on hip hop and

his namesake Knowledge Reigns Supreme. He

takes the title of Teacha very seriously; he’s here

KRS-ONE (Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com)

bidolito.co.uk


NORTHERN QUARTER / MANCHESTER / 4.11.16

DISCOVER

YOUR

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THE RUBY LOUNGE / NIGHT & DAY CAFÉ / SOUP KITCHEN

THE CASTLE / GULLIVERS / AATMA / METHODIST CENTRAL BUILDINGS

7 VENUES. 30 ARTISTS.

50 PANELISTS.

MUSIC CONFERENCE BY DAY,

LIVE MUSIC BY NIGHT.

DISCOVER

30 EMERGING ARTISTS

HAND PICKED BY...

to educate us rather than just play another gig

on another tour. He champions the importance

of hip hop for all: “Rap is something you do, hip

hop is something you live.” It’s a campaign he’s

been fighting for a long time, and hopefully for

a long time to come. As he walks off stage, DJ

Predator Prime ​jumps back into his mix. The

Blast Master then appears at the entrance,

and is quickly mobbed by the crowd, having

his photo taken with everyone who wants

one, signing anything and everything. It’s a

rare sight to see, especially straight after a set

running over two hours. He’s after hearts and

minds, to convert to his gospel of hip hop. No

one leaves Arts Club unsatisfied.

Kieran Donnachie / @KieranDonnachie

KRS-ONE (Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com)

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER

Buffalo Riot – Lunar Runway

I Love Live Events @ Arts Club

If fresh-faced youths with an Arctic Monkeys

fixation are your thing, LUNAR RUNWAY have

big shoes to fill. Even though they’re just

starting out, they’re winning at Liverpool venue

Top Trumps, adding Arts Club to Studio 2, O2

Academy, and Sefton Park Palm House (at X&Y

Festival). In fact, the only criticism (and it’s a

small one) is that there’s no attempt to recreate

the heavenly choirs of On The Bathroom Tiles

in a live situation.

BUFFALO RIOT are in the middle of an

HUW STEPHENS / JOHN KENNEDY / TIM BURGESS

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KATE HUTCHINSON (GUARDIAN GUIDE) / JOE FRANKLAND (PRS)

LARA BAKER (AIM) / TIM THOMAS (BLUEPRINT STUDIOS)

THE LINE OF BEST FIT / THE TIPPING POINT

SHELL ZENNER (BBC INTRODUCING)

ELIZABETH ALKER (BBC 6 MUSIC)

PLUS MANY MORE…

MUSIC TICKET £15 / CONFERENCE PASS £20

TICKETS FROM OTRMCR.CO.UK


32

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

abrasive sound live than on record, group

leader Phil Rourke’s initial conception of the

group as a grunge band makes more sense on

stage as the quartet parachute in somewhere

close to Seattle territory, albeit armed with a

bullet-belt full of chorus effects pedals. Bassist

Sam Banks leads the rough-edged, heavily

reverbed sound with teeth-rattlingly resonant

lines backed by sticksman Andy Fernihough’s

foundation work, while Pete Seddon – on loan

from People//Talk – supplies the fuzzed-up

rhythm guitar parts.

Intriguingly stood sideways-on to the

crowd, Rourke’s vocals evoke the resigned

sigh of post-punk denizens Barney Sumner and

Robert Smith, the Cold War gloom of the early

80s relocated to the present day. Powering

through August Eyes and their best song to

date, This City To Yours, an extended take on

Vessels supplies the evening’s finale. With the

next two EP instalments due soon, the chance

to see what they unveil next will fortunately be

here before 2016 is out.

Richard Lewis

Eleanor Friedberger (Georgia Flynn / georgiaflynn.com)

FESTIVAL NO. 6

Portmeirion

FESTIVAL NO. 6 in the rain, a slate-grey

unashamedly wide road, but they’re flipping wellrehearsed,

tight as something really tight, and

play the Loft at Arts Club like it’s a stadium. They’re

on something of a high right now, with their album

Pale Blue Oceans released over the summer,

acclaim for their session at the last Liverpool

Acoustic Festival, and now a juicy support slot for

one of the most acclaimed songwriters this year.

Oh, and a substantial fan club making up most of

the audience. Unfortunately, they take half that

audience with them when they leave the stage.

Fortunately, they’re supporting an artist who

thrives on intimacy. Rooting through a tote bag

and fiddling with the settings on her amplifier

before her set proper, ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER

is still an effortless stage presence. Even with

her back turned, she’s the natural focus of our

attention. Her material might often be slower,

quieter, more spacious than her support acts’,

but it waits for nobody and leads the audience

wherever she wishes: there’s a wake of rapt

listeners trailing after the last chords of each

song.

With a growing back catalogue to draw on

(Because I Asked You, A Long Walk), Friedberger

can afford to throw in a few songs by her ‘other

band’ The Fiery Furnaces (I’m Gonna Run, Keep

Me In The Dark, and Benton Harbor Blues as a

welcome throwback to the more innocent days

of 2006) and even gently magnificent cover of

Cate Le Bon’s Love Is Not Love. It’s her own

words that echo longest, and not just because

of the sparse audience. She delivers her lyrics

with a Mona Lisa gaze that reaches wherever

you stand in the room. Some are rooted to the

spot; it’s a mystery how she manages it as a

flesh-and-blood performer. Indeed, listening

to Stare At The Sun (containing the fabulous

tercet, “If that was goodbye/Then the sea has

run dry/So I’ll fill it with tears instead”), you

could be forgiven for thinking it was the sun

staring at you.

Stuart Miles O’Hara / @ohasm1

OH WELL, GOODBYE

Echo Beach – Songs For

Walter – The AV Society

Hail Hail Records @ Maguire’s Pizza Bar

Entering the back room of DIY wellspring

Maguire’s, we are greeted by a large screen to

the rear of the stage area announcing the live

debut of THE AV SOCIETY. A one-man mission

piloted by Sam from indie stalwarts Married

To The Sea, the Soundtrack In Real Time

project sees the guitarist supplying music to

accompanying visuals. That the film in question

at first glance looks like a cinema release until

it becomes apparent it was created specially

to accompany the set speaks volumes for its

production quality. An impressive opening

salvo, the performance finishes with Movement

For Plastic Axe Normally Used For Guitar Hero,

my invented title for the last cut, played on said

device.

Mancunian quartet SONGS FOR WALTER

revisit the plaintive pop that was the stock

in trade of the indie scene in the early-to-mid

1980s, defined by the NME’s landmark C86

compilation. Using said cassette as a yardstick,

the four-piece are thankfully nearer to Scottish

twee-pop outfit The Pastels than the likes of,

say, Bogshed (whaddaya mean, who?). The

boy-girl vocals call Veronica Falls to mind, the

bass-less quartet’s short-story lyrics exemplars

of The Smiths’ strain of literate indie pop, the

reverbed lead vocals lending the tracks an

extra layer of spaciousness. The penultimate

track provides the highlight, a series of rolling

arpeggios backed by a rolling drumbeat that

took ‘years’ to track down.

Alternating between post-rock instrumental

passages evocative of Low (just don’t call ‘em

slowcore, the Minnesotans hate that) and

something akin to latter day alt. pop (don’t

call it dream pop, people usually complain),

ECHO BEACH are at times reminiscent of Wild

Nothing. The band have their surf ‘n’ shoegaze

formula nailed down: two parts shimmering

guitars, one part diversions into synth-powered

introspection. Understandably rough around

the edges, with tracks occasionally sounding

like the group have collectively lurched over a

speedbump, jolting the members forwards, for

the most part they’re very promising.

Headliners OH WELL, GOODBYE announce

themselves with a bracing intro, tearing into a

faster, more febrile version of Clandestine from

Swoon, the most recent of the band’s ongoing

series of EP releases. Wielding a tougher, more

sky, stair rods from the Giants Causeway

blowing in across the Irish Sea. The ubiquitous

ponchos are out in force, flapping in the breeze,

sticking to the skin. The bars are rammed, the

atmosphere stoic. The surrounding scenery still

looks magnificent though, hills shrouded in

mist, the slow-moving estuary waters gliding

by.

Regardless of the weather, the best way to

‘get’ this festival is to pitch yourself into the

myriad charms it holds and work out the details

later. GERRY AND THE HOLOGRAMS are doing

their zany best to make the sun shine, through

a false (Garcia-like) beard and psych rock blues.

“We’d like to do a number by Bob Dylan but he

never plays any of ours so fuck him, here’s a

new one of ours”. They’re spilling out of The

Gatehouse for the Ricky Tomlinson/Johnny

Vegas chat, and a Welsh bard is holding a crowd

in the Piazza with what initially sounds like a

traditional medieval ballad until I hear them

happily joining in with a chorus of “A-dogging

I will go”. He is followed by a jitterbugging,

Lindy-hopping troupe who quickly have the

crowd spinning beneath a canopy of whirling

umbrellas.

Saturday afternoon, and events in the

woods and at the Estuary Stage have sadly

been cancelled but such is the multifarious

nature of the No. 6 site that there are still an

incredible number of nooks and crannies for

the inquisitive to explore and delight in. You

could actually not go and see a band and you’d

still hear some fabulous tunes, the food

bidolito.co.uk


34

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

crowd.

I’m picking up good vibrations from the full

tent where A CERTAIN RATIO’s electro-funk is

in full flow. The heavy bass, funky drumming,

skipping guitar and clarinet flourishes are

topped off with Denise Johnson’s superb

soul funk vocal. Across the field, Can vocalist

MALCOLM MOONEY performs the album

Monster Movie with a young band. “Who are

those guys?” my co-pilot asks. I’ve no idea,

but they smash the hell out of it with fuzzedup

guitars and driving rhythms. Mooney

looking genuinely moved and elated by their

performance.

The stair rods have softened to a Scotch mist

and nothing can dampen the expectations

of a huge crowd in the Central Piazza for the

performance of Dr JOHN COOPER CLARKE. Hire

Car, Twat (joyfully concluded by the crowd),

Beasley Street and the stand-up patter have

me in tears of laughter as always. As the rain

gets heavier, a stage hand comes out to put

Clarke’s notepad under cover. “Oh, I see, I stay

out here and catch pneumonia, don’t let the

fuckin’ notebook get wet.”

stalls, bar tents, and the boom bike pumping

out a classic mix of funk, soul, disco and rap.

In the Town Hall, the Uke Can Do It! ukulele

workshop has packed them in and wandering

vagabond Gary’s witty repartee and A & E

notation has them strumming along in no

Hot Chip (Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd)

time. Outside, the fish girls swim upstream,

mouths opening and closing, and the No. 6

bus disco dances its way through the smiling

Aloft in the tower of the Dome Galley,

NATALIE MCCOOL follows up last year’s set

with an assured performance, the reverb of her

guitar washes underscoring her soaring vocal.

The Galley is full to bursting by the time Bear

Growls’ Bowie Disco swings into action, and


Reviews

Bido Lito! November 2016

35

people are singing and dancing on the terrace

outside and peering in through the windows to

capture a slice of the celebratory atmosphere.

As darkness falls, the Kazimier Collective begin

a lantern-lit, silver-robed procession towards

their rendezvous with space-traveller Captain

Kronos, whose appearance is for some a

reminder of the happy days of Wolstenholme

Square and for others a spectacular

introduction to Krunk consciousness. Later,

HOT CHIP defy the elements and inspire surely

one of the muddiest, spectacularly-lit mass

pogoes ever.

Sunday dawns, drier, brighter, and by midday

there is already a disco party happening at the

vodka bar, top hats and feathers ringing our

bells. A lovely moment comes at the Lost At

Sea Stage, the bird’s nest of a look-out high

above the estuary. The beautiful country folk

of LUCY AND VIRGINIA – guitars, mandolins,

violin and bewitching harmonies – has drawn

an enchanted audience when a distant

drumbeat is heard. It gets louder and louder

as a parade winds its way through the village,

threatening to drown out the siren calls and

provoking looks of amused concern amongst

our company until a rhythmic handclap breaks

out to help the song to its conclusion amidst

laughter and applause.

Today we can go down to the woods –

techno, house and disco are blasting out

amongst tangled limbs and branches and the

Lost In The Woods stage hosts some excellent,

diverse performances: FICKLE FRIENDS’ synth

pop groove, THE VRYLL SOCIETY’s psych dream

ride and CRAZY P’s polished disco/funk all play

to acolytes and converts in equal measure.

Walking down the hill from the woods, the

techno beats thunder in my left ear whilst,

in my right, the voices of the BRYTHONIAID

MALE VOICE CHOIR float ethereally up from

the Piazza, equally powerful and rather more

moving.

Back at the Clough Stage there’s a one-towatch

performance by HMS MORRIS – rocksolid

rhythm and loopy synth, some great

hooks and poppy melodies, all fronted by

Heledd Watkins’ driving guitar and riveting

vocal contortions. The crowd is rightly knocked

out.

The Main Stage pulls the largest crowds for

BOWIE RE-IMAGINED, SUPER FURRY ANIMALS

and NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS,

but the nooks and crannies have it. Does the

beastly mud and oomska ruin No. 6? Nah –

it has a go, but people rise above it, with no

little style: the onesied, the sequined, the tophatted,

the tu-tued and the be-suited pull on

their Wellington boots and dance and sing

through it all. No. 6 is not just a number.

Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd

Festival No. 6 (Glyn Akroyd / @glynakroyd)

Box office:

theatkinson.co.uk

(Booking fees apply)

(01704) 533 333


: TheAtkinson

: @AtkinsonThe

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“A National Treasure”

– Classic Rock/The Blues


36

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

FLOATING POINTS

Blehrin – Melodic Distraction

ENRG01 @ Invisible Wind Factory

It doesn’t feel like a rave. It feels like a party,

a party thrown by that one cool supervisor for

their co-workers. The turbines are rotating

in time with the hi-hat. Somebody takes the

stool from next to me, and the sound of its legs

scraping on the floor lines up perfectly with a

conga break from MELODIC DISTRACTION. It

isn’t quite rammed yet, but they don’t tone

down their sound for the distinct after-work

drinks vibe (or is it just me?). It’s a wonderfully

mixed crowd: Kazimier once-regulars in the

yellow spotlight, kids who’ve strayed off the

beaten path (from Concert Square) in the

purple, and aging clubbers where the two

meet.

The next set is very liberal with the

saxophone solos. Now, that could be levelled

as a criticism at some, but it just bounces

off BLEHRIN. His set is dreamier and less

melodically distracting. When he rolls the

treble back, he could appear self-absorbed

and distant, but it’s just the care and precision

he takes at the decks. It’s appropriate given

how meticulous FLOATING POINTS’ approach

to his music is.

Don’t let his scientific background fool

you – Sam Shephed’s ear for a sample is so

intuitive, even the oddest choices end up

being so persuasive; there’s no way he could

have layered them any differently. Wriggling

orchestral synths? Worth a shot. Sticking Bill

Withers’ (first album, first track) Harlem over

it? That’s a push. How does it work, and how

does the electronica stay intact? It might turn

out to be genius. Might. He’s not afraid to shut

down completely to ease in a new sound, a

stunt Blehrin pulled earlier, but with Shepherd

picking the records, it’s usually some luxurious

synth, and even when that crescendo turns out

to be a horn section and glitterball vocals, the

umbilicus has long since been cut – it simply

ain’t disco anymore.

Vintage Wedding Wear

162 Seabank Road

New Brighton

CH45 1HG

@love.saves.the.day

lovesavesthedayvintage

All night long, the stewards wear tabards of

pulsating lights, the Vegas incarnation of the

Queen of Hearts’ guard. One of them grabs a

small metal box with knobs and a green LED

display and rushes off with it. What does it do

and what does he need it for?

Stuart Miles O’Hara / @ohasm1

RODDY WOOMBLE

Ceremony Concerts @

Philharmonic Music Room

It must be a simultaneously liberating

and daunting feeling to step away from the

supportive atmosphere of working as part

Roddy Woomble (Stuart Moulding / @oohshootstu)

of a whole and strike your own chord as an beautiful, lilting passages. These songs speak

individual performer. So it was for RODDY of community, of self, and of the landscapes

WOOMBLE in 2006 when he left the comfort that shaped the writer, this resident of the

zone of Idlewild to record his solo debut Western Isles.

album My Secret Is My Silence. Released with As a frontman, Roddy Woomble displays

an abject lack of anything that could be even a shy but captivating charm, choosing to

remotely described as promotion, the album perform side on, and standing at the side of

found its way in the world more despite the stage when not singing, letting the music

Woomble than because of him. The intervening take the focus. It’s an endearing quality to his

10 years have seen this collection of enigmatic performance, and proves the value he places

and evocative Scottish folk songs grow in the on collaboration and engagement. The band

hearts of its listeners and take its place as one tonight are faultless, as is the sound in The

of the most important records of its time, its Music Room, with only the addition of Hannah

roots, and its country.

Fisher’s violin to lend the folk edge; it’s a

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary, grittier, rockier sound than we’d anticipated.

Woomble took to the road to perform the If I Could Name Any Name is another highlight,

album in its entirety to packed houses up and a frail and pretty ballad, and another moment

down the country. And we mean ‘up and down where Woomble’s lyrical insight is held up to

the country’. On his way to Liverpool from the the much-deserved light, as rich in intent as it

previous night’s show in Norwich, somebody is in its delivery. Waverley Steps – written about

decided to close the M6, meaning a late arrival Woomble finding himself living in Greenwich

of the band for us, and a nightmare nine-and-ahalf-hour

journey for them. Well, we’ve waited Edinburgh skyline and its people – sees him

Village, a dream in itself, but yearning for the

10 years to hear these songs live, another in eyes closed contemplation, honing in on

couple of minutes won’t hurt. And obviously, that other time, that place, giving depth to his

as it turns out, it’s more than worth the wait. passion for both places, and the part they’ve

There’s a warm, engaging quality to this played in getting him to this point.

collection of songs, as there is too much He mentions the lack of fanfare that this

of his work, and the rich, cracked timbre of album received on its release, and he’s right

Woomble’s voice carries the images across that it’s by no means polished, it has its flaws,

the landscapes he describes. From the prosaic but tonight in The Music Room, Roddy Woomble

fragile introspection of the opening song I is relieved that the songs are finally getting the

Came In From The Mountain, we’re reminded of live treatment and the warm welcome they’ve

his skill in delivering these images, his innate so richly deserved for such a long time.

talent for phrasing his doubts and fears into

Paul Fitzgerald / @NothingvilleM


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38

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

CAVALRY

Flyying Colours – Bathymetry

EVOL @ Buyers Club

With its first birthday just passed, Hardman

Street gig mecca Buyers Club has carved out an

impressive niche over the past 12 months as a

rite of passage venue for Liverpool bands, much

like The Picket, the gig space that preceded it.

Following the off-beat alt. pop of live-circuit

regulars BATHYMETRY, Antipodean shoegaze

crew FLYYING COLOURS arrive onstage. After

checking that the density of their wall of

sound is just so, the four-piece tear into It’s

Tomorrow Now, a pile-driving psych rock

banger redolent of early Ride classic Drive

Blind. Gently admonishing the audience for

hanging so far back in the venue, lead singer

Brodie Brümmer signals the start of Long

Holiday, a journey into more indie pop pastures.

Injecting the ragged energy of grunge into the

mix, thunderous sticksman Andy Lloyd Russell

flails away to impressive effect, while singer/

guitarist Gemma O’Connor adds melodic

ballast. The 2013 track that marked them out

as notables, Wavy Gravy, is dropped into the

set late on before an extended take on Mellow

concludes the affair with waves of rippling

guitar distortion and new converts seemingly

won over.

Following the Aussies’ sonic firepower,

headliners CAVALRY are a less forceful

Cavalry (Mike Sheerin / michaelsheerin.photoshelter.com)

prospect, acoustic guitars replacing the dense particular bunfight has been put together to

swirl of stomp-box-driven electrics. This celebrate the recent release of double A-side

Ceremony Concerts Present

George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool - Thursday 20 th October 2016

Blue Rose Code

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool – Friday 21 st October 2016

Robyn Hitchcock

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool - Saturday 22 nd October 2016

Kristin Hersh

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool – Saturday 19 th November 2016

Michael Chapman & Nick Ellis

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool - Sunday 20 th November 2016

Sheelanagig

The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool - Sunday 27 th November 2016

James Yorkston

The Magnet, Liverpool – Thursday 15 th December 2016

King Creosote

RNCM, Manchester – Monday 16 th January 2017

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Ian Prowse & Amsterdam

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THURSDAY 27TH OCTOBER

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CRAIG DAVID, SIGALA, SIGMA DJ

SET AND MORE

SUNDAY 30TH OCTOBER

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MONDAY 31ST OCTOBER

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FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER

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SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER

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THURSDAY 10TH NOVEMBER

D’BANJ

FRIDAY 11TH NOVEMBER

ARCHITECTS

SATURDAY 12TH NOVEMBER

THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY FT.

FRANKIE BOYLE

MONDAY 14TH NOVEMBER

CARAVAN PALACE

WEDNESDAY 16TH NOVEMBER

THE DAMNED

FRIDAY 18TH NOVEMBER

LUSH

FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER

MARILLION

MONDAY 28TH NOVEMBER

THE FRATELLIS

TUESDAY 29TH NOVEMBER

NOTHING BUT THIEVES

THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER

CHRISTMAS QUEENS FT. THE STARS

OF RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE

MONDAY 5TH DECEMBER

TRIBUTE TO MANCHESTER VOL. 2:

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FRIDAY 9TH DECEMBER

SCHOOLBOY Q

SUNDAY 11TH DECEMBER

THE CORAL

SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER

CLUTCH

SUNDAY 18TH DECEMBER

THE GAME

TUESDAY 20TH DECEMBER

FORMERLY THE MDH FORMERLY THE HOP & GRAPE FORMERLY THE CELLAR

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SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER

JP COOPER

THURSDAY 27TH OCTOBER

OBITUARY / EXODUS

FRIDAY 28TH OCTOBER

THE UNDERTONES

SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER

MATT BERRY & THE MAYPOLES

SUNDAY 30TH OCTOBER

LOCAL NATIVES

TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER

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WEDNESDAY 9TH NOVEMBER

PEACHES

THURSDAY 10TH NOVEMBER

KASKADE

FRIDAY 11TH NOVEMBER

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK

LIVEWIRE AC/DC VS FEDERAL CHARM

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LACUNA COIL

WEDNESDAY 16TH NOVEMBER

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WEDNESDAY 23RD NOVEMBER

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FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER

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THURSDAY 15TH DECEMBER

CHAMELEONS VOX

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SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER

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UK FOO FIGHTERS TRIBUTE

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TOO HIGH TO RIOT TOUR FT. BAS

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SLAMBOREE

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THE SOUTHMARTINS

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EDEN’S CURSE

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MOTORHEADACHE

(A TRIBUTE TO LEMMY)

FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER

THE DOORS ALIVE

SATURDAY 26TH NOVEMBER

ELIZA AND THE BEAR

FRIDAY 2ND DECEMBER

BIG COUNTRY - THE SEER TOUR

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LARKIN POE

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40

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

single Everything and Lucerne on venerated

indie label Fierce Panda and a homecoming

in general, and both tracks showcase the

quintet’s sound to excellent effect.

Founded on a wealth of Americana

influences – Calexico, Bon Iver, The National

–with a smattering of Elbow’s emotiveness,

the five-piece effectively create widescreen

folk rock infused with atmospheric washes of

FX pedals and synths. Battling against a fair

amount of chatter from the crowd, the band

are easily able to recreate their sound live, the

tracks on point throughout. Benefitting from a

mix that brings out the delicacy of the song’s

guitar arpeggios, which take flight when the

rhythm section enters, lead singer Alan Croft

bosses the songs as they rise to a crescendo.

Whilst everything here is beautifully played

and the set doesn’t deliver any complete

howlers, a bit more grit in the oyster would

definitely be welcome; some contrasting

spikiness to puncture the loveliness elsewhere.

Variations in pace and/or bigger choruses

would truly see the band shoot up a level.

Encouragingly, one of the best tracks aired is a

new one “that doesn’t have a title yet”, which

breezes across beautifully. A few more things

may need to fall into place for Cavalry to fully

deliver knockout punches, but their contender

status is assured beyond doubt.

Richard Lewis

PRETTY GREEN PRESENT:

THE LIVERPOOL WEEKENDER

Upper Blade Factory

Manchester and Liverpool may have their

differences, but one thing they agree on is

that it’s imperative to look great when you’re

playing your world-beating music. Pretty

Green’s Liverpool Weekender is a collision of

the conjoined worlds of fashion and music, with

many of the acts playing across the two stages

in Camp and Furnace’s Upper Blade Factory and

Gold Room going missing amongst the racks

Sankofa (Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk)

of the fashion label’s extensive sample sale

between sets. With three days to get through,

it will be a challenge to work out whether the

threads or the tunes are sharper.

RED RUM CLUB are pure rock ‘n’ roll swagger,

and the boisterous Friday night crowd is

lapping it up as they break into their single

& Supports

17th December

Seel Street Liverpool

Ticket Available At: Ticketweb, See, Ticketmaster, Gigantic, Ticketline,

02 AcademyBox Office. Ticket Price: £12.50 Advance, £15 Door


Reviews

Bido Lito! November 2016

41

The TV Said So. It’s a short foray into standard

indie rock territory, and definitely has the air

of radio fodder about it. The interesting bits

come when the Spaghetti Western trumpet

sounds explode over the crowd, giving their

sound an Ennio Morricone soundtrack feel but

with those northern swaggering vocals akin

to Alex Turner’s. The momentum doesn’t stop

as they roll on into each song, trumpet blaring

and guitar rumbling.

PSYCHO COMEDY’s vocalist Shaun Powell,

sporting a Beefheart-esque hat, growls, “Can I

have reverb, shit loads of it!” into his mic. With

one of the band’s guitarists sporting a CBGB

T-shirt, it points to this being punk (New Yorkstyle)

and loud – and there’s nothing wrong

with that. Local poet Matthew Thomas Smith

joins Psycho Comedy onstage for the opener,

spitting out the band’s manifesto over the

growling music. Each track comes with an

ephemeral garage rock haze to it, held together

by the Stooges-like proto-punk grit. It’s not a

clean sound, but Psycho Comedy revel in the

sludge. Like many of Liverpool’s upstarts,

they’re a product of a generation of global not

regional music, leftfield of what we’ve had

before, edging along between fist-pumpingly

political and danceably primal.

Continuing our tour of America, all from

within the comfort of Upper Blade Factory, we

have SANKOFA. This time it’s the Deep South for

some sumptuous but murky psychedelic blues

rock. The meandering solos prevalent in both

styles of music reverberate through the crowd.

It’s all tied together by the voice of Stephen

Wall. He doesn’t sing in a faux American accent,

but still manages to deliver a powerful and

soulful punch with each lyric, which swims in

the same waters as the Black Keys’ Missisipi

Delta. Not one head isn’t rocking, nor a toe not

tapping. Their name is of significance tonight,

with every band having grown from the seed

of music past. It’s from the Ghanaian Twi

language, roughly meaning ‘go back and get

it’, and get it they do.

Saturday’s acoustic sets begin with breaking

Wirral collective JO MARY. Perfecting their craft

over the water, away from prying eyes, the

group's reputation and musical talent has

snowballed in recent months. Dropping their

characteristic lo-fi sound (as well as a couple

of members), the group play minimalist trippy

rock basked in a gravelly glory. Despite a small

crowd, the group establish their potential as

well as their stamp on the rising Liverpool

scene.

The evening action sees the bands amped

up and rocking again, and the audacious lad

rock of BRIBES is charged with getting things

moving. Equipped with leather jackets and a

Gallagher swagger, this group seem the most

fitting band of the evening. Playing good oldfashioned

rock ‘n’ roll and armed to the teeth

with a knowing confidence and Britpop riffs,

the group draw in a huge crowd of devoted

followers – not a bad feat for a group yet to

release their first single.

Following on from the exhilarating Bribes,

we’re greeted by slightly more familiar faces

of THE SHIPBUILDERS. Having started out life

as a somewhat folky, indie group, it seems the

group have evolved into an entirely different

beast. With galloping drums and waning

guitars, they seem to have expertly fused the

genius of Morricone and Moroder to create

upbeat Western-inspired indie with just a hint

of disco.

With a sudden change of mood we’re

pitched into the lo-fi delights of AJHD. Having

disappeared off the face of the Earth for a few

months, it only takes a few notes before we

remember exactly why we love them. Perhaps

the darkest band of the night, they offer a

stream of consciousness lyrical style combined

with their ability to juxtapose the ethereal with

the brutal. AJHD provide a breath of fresh air

with their eclecticism of distortion-led rock and

delicate sordid lullabies.

Having gorged on some of Liverpool’s best

musical delights we are in in for one final treat

this evening with the arrival of Liverpool’s

answer to Brian Wilson, TOM LOW, who has

won hearts across the country with his Phone

EP, amazingly all recorded on his mobile phone.

With his humble and casual approach Low

brings light into the darkness which envelops

the room. Born from the bedroom, the music

jumps to life miraculously onstage in a swirl

of psychedelic colour painted with synth and

echoing guitars, with the audience treated to

the occasional field recording. There’s a certain

magic and childlike innocence to the music,

which adds an almost Sgt. Pepper-esque vibe

to the performance. He rounds off the night

with his blissful alien pop. It’s nights like

these when we are reminded of the wealth of

Liverpool’s rich and diverse music scene, which

we are so lucky to have.

Kieran Donnachie / @KieranDonnachie

Matt Hogarth

GARY NUMAN

I Speak Machine

Liverpool Olympia

The juxtaposition of pale, white skin on a

brutalist canvas of jet black streaked with

jarring stripes of red proves early on that, to

GARY NUMAN, theatre and drama are just as

important as the music that’s packaged within.

So it seems almost perfect for the 80s icon to

be performing at the Olympia tonight. The

extravagantly carved elephants, the flaking

gilt paint which covers the walls, and the

vertigo-inducing heights of the top balcony

seem a fitting theatre for him. Come this cold

September night somewhere just out of town,

it’s obvious that support for tonight’s headline

act is far from flaking. A sea of black awaits

us in a variety of forms from leather jackets to

thick eyeliner.

Having made our way through the theatre’s

grand doors, we find ourselves watching the

brilliant I SPEAK MACHINE. Tara Busch and

Maf Lewis, who make up the audiovisual

duo, formed a close relationship with Numan

when they created a zombie short featuring

his kids – and it’s easy to see how Numan’s

inspiration infiltrates their musical work,

beyond connections of friendship. Creating

soaring analogue synth soundscapes, Busch

Pretty Green Weekender (Keith Ainsworth / arkimages.co.uk)


42

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

– the musical element of the multimedia duo –

narrowly avoids Numan’s pop roots in favour

of something slightly more brutal. Backed by

Lewis’ strikingly bold imagery, Busch paints vivid

pictures twiddling knobs and hitting keys whilst

occasionally punctuating the landscapes with

wildly distorted vocals.

Having suitably established the mood with a

set saturated with sounds and very few words,

it’s time for the cult leader to deliver his sermon

to his devoted followers. A series of neon red

beams fly at the audience to announce Numan’s

arrival, refracting off the mass of bald heads

which swim below, acting like a beacon for

the electro pioneer. Having lost the withdrawn

robotism of his early years, there seems to have

been an almost Kafkaesque transformation,

with Numan appearing more like a rock god. He

is followed on stage by his band, who, slightly

incongruously, have the air of a Danish black

metal band. However, the addition of the big

rock guitars and the full band adds just another

dimension to his music.

Primarily leaving the instruments to his

bandmates, Numan has full room to oscillate

about the stage and take hold of the audience,

which he does with aplomb. Casting behemoth

shadows amidst the dazzling light show, he

really does put on a show, keeping the audience

firmly in his grasp the entire time. Proving that

there’s more to the man than Cars and Are Friends

Electric?, even to those there for the novelty, the

noir figure offers a distinctive performance

which takes us on a multi-sensory tour de force

as striking on the eyes as it is on the ears. It may

be getting on for 40 years since Numan first

performed, but it seems like the synthesiser god

is immortal, playing like it’s still 1979.

Matt Hogarth

PROFESSOR YAFFLE

Charlie McKeown

Nothingville Music @ The

Scandinavian Church

Under the arched dome in the hallowed

space of the Gustaf Adolfs Kyrka, the pews

full and the remaining standing spaces tightly

Gary Numan (John Johnson / johnjohnson-photography.com)

packed, the lesser-spotted PROFFESOR YAFFLE

delivers a set of cosmic lullabies and acoustic

delight on a hot Saturday night.

You could never accuse Professor Yaffle of

playing too many gigs. Their appearances are

few and far between, and this September’s

performance is their first since they supported

Michael Head And The Red Elastic Band at The

Florrie back in December. In fact, this is only

Yeah Buddy!'s 3rd Birthday Party

Mad King Ludwig & The Mojo Co

& False Advertising

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Don't Worry

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Elevant

&

Lightcliffe

&

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Maguires Pizza Bar 25/12/16 £5 Seetickets


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gay, bisexual and trans culture through theatre, dance,

heritage, comedy, art, film, music, and photography.

NOVEMBER 2016


44

Bido Lito! November 2016 Reviews

SOUND MATTERS

In this monthly column, our friends at DAWSONS give expert tips and advice on how to

achieve a great sound in the studio or in the live environment. Armed with the knowledge to

solve any musical problem, the techy aficionados provide Bido Lito! readers with the benefit of

their experience so you can get the sound you want. Here, Dawsons’ drum genius Eej answers

a question inspired by last month’s feature interview with Natalie McCool.

FOR A BAND WHO WANT TO

EXPLORE THE ALTERNATIVES

TO A FULL KIT, TAKE US

THROUGH THE DIFFERENT

OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO

DRUM SETUPS ON STAGE.

Variations in drum setups available for

bands now are massive, with acoustic,

electronic and hybrid kit options all available

in a wide array of combinations. Thanks to

triggers that feel vibrations from the acoustic

setup, such as Roland’s RT1, analogue sounds

are sent into a drum brain that’s programmed

with a mass array of sounds, which gives

the drummer unique creativity. Bands

writing their own stuff can take a sample of

anything, from a massive thunder crack to a

vocal. Obviously, in terms of experimenting

with sounds, this allows bands to move

further afield in creating unique sounds and

broadening the horizons of their respective

genres; instead of taking one kit on stage

now, essentially, you can take 50. This allows

drummers to offer something melodic such

as tuned percussion, and it gives them

more depth as different tunings for different

songs are instantaneously recallable. A good

example of this in action is Gotye’s 2012 hit

Somebody I Used to Know, which is not very

intricate but is very effective because it uses

a lot of tuned percussion, which frees up the

rest of the band. You can get the sample to be

triggered by a drum trigger to the point where

entire songs can be sampled.

The development of these setups has

come on a lot in the last few decades. My

first recollection of a hybrid setup being

used effectively is from Genesis’s Turn It

bidolito.co.uk

On Tour, where Phil Collins and Chester

Thompson used Roland’s TD-10 brain with

RT1s on their toms and snares to replicate

the highly processed sound popular in the

late 1980s in a live environment. There are

too many contemporary bands to name

who use these setups but two household

names – Duran Duran and Muse – stick out.

In terms of bands playing smaller venues,

these kits are particularly effective as they

allow for minimal microphones – meaning

less interference – to be used with triggers

feeding into drum brains which can be sent

straight to the mixing desk, giving a much

fuller sound. Electronic drum sounds are

getting closer and closer to acoustic sounds

all the time too; Roland have now brought

out a digital drum ride symbol and a digital

snare. In the near future they will probably

bring out digital hi-hat. Twin this with

rumours of an acoustic shell being developed

and drummers soon won’t need anything

acoustic at all.

Looking towards what the future holds, it is

very exciting. This month Roland are releasing

the TD-50, which is the existing kit with

a new snare and ride, which can’t be rated

highly enough; it’s a truly breathtaking piece

of kit. Roland have got it down to a tee now

because other brands suffer from latency,

whilst they have got it down to around 0.02

milliseconds. Latency on a Roland kit is

almost unnoticeable due to the amount of

time they’ve invested in it. This isn’t to say

that other brands aren’t good, but Roland are

the only company that has covered the whole

spectrum; they’re light years ahead. Like the

TD-30, there will be three versions to the TD-

50, so it’s definitely exciting times for any

drummer looking to explore the alternatives

to a full kit setup on stage.

You can find Dawsons at their new home at

14-16 Williamson Square.

dawsons.co.uk

Professor Yaffle (John Johnson / johnjohnson-photography.com)

their 15th gig in eight years. There’s no great Coral, and formed, layer upon layer, around

master plan to speak of here, no lofty ambition the twin vocals and guitars of Lee Rogers

of five album deals and sell-out stadium tours. and John Edge, Professor Yaffle’s spirituallyimagined

songs benefit from floating around

It’s a far more wholesome and organic idea

than that. This band simply play and write in a venue such as this, a place designed for

together because they enjoy playing and peaceful contemplation. Written with a deep

writing together. If people like it, if they turn and reflective maturity, Rogers’ songs are of

up to a gig, then all the better. And they do. love, life and the human condition. The Edge

They do like it, and they do turn up to gigs. In Of Existence, written about a friend taken

fact, the gig sold out in record time, such is the too soon, and much favoured by 6Music’s

demand for their own brand of dreamy, pysch Tom Robinson, is a favourite of the Yaffle

folk storytelling.

devotees here; lilting and emotive, it’s deep,

The evening begins with a hushed reverence sad and beautifully constructed. Rogers

around the room for the deft and delicate folk easily finds a happy medium between this

stylings of CHARLIE MCKEOWN, a gifted writer level of introspection and the humour of the

and guitarist who performs with humility everyday. Last Stop Entitlement is the tale of

and warmth. Touching on elements of Nick North Liverpool pub crawls in the 80s, while

Drake, John Martyn, and Chris Wood, there’s a Put It Out finds him despairing at an Everton

lightness and effortless touch to everything he game, while a fan behinds him lights up a

plays. He loves to be heard and, just as with spliff. The very mention of Goodison brings

Professor Yaffle, he’s appreciative of being well-humoured booing from the more clearthinking

and mature-minded red contingent in

appreciated. And here, in this space, on this

balmy late summer evening, with the last of the room, to which he replies “If you want to

the sunshine straining through the old lead boo, it’s in D”. These vignettes of life through

light windows of the Scandinavian Church, the fish-eye lens of Lee Rogers’ world, come at

he is more than appreciated. An absolutely us with relaxed charm, beguiling and luxuriant,

perfect and beguiling musical pairing against and welcomed by all, and are presented by an

the impressive backdrop of one of the city’s accomplished group of likeminded musicians

most unique venues.

who simply love to love performing. We left,

With nods to West Coast 70s folk, Fred begging for an album, which, given the sparsity

Neil, early Genesis, Simon and Garfunkel of their gigs, may be with us at some point in

and, in parts, locals such as Shack and The the next 10 years.


NOVEMBER 2016

3rd ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW & THE LOW RIDERS

4th WISHBONE ASH

5th GRAHAM ANTHONY DEVINE

6th WIRRAL SONGWRITERS

9th JOHN LEES’ BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST

10th

11th

12th

12th

16th

17th

18th

GERRY MURPHY & PETER PRICE

ESMOND SELWYN

RUMOURS OF FLEETWOOD MAC

PETER ASHER AND ALBERT LEE

JOE BROWN

AMAZING KAPPA

GLENN TILBROOK

18th JOHN GOLDIE & GEOGHEGAN JACKSON

18th NEIL CAMPBELL

19th GARY MURPHY’S GUITAR LEGENDS:

CLASSIC MOVIE ANTHEMS

19th MODJANGO & DAVE LLOYD

19th GERRY MURPHY

20th PHIL CHISNALL BAND

Call the box office or visit our website for details on ticket deals and discounts:

0151 666 0000 | bestguitarfest.com #GF16 internationalguitarfestival

Huge savings on

Promark, Roland,

Alesis, Yamaha

and more!

10% OFF

CABLES AND ACCESSORIES

Cut out this coupon and bring it along to our Williamson Street store to claim 10% off products in our extensive

range of cables and accessories. Please note this offer does not extend to hardware.

Dawsons Liverpool I 14-16 Williamson Street Liverpool L1 1EB

0151 709 1455 I liverpool@dawsons.co.uk

@Dawsonsmusic

Dawsonsmusic


DIGGING A LITTLE DEEPER

with Liquidation

We’re always interested to hear what waxy gems are lurking in the depths of the record bags of

the city’s DJs, or the kind of music they’re indulging in away from the dancefloor. Liquidation’s

Jules Bennett (aka The Liquidator aka Motor Rik aka Blitzkrieg Bob aka one half of 2messyDJs)

talks us through the thinking behind some of the songs that regularly make it into his weekly DJ

sets at Liquidation, explaining how some of them have become bona fide Liquidation anthems.

“I’ve said in the past that Liquidation is defined by the songs it doesn’t play as much as by the

songs it does play - but some tracks do keep popping back up as they seem to resonate. We’ve

never tried to be like, ‘Eh, you’ve never heard this one before, mate’ either – it’s more like, ‘You’re

not expecting this’. I think you just embrace the fact that people might know more songs than you.”

HARRY J ALLSTARS

THE LIQUIDATOR

The record that the night is named after, as well as one of my DJ

pseudonyms. Maybe we wouldn’t still be here 23 years later if we were

named after the Tony Scott original, What Am I To Do? Still the first tune

out of my bag most weeks, and quite often the last one nine hours

later as well.

HOT CLUB DE PARIS

SHIPWRECK

There are quite a few tunes about that have lyrics regarding nights at

Liquidation, as there’s a rich and talented group of musical alumni out

there. HOT CLUB DE PARIS perfectly sum up that dancefloor euphoria of

hugging your new best friend as the strobes rattle your brain. “Grappled

by the epaulettes” is a lyric that you see in action most weekends. It’s

an honour seeing another generation of musicians passing through the doors of EBGBS at our

weekly pre-club free gigs too.

ARCADE FIRE

WAKE UP

I remember buying 10 copies of Funeral when it came out to give to

family and friends because I was in love with it and it was important for

people to have and hear. I’d done the same with The Strokes’ Modern Age

EP some years before. For the record, I also did it with a Doyle Bramhall

7”. Nobody’s perfect! A mass singalong to this with hundreds of people

on a Saturday night is a wondrous thing to be part of.

BLONDIE

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

My god. What a tough call for the fourth track. This could easily have

been something by The Clash/Ramones/Talking Heads/Cure/Smiths/

Bunnymen/Aretha/JB/Beach Boys/Daft Punk/LCD Soundsystem/Pixies/

Stooges, any one of numerous floor fillers and favourites, and that’s

before even thinking about room two where we are programming a

psychedelicious playlist we’re calling our Freaks, Geeks and Cliques mix (think Suicide/Sonic

Youth/Brian Jonestown Massacre/King Gizzard/Thee Oh Sees/NEU!). Can I come back and do it

again?

Liquidation takes place at EBGBS every Saturday night between 11pm and 4am, with a free entry

pre-club from 7pm featuring guest DJs and two live acts.

@LQDNatHeebies

THE FINAL SAY

Words: Evan Moynihan

Each month we hand over the responsibility of having the final say to a guest columnist. This issue,

Evan Moynihan muses on the quality of options he and his fellow Americans have to choose from

during this year’s Presidential election on 8th November.

GIMME SOME TRUTH

Whenever I leave New York and travel

abroad, I’m always interested to know people’s

perceptions of the United States. Many know

the romanticised version portrayed in American

films, while others have stereotypical notions

of Americans being rude or ignorant towards

other cultures. Regardless, it’s one of those

things that just about everyone seems to have

an opinion on.

Over the past year, non-stop coverage of the

US Presidential election has dominated the

news and provided a level of entertainment

on par with reality TV. This election feels unlike

any other; maybe it’s because of the 24-hour

news cycle, maybe it’s because the stakes

have ostensibly never been higher, or maybe

it’s because of the way social media has

tightened its grip on our lives. It’s probably a

toxic combination of all three.

It’s natural for us to want to feel like we are

part of something important, especially if that

something will ultimately impact our lives.

Social media has given us that ability to feel

part of the debate, but it has become a doubleedged

sword. It has given people a platform to

voice their opinion along with added pressure

to always have an opinion to voice. It reminds

me of a joke comedian Bill Burr tells about the

ways statistics are often used. He says, “You

already have your mind made up and then you

go to ‘I’mright.com’, and you start memorising

a bunch of shit, and then just throw it up at

people.” It’s funny because it’s true.

Campaigns are more willing than ever to

spread rumours, conspiracy theories, and flatout

lies about their opponents. News agencies

looking to break a story will hastily report

on this misinformation, which only makes it

appear more credible. With the way stories

snowball out of control, it feels impossible to

know what’s true and what isn’t. The end result

is a bunch of talking heads on a split screen

yelling at each other.

Due to the divisive nature of a two-party

system, everything becomes Democrats vs

Republicans, us vs them, Clinton vs Trump

– pick a side. And, despite the increasing

disillusionment with our politicians, people feel

obligated to because we live in a democracy

and it’s important to exercise our right to vote.

But what if we didn’t just have to settle for the

lesser of two evils? What if campaign finance

reform levelled the playing field for would-be

candidates who can’t afford a billion-dollar

megaphone?

Politics can reveal a side of people that

otherwise isn’t shown, and it almost feels like

this whole election has been boiled down to

‘revelations’. Watching Clinton and Trump’s

mudslinging speeches in the battle of ‘who

can appear more relatable’ is cringeworthy. The

truth is, they’ve each had too much money and

too much power for too long to be remotely

relatable to 99 percent of Americans. I wish I

could say I’m torn between them, but I’m not.

It’s discouraging to think that our electoral

process is structured in such a way that these

are our two remaining options.

I arrived in Liverpool on the heels of the

Brexit referendum. The lingering sense

of uncertainty in the UK was immediately

apparent, even to an outsider. That’s because

it feels a lot like the uncertainty in America

right now, which will likely remain long after

8th November. At the root of it all, people are

worried about the direction their country is

headed in. I assumed people over here would

have their own opinions about our election,

but I didn’t realise just how strongly they

would feel about it. Maybe that’s because of

what they’ve just witnessed. Something that

many people thought would never happen, just

happened.


The UK’s museum of popular

music moves to Liverpool

Opening

11th February

2017

Cunard Building,

Liverpool

Opening Tickets

on Sale now

britishmusicexperience.com


# 0 2

kinetic energy

—21 October 2016

I n v i s i b l e

Wind

Factory

Tickets Online:

ticketarena.co.uk,

residentadvisor.net,

skiddle.com,

theticketsellers.co.uk,

Dice.fm.

the Black

Madonna

Peggy Gou

Blehrin

Ticket Stores: 3B Records

(Slater Street) 0151 353 7027,

The Merchant (Slater Street),

Font Bar (Mount Pleseant).

KURUPT FM

PRESENTS

SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER

ARTS CLUB - LIVERPOOL

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